Updated 27th March 2020 (Next updated advice due in week beginning 25th May).

Bat monitoring activities away from the house are suspended until further notice

In the current challenging situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we hope that everyone is coping and keeping well. In these difficult times the health and well-being of our volunteers is our priority. It is vital that we follow the latest government instructions to remain at home, protect the NHS and save lives. These essential restrictions will limit our ability to go out and experience wildlife, and this includes participation in NBMP surveys. However, why not use the time hone your skills with the on-line bat survey training on the NBMP website, or if you have a garden, use the time to more closely appreciate the wildlife there?


Our current position is as follows:

Do not leave your home to undertake any NBMP survey activities (this includes pre-survey activities such as visiting sites to do daytime recces or meet with land or property owners).

Some NBMP surveys can be conducted from within your home, for example some roost counts and sunset/sunrise surveys conducted from your garden. It is currently ok to continue with these so long as you always obey the latest government instructions.

Please be reassured that the NBMP is a long-term monitoring scheme; reduced survey coverage in any one year is not detrimental to the long-term value of your surveys. Thank you for your continued commitment to the NBMP.


Below we outline our current guidance for taking part in specific NBMP surveys and training this year. We will keep the situation under review and will release updated guidance in accordance with government instructions as the situation evolves. If you have any questions please contact us at nbmp@bats.org.uk.

Sunset/Sunrise Survey (starts April)

  • This survey must only be carried out at home, looking out for bats and other nocturnal wildlife in your own garden, and only with members of your own household – do not invite other people to participate.
  • Please do not leave your own property to undertake this survey.

National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project (starts May)

  • Under current restrictions this survey would not be able to go ahead. Participating bat groups should await further advice from us before planning any survey activities that involve travel away from the home.

Roost Count (June – all species except for lesser horseshoe bat [late May/June], and greater horseshoe bat [July])

  • If you count a bat roost at your own house then it is currently expected that you will be able to carry out your counts as usual, though you should not invite anyone from outside your own household to assist.
  • If you count a bat roost away from your own home, please await further guidance from us before planning survey activities, and do not carry out the survey until further notice. You may wish to touch base with the roost owner (via phone or email) about the current restrictions.

Field Survey (July) / Waterway survey (August) / Woodland Survey (July to September)

  • Please await further guidance from us before planning survey activities, and do not carry out the survey until further notice. Our current position is not to travel from home to undertake any survey activities, including preliminary site visits, e.g. to carry out your daytime recce or meet up with the landowner. We will keep this under review and update you if government instructions change.

NBMP bat detector workshops

  • All bat detector training workshops have been postponed.
  • We are exploring running some online training sessions in May/June. We will share details of these once they are finalised.