South West of England Bat Conference

South West of England Bat Conference

Skills development workshop

Date of next conference: 17 April 2021

Click here to book your place!

Due to continuing Government restrictions around COVID-19 we will be running this conference online.

The South West of England Bat Conference is an opportunity for volunteer and professional bat workers in the South West to spend time together (virtually for the 2021 event): updating their knowledge, sharing best practice, developing their skills and catching up on the latest 'bat chat'. The day will include spotlight talks from various bat groups in the region, longer talks on projects or sharing new knowledge and a choice of two practical workshops. There will also be plenty of time for catching up with batty friends or making some new batty acquaintances in online chats.

This is a one-day event primarily for bat workers and bat enthusiasts who live, work or are members of bat groups in the South West of England. The area covered is: Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Isles of Scilly, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Wiltshire.

The delegate rate is £25 for BCT members and £30 for non-members.

Book is now open!

Conference Programme

Programme talks include:

  • Bat Conservation Trust update - Joe Nunez-Mino, BCT
  • Assessing bat assemblages at woodland sites managed for conservation in Devon and Cornwall: Plans and aspirations - David Hill, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University
  • Can genetics help us uncover the secret life of Bechstein’s bats? - Patrick Wright, Vincent Wildlife Trust
  • Bats in Churches update - Honor Gay, Bats in Churches Project
  • Achievements of the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project, what we did and how Devon Bat Survey exceeded our expectations of Citizen Science - Anna David & Elinor Parry, Devon Wildlife Trust

Workshops (in response to feedback we are introducing a second workshop session to the programme)

Morning workshops:

  • Introduction to Anabat Insight - Andrew Dobson, Titley Scientific

Discover the exciting range of detectors and sound analysis software Titley have on offer

  • Introduction to Natural England Class Licensing - Lisa Worledge, BCT

A presentation-based workshop exploring the class licensing system in England

  • Surveying Buildings - Chris Vine, Cambridgeshire Bat Group

A presentation-based workshop using a range of examples to consider how to survey buildings for their bat potential and reviewing the evidence you might find

  • How to take part in the Bats in Churches Study - Claire Boothby, Bats in Churches Project

A practical workshop for those taking part in the Bats in Churches Study this year, or those considering it. We'll go through the methodology; give tips and answer questions you may have.

  • Trapping Bats - James Shipman, Berks and South Bucks Bat Group,

Discussion based workshop using case studies to explore different sites and how to plan surveys including where to place traps

  • Horseshoe bat mitigation - Colin Morris

Afternoon workshops:

  • Tracking solutions for bats - Sarah Deans, Lotek

The workshop aims is to give attendees a guide to the available technologies currently on the market for bat species in the UK and some general advice for radio-tracking.

  • Trapping Bats - James Shipman, Berks and South Bucks Bat Group

Discussion based workshop using case studies to explore different sites and how to plan surveys including where to place traps

  • Surveying Buildings - Chris Vine, Cambridgeshire Bat Group

A presentation-based workshop using a range of examples to consider how to survey buildings for their bat potential and reviewing the evidence you might find

  • Introduction to Project Licensing - Lisa Worledge, BCT

A discussion-based workshop exploring the role of project licences and the process of applying for one

  • Introduction to visual bat identification - Gail Armstrong

Learn key identifying features to tell different species apart

  • Horseshoe bat mitigation - Colin Morris


South West of England Bat Conference

Co-sponsors: Lotek, Titley Scientific and Wildlife Acoustics

We are grateful to our event co-sponsors Lotek, Titley Scientific and Wildlife Acoustics.

The last South West Bat Conference took place on Saturday 16 March 2019 at the University of Exeter. The programme included the following talks:

  • An update on the work of the Bat Conservation Trust – Carol Williams, Director of Conservation
  • Effect of artificial light at night on bats – Liz Rowse, University of Bristol
  • Swarming: sites and species – Nick Tomlinson, Dorset Bat Group
  • Surveying Trees for Bats: Can we Do Better? – Jim Mullholland, BATS Ltd
  • What High Definition Thermal Imaging Reveals About Bats – Ian Baker, Hampshire Bat Group
  • Barbastelles & Bechstein bats of Wiltshire – Gareth Harris, Wiltshire Bat Group
  • Livestock parasite management and horseshoe bats – Ruth Testa/Anna David, Devon Wildlife Trust
  • Five minute bat group spotlight sessions will be scheduled between the main talks during the day

Delegates could choose one 90 minute workshop: Basic bat identification; Infection control for High Risk Bats; Introduction to QGIS for bat groups; Is That A Bat? - Bat Social Calls & Confusing Non-bat Sounds, Introducing the Anabat Scout; Visualising and presenting all that bat data: a world beyond the spreadsheet and Safeguarding for Bat Groups.

There was an opportunity during the final afternoon session to discuss the priorities for bat conservation in the South West of England.

There were a variety of exhibition stands on display.

Next: North of England Bat Conference