Midlands Bat Conference

Midlands Bat Conference

Skills development workshop

The next Midlands Bat Conference will be on Saturday 26th March 2022 at Millennium Point, Birmingham. For the first time, we will be running a hybrid event so you can choose to attend in person or online.

Booking for this event is now closed. If you would like to attend please email Naomi at nwebster@bats.org.uk.

The Midlands Bat Conference is an opportunity for volunteer and professional bat workers in the Midlands to spend time together updating their knowledge, sharing best practice, developing their skills and catching up on the latest 'bat chat'. The day includes spotlight talks from various bat groups in the region, longer talks on projects and sharing new knowledge, and a choice of practical workshops. There will also be plenty of time for catching up with batty friends or making some new batty acquaintances.

It is a one day event primarily for bat workers and bat enthusiasts who live, or who are members of bat groups, in the Midlands. The area covered includes: Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire.

Programme (subject to change)

Morning talks:

  • Update on the work of the Bat Conservation Trust - Joe Nuñez-Mino, BCT
  • Winners and losers; The climate change game - Penelope Fialas, University of Exeter
    Modelling continental-scale responses of European bats to climate and land-use change
  • Back from the Brink's Rockingham Forest Project - Susannah O'Riordan, Butterfly Conservation
    What the project has achieved and looking forwards
  • Spotlight talks from Herefordshire Mammal Group and Derbyshire Bat Conservation Group


Morning workshops:

  • Bats and roofs (open to virtual attendees) - Chris Smith
  • Bat Care for Beginners - Chris Sherlock and Shanice Arkless
  • Advanced Survey Techniques - Morgan Hughes and Scott Brown
    Covering licensing, land access and planning; health and safety (including COVID and EBLV); volunteer management and training; survey effort and scheduling, survey methods; data collection; social media engagement; and a practical session.
  • An Introduction to Class Licensing (open to virtual attendees) - Lisa Worledge
    Introduces the class licensing system for bats in England. The main focus is on licensing for volunteer bat roost visitors and for other survey class licences (which includes both volunteer and professional survey work), what the different licenses cover, training, registration, etc. The other types of licenses for different bat related work are referred to along with details of how to find out more about all aspects of Natural England licenses.
  • An Introduction to Sound Analysis - Nathalie Cossa
    Designed for those new to sound analysis to learn the basics


Afternoon workshops:

  • Create an online interactive map for your bat group with QGIS - Steve Roe
  • Batty Crafts - Lisa Worledge
    Come along and have a go at some batty craft activities! Not just to make a souvenir of the conference to take home but also ideas designed to liven up your events and help engage your audience with bats. Fun for all ages whether young or young at heart!
  • Advanced Survey Techniques - Morgan Hughes and Scott Brown
    Covering licensing, land access and planning; health and safety (including COVID and EBLV); volunteer management and training; survey effort and scheduling, survey methods; data collection; social media engagement; and a practical session.
  • UK Bat Species Identification using sonograms (open to virtual attendees) - Wildlife Acoustics
    For anyone just starting out with analysing bat calls, this course is a beginners guide to bat identification for UK bat species. The aim of the course is to break down the UK bat species into specific groups as a first layer of bat identification. The course will first give an overview of bats and sound and will also look briefly at the use of Kaleidoscope which will be the major tool to look and label bat calls. No previous experience is necessary and resources and data will be provided.


Afternoon talks:

  • Anthropogenic noise effects on Egyptian fruit bats and Seba's bats in captivity at Dudley Zoo - Melissa Norton, University of Wolverhampton
  • Engaging with Bats in Churches - Ann Gleave, Leicestershire and Rutland Bat Group
  • Spotlight talks from Staffordshire Bat Group, Nene Valley Bats and Birmingham and the Black Country Bat Group
  • Raffle winners announced


9am - Arrival in person

9:30am - Arrival online

9:45am - Welcome

5pm - Finish


In person tickets (includes lunch and refreshments)

  • £40 BCT or Partner Bat Group Member
  • £45 Non-member

Virtual tickets (BYO refreshments!)

  • £25 BCT or Partner Bat Group Member
  • £30 Non-member


The Virtual Conference will be hosted on Zoom and log-in details will be provided to virtual delegates.

Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham B4 7XG. Google map link

The venue has good public transport links and is only 15 minutes from Birmingham New Street and other stations.

Please note there are car park fees unless you are a blue badge holder.

Midlands Bat Conference

Wildlife Acoustics - Premium Sponsor


Sponsor: Wildlife Acoustics

We are grateful to our sponsors for helping make these events possible. If you are interested in being a sponsor or exhibitor, contact conferences@bats.org.uk

The 2020 event took place on Saturday 7 November 2020. Due to Government restrictions around COVID-19, this event was held online. The programme included:

  • An update on the work of the Bat Conservation Trust - Carol Williams, BCT
  • Using networks of EMT2 Pro bat detectors to identify key landscape features used by Dauenton's bats - Morgan Hughes & Scott Brown, BrumBats
  • Myotis in the Manifold - Steve Roe & Helen Ball, Derbyshire Bat Conservation Group
  • Bats in Churches Project - Claire Boothby, BCT & Rose Riddell, Church of England
  • Soprano pipistrelle harem roosts in bat boxes near the English-Welsh border - Mike Worsfold, Shropshire Bat Group
  • Five minute bat group spotlight sessions will be scheduled between the main talks during the day
  • A Priorities Discussion Session for Bat Conservation in the Midlands. The priorities raised, their responses during the session and further updated information if applicable can be read here.

There was a choice of 90 minute workshops including:

  • Bats and buildings (Chris Smith)
  • Discovering Bats in Churches (Claire Boothby)
  • Organising and hosting online meetings and events via Zoom (Naomi Webster)
  • Introduction to sound analysis (Philip Briggs)
  • Advanced sound analysis (Neil Middleton)
  • Efficiency and effectiveness (Lisa Worledge)

There were also a number of virtual exhibition stands that delegates were able to browse through on our Event app and lots of bat workers to network with in online chat during the breaks. We also ran an online raffle, raising funds for the National Bat Helpline.

Next: South East of England Bat Conference