UK Bat Care Network FAQs
What role can I play on the Bat Care Network?
Volunteers are listed on the Network in one of three categories:
- As carers, who look after grounded or injured bats until they are fit for release.
- As ambulance drivers, who collect bats and deliver them to carers. To become an ambulance driver, you’ll need to find a carer on the Network who agrees to work with you. If you don’t know any carers in your area, please contact your local bat group.
- As part of a regional helpline. These are organisations, usually associated with local bat groups, which have agreed to provide a single point of contact for all bat care calls in their area. If you live in one of the areas below, please contact the bat group to enquire about working with their helpline. There is no need to register separately with BCT.
- Hertfordshire and Middlesex
- North Lancashire
- South Lancashire and Manchester
- Leicestershire and Rutland
- Northern Ireland
We also include veterinary practices and wildlife hospitals on the Network if they can verify that any staff regularly handling bats will be trained and vaccinated against rabies. If you work for a vet practice or wildlife hospital and would like to join the Network, please contact the Bat Care Co-Ordinator directly.
I’m under 18, can I join the Network?
You need to be at least 18 to join the Bat Care Network because of the responsibility involved. Your local bat group may offer ways for younger people to help bats, so please contact them!
Do I need a car to become a bat carer?
You don’t need a car to be a carer. You can use public transport or simply ask finders to bring bats to you. Some carers work with ambulance drivers who collect bats for them. If your ambulance driver wants to get calls via the National Bat Helpline, you need to fill in an agreement.
I’m already a Volunteer Bat Roost Visitor with Natural England. Why do I have to register and submit my rabies documents again to join the Care Network?
The Bat Care Network receives no funding from Natural England and is completely unconnected to the Volunteer Bat Roost Visitor scheme. The documents you submitted to become a roost visitor are held by Natural England staff and are not shared with the Bat Care Co-Ordinator at BCT.
Can I submit a titre result instead of a vaccination record?
Of course. Your titre will need to show an antibody level of at least 1 IU/ml. In Scotland, volunteers who regularly handle bats are entitled to free titre tests. If you live outside Scotland, you’ll need to pay for the test privately. For more information see our rabies vaccination web page.
Do I have to allow members of the public to contact me?
Because BCT’s National Bat Helpline receives so many calls, our staff unfortunately don’t have time to pass on messages. We therefore ask everyone registering with the Care Network to provide a number that can be given out to members of the public who find bats. This doesn’t have to be your personal number; you can use a separate mobile purely for bat care, and switch it off when you don’t want to receive calls.
Do I have to help with every bat care call I get?
No. It’s entirely up to you whether you help with a particular call or not. National Bat Helpline staff will give bat finders the numbers of up to three local Network members, and will also explain that they should take the bat to a vet if none of the volunteers are able to help.
Why can I only choose a radius between five and 30 miles?
Experience has shown that volunteers find radiuses of more than 30 miles very hard to sustain, while volunteers covering less than five miles are unlikely ever to get a call. If you’re finding it hard to choose between two radiuses, go for the lower option – remember, you can change it at any time by contacting the Bat Care Co-Ordinator.
How will you use my data?
Details of what data we collect and how we use it can be found in our Data Handling Policy.
What should I do if I have questions not answered here?
Drop the Bat Care Co-Ordinator a line.