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.
The Field Survey is sponsored by Wildlife Acoustics.
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.
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.
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.
A guide to taking part
We have lots of sites that have been surveyed in the past but need taking on by a new volunteer. You can find maps and lists of these at the bottom of this page. If you would like to take one of these on then please let us know. If there is not a repeat site near you then you can still sign up and we will allocate you a few new sites to choose from.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with any aspect of taking part in this survey.
June - you receive your survey pack
This includes survey forms, full instructions and a survey route map if you are surveying a repeat site. This will be sent by email or by post depending on your preference.
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.
June/early July - visit your site during the day
Seek landowner permission if needed.
Walk the route to check it is safe and accessible. If needed, modify the route to avoid potential hazards when walking at night, or contact us for a different site.
July - visit your site 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.
The survey begins 20 minutes after sunset and usually takes about 90 minutes.
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!
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.
Send us your results
Once you have completed your surveys, input your results online or post us your completed survey form.
This survey is sponsored by: