We have now finished recruiting volunteers for the 2020 season. If you would like to register your interest for next year (2021) please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When bats are most active (between May and September) BCT runs an out of hours (OOH) helpline, where volunteers answer emergency calls from the public in the evenings and over the weekends. Volunteers receive training in answering calls before the season begins, as well as full support from BCT staff throughout the season.
The 2020 Out of Hours season begins on the 1st May and will run until the end of September. The service runs 6pm - 10pm on weekdays and 10am - 10pm on weekends and bank holidays.
The project has been running successfully since 2004. Here’s how it all works:
- At the end of the working day a member of staff will divert the BCT phones to the volunteer on Bat Watch that evening (either their mobile or landline of choice).
- Weekday Bat Watch times run from 6pm-10pm. On weekends, Bat Watch is split into three; Morning (10am-2pm), Afternoon (2pm-6pm) and Evening (6pm-10pm).
- Callers to the OOH service hear an automated message explaining that the service is available for emergencies. They're given the option of either leaving a message (for non-urgent enquiries) or being put through to a volunteer.
- The following morning a member of staff will divert the phone back to the BCT office or, during weekends, to the next volunteer on Bat Watch.
Common calls involve grounded or injured bats found by the public, bats trapped in people’s houses, newly-discovered roosts and planning and development queries. The OOH helpline can sometimes be challenging but also very rewarding. It would not be possible to run such a service without the volunteers and their help is hugely appreciated.
Previous OOH seasons
2019 was one of our busiest OOH seasons so far. 47 volunteers took 2345 calls and donated a total of 2072 hours to bat conservation! Stats and highlights can be found in the downloadable document below:
Click here to download 2019 OOH Project Highlights
A downloadable version of the full 2018 report can be found linked below. It includes further information about the project and some stats and charts regarding what type of calls we dealt with and where the calls came from.
The full 2019 report is coming soon!