Field Survey

Bat monitoring activities are currently restricted in order to comply with government guidance on controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information see our statement on COVID-19 and NBMP surveys.

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Field Survey

The Field Survey is sponsored by Wildlife Acoustics. Click here for the chance to win an Echo Meter Touch 2 PRO.

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Why not use your bat detecting skills to help us monitor summer activity of our bat populations?

By taking part in this survey you can help us find out how noctule, serotine, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle are faring across the UK. In Northern Ireland, Leisler's bat is monitored instead of noctule and serotine. Serotine is not likely to be found in northern England and Scotland, so in these areas only noctule and pipistrelles will typically be recorded on this survey.

You will need a heterodyne (tuneable) bat detector and experience of identifying the target species. We have a limited number of bat detectors which we can lend to volunteers. If you would like to borrow equipment please click here.

Steps you need to take for the Field Survey

Receive your survey pack in June

The pack includes survey forms and instructions to carry out this survey. The pack will be sent by email or by post depending on your preference. Please read these important health and safety documents below before you start your survey.

Download the safety guidelines for this survey; Download the Field Survey risk assessment template.

Download BCT's safeguarding policy statement.

*You will either have chosen or been allocated one or more 1km squares to survey. If the survey is at a new location you will need to map out a route. Mapping instructions will be included in the resource pack. If you need help with any aspect of taking part in this survey, contact us at nbmp@bats.org.uk.

Visit your site during the day in June/early July

Field Survey

Carry out a daytime recce of your site to make sure your route is suitable and all walks and spots are safe and accessible. If needed, modify the route to avoid potential hazards when walking at night, or contact us for a different site.

Seek landowner permission if needed. You can find advice on potential sources of information on landowner details on the Landowner Form included in the resource pack.

Carry out surveys in July

Field Survey

Visit your sites on two evenings to carry out surveys. The first survey should be between 1st and 15th July and the second survey between 16th and 30th July.

You should not survey alone, so you will need one or more survey buddies. Bring friends or family along for safety and to share the excitement of watching bats!

The survey begins 20 minutes after sunset and usually takes about 90 minutes. Your survey route will have 12 stopping points. While walking between stopping points count any noctule and serotine passes (or Leisler's bat in Northern Ireland). Stop for two minutes at each stopping point and count any common and soprano pipistrelle passes.

Submit your counts

Field Survey


Once you have completed your surveys, submit your counts online or post your completed survey form to Freepost BAT CONSERVATION.


Your online recording pages enable you to view and download all data you have submitted. Read here how we share data via the NBN Atlas.

Next: Hibernation Survey