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30 Years Bats

Logo: Bat Conservation Trust

By Naomi Webster, Training & Conferences Manager

Flyer for BatFest listing the events

Did you know the Bat Conservation Trust has been conserving bats in the UK for 30 years?

Common Pipistrelle (Hugh Clark)
Common Pipistrelle (Hugh Clark)

And you can join in the celebrations during BatFest when we have a range of free online events for people to find out bats in different ways from a Virtual Bat Walk to a Batty Sketch-A-Long, from a Wildlife Gardening Show & Tell to our special awards ceremony when we will be presenting Batty Awards for Talent and Achievement celebrating new and experienced bat enthusiasts.

Did you know we have 17 species of bats breeding in the UK?

Bats are unique and play a vital role in our environment, but during the last century bat populations suffered severe declines. Since 1991 the Bat Conservation Trust has run a diverse range of projects to conserve bat populations. Bats are protected by law, and in the UK some species may already be benefitting from the positive effects of conservation.

Natterer’s bat being held in the hand (Peter Crome)
Natterer’s bat in care (Peter Crome)

The National Bat Monitoring Programme is a community science programme where members of the public get involved with surveying bats across the country to help us monitor population trends for various species. BatFest includes an introductory workshop to help you Discover your local bats, a great way to find out what bats you have near you and how you could help count them on Monday 6th September.

If you have never seen bats in the UK, we recommend joining our Virtual Bat Walk on International Bat Night Saturday 28 August, when we will be linking up with people across the UK who are out looking for bats in their local area. You can also get in touch with your local bat group to see if they are running any events in your area.

Did you know bats can call at 140dB?

Brown long-eared bat (Hugh Clark)
Brown long-eared bat (Hugh Clark)

This is louder than a rock concert, but they use ultrasound which is above our hearing. We use bat detectors to bring the sounds of the calls within our hearing range.

Calling all doodlers and anyone with an artistic inclination, come and develop your skills at drawing bats with our Batty Sketch-a-long on Wednesday 01 September when our resident artist for the evening Maisy Inston will show us how to sketch a bat or two and share some fun facts about bats and their anatomy. Suitable for children and adults.

For those with green fingers, you can find out how to help your local bats by joining our Wildlife Gardening Show & Tell on Wednesday 22nd September. We’ll be collaborating with the Royal Horticultural Society and hearing from some of their experts on the best plants to encourage insects and bats into our gardens and green spaces as well as other garden features that encourage wildlife.

Did you know that our smallest pipistrelle bats can eat up to 3000 insects in a night?

Moths are perhaps some of our best-known nocturnal insects and form an important food source for some of our bats, including the brown long-eared bat. We will be finding out more about these fascinating insects and the bats that predate them at our Bats and Moths Evening with our friends at Butterfly Conservation on Thursday 16th September.

Although we still have a long way to go to achieve BCT’s vision of a world rich in wildlife where bats and people thrive together, there are lots of ways for everyone to engage with bats. You can find out more about the work of the Bat Conservation Trust and the fascinating bats they are saving here: www.bats.org.uk

Image: BatFest - celebrating 30 years of BCT in 2021

We are also celebrating bats and the people helping save them at our Batty Awards for Achievement and Talent evening on Thursday 30th September, with categories celebrating newcomers and experts on bats including:

  • Batty Laureate (Child/Young Person & Adult categories)
  • Best Impression of a Bat
  • Weirdest Bat Find
  • Batty Hall of Fame

Details to enter yourself, or nominate someone else, can be found here.

To stay updated on all the Bat Conservation Trust’s events, you can sign up for the BCT events mailing list here. If you have any questions about BatFest or any other training or events contact Naomi Webster, Training and Conferences Manager, email training@bats.org.uk

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