Midlands Bat Conference

Midlands Bat Conference

Skills development workshop

"It was very good, would definitely go to the next one" Conference Delegate 2022

This one-day event is an opportunity for anyone interested in bats, from hobbyists and volunteers to professional bat workers, to spend time together updating their knowledge, sharing best practice, developing their skills and catching up on the latest 'bat chat'. The day includes a mixture of short and long talks on projects and new knowledge, and a choice of practical workshops. There will also be time for catching up with bat friends or making some new bat acquaintances.

Whilst the conference is open to anybody from any region, you may be able to meet people from the bat groups in the Midlands and central region.

The next conference will be held on Saturday 23rd March 2024 both in-person at De Montfort University, Leicester, and online via zoom.

Tickets for the Midlands Regional Conference 2024

In person tickets include refreshments and lunch, and a choice of workshops. If you are a member of BCT or a partner bat group tickets are £45, for non-members tickets are £50.

Virtual tickets include talks and one set workshop per session. If you are a member of BCT or a partner bat group tickets are £25, for non-members tickets are £30.

Midlands Bat Conference

Thank you to the Premium Sponsor of this event - Wildlife Acoustics

Midlands Conference Programme 2024

Updated 12.02.24

Registration opens at 9am, talks start at 10am

  • Hibernation and swarming tunnels - Steve Allen & Juliette Butler, Nene Valley Bats.
  • Nathusius’ pipistrelle in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland - Tom Bennett.
  • Warwickshire’s Elusive Bats: the WEB project - Tricia Scott & Jo Harper, Warwickshire Bat Group.
    Warwickshire’s recent work to increase the number of bat records across the county.

A 1hr morning workshop session, followed by lunch and then another 1hr workshop session. Find details of the workshops below.

  • BCT Update - Lisa Worledge, BCT.
  • Swarming and movement of lesser horseshoe bats in Shropshire and the borders - Mike Worsfold, Shropshire Bat Group.
    Shropshire Bat Group have been trapping bats in Shropshire for more than a decade, and ringing horseshoes in southern Shropshire for four years. We have shown that lesser horseshoes swarm at some mine sites and disperse to hibernate.
  • Winter bat activity in a suburban garden - Alan Roe, Derbyshire Bat Conservation Group.
    The results of a five-year study into the occurrence of bats in winter in a South Derbyshire garden, using a passive detector.

Wrap up, raffle results and close by 5pm.

Midlands Bat Conference

Conference audience in an auditorium

Workshops at the Midlands Regional Conference 2024

Virtual attendees will be able to watch and participate in 'Bats and trees, now and in the future and how we work with them at a forest and landscape scale' and 'Mitigation for bats - a discussion'.

For in-person attendees, please note spaces are limited for each workshop and early booking is needed to secure your first choice.

Workshops are 60 minutes long.

If attending in-person, you can choose one of the following in the morning session:

  • Bats and trees, now and in the future and how we work with them at a forest and landscape scale. - Fraser Bradbury, Westacre Estate.
    Talk-based workshop with examples: Tree cell structure type and how this affects decay types and feature formation. Disease now affecting trees and some thoughts about this in relation to habitat continuity. Loving our trees to death, how a lack of management may be killing our trees. Lack of continuity of age structure and ways to potentially tackle this when thinking about new woodlands and making features on existing trees. Forestry and rewilding, finding the light balance. Long term planning.
  • Getting More From Your Handheld Bat Detector with Free Kaleidoscope Lite - Fran Tattersall, Wildlife Acoustics.
    This workshop will show you how to get more from you handheld bat detector data with Kaleidoscope Lite. Kaleidoscope Lite is free software that allows you to listen to, view, and label Full Spectrum, Zero Crossing and Time Expansion bat call recordings. Explore using Kaleidoscope to examine and understand spectrograms. Learn to extract and isolate a sound and perform basic batch processing and metadata functions. Suitable for handheld bat detectors that create .wav or .zc files.
  • One bat, two bats, three bats, four!!!? - Chris Sherlock, BrumBats.
    This workshop will explore common bat care challenges and situations to pool experience and knowledge. New-ish to bat care, or an old “gloved” hand, hopefully we will learn together, as we take part. You are welcome to submit your own challenges/situations before the day.
    If you are 100% new to bat care, you are of course welcome, but this aimed more at those with a little, to some experience.
  • Night Vision Aids: discussion and demonstration - Daniel Whitby, AEWC Ltd.

If attending in-person, you can choose one of the following in the afternoon session:

  • VBRV training trainees - Hannah van Hesteren, BCT and Steve Parker, South Lancs Bat Group.
    Tips and techniques for making the most of taking trainees out on roost visits and the role VBRVs can take in training up trainees. We will also clarify the differences between a VBRV and a Trainer when it comes to training up trainees.
  • Mitigation for bats: a discussion - Chris Smith, Staffordshire Bat Group.
    A discussion on techniques and materials for mitigation for bats. The workshop will start with looking at simple methods for mitigation and will be led by the participants if they want to direct the discussion to specific areas of bat mitigation.
  • Wild about bats: gardening for wildlife - Lisa Worledge, BCT.
    Across this presentation-based workshop, we’ll cover some wildlife gardening essentials, explain what wildlife needs from our gardens, consider plants, ponds and water (inc. how to make a hoverfly lagoon), bat boxes, and end with some information about which bats you can expect to see in gardens.
  • Volunteer recruitment, engagement and retention - Parvathy Venugopal, BCT.
    This workshop provides a platform for attendees to share/discuss the story of their bat group with volunteer recruitment, engagement and retention. To improve the diversity profile or the sustainable participation of group members, we'll investigate the reasons behind the lack of volunteer motivation and participation. The workshop will give insight into different BCT projects, looking at how and what they've been doing to improve volunteer recruitment, engagement and retention.

Sponsoring or exhibiting at a BCT event

We are grateful to our sponsors for helping make these events possible. If you are interested in sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please contact our Training and Conferences team on conferences@bats.org.uk.

Previous Midlands conference in 2022

The programme included talks on climate change, anthropogenic noise effects, bats in churches, and Rockingham Forest Project.

As well as 2 workshop sessions and networking opportunities.

Next: East of England Bat Conference