Devon Bat Survey Opens for Bookings

A Devon-based project dedicated to conserving one of the county's most endangered animals is now appealing for volunteers to help it in its vital work.

Find out about the bats on your doorstep! This spring and summer, you can take part in a major scientific bat survey run by the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project. The survey allows volunteers to borrow a detector from one of 20 monitoring centres dotted around the county, to place in a selected 1km grid square for 3 nights. Anyone can get involved in the survey – no experience is needed and full instructions are supplied. Everyone who takes part receives a report detailing the bats they recorded. All the bat calls recorded will be used to increase knowledge of how bats are using the Devon landscape, and what can be done to help them.

The booking system for Devon Bat Survey 2018 is now live! To take part, visit our website to choose a square www.devonbatproject.org/devon-bat-survey/. We have some new locations hosting our bat detectors this year, so hopefully even more people will be able to take part.

Ruth Testa, who manages the project, said: ‘Knowledge of how bats are using our landscape is key to protecting them. This survey allows us to gain information across the county, and will let you find out what bats are using your local area. In 2017, survey volunteers recorded greater horseshoe bats at 230 sites out of the 705 surveyed. In total the survey recorded a whopping 750,000 sound files!’

The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project is a 5-year partnership project of 18 organisations led by Devon Wildlife Trust and is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), as well as other funders. The project aims to secure the future of the greater horseshoe bat in Devon; the northern European stronghold of this highly threatened mammal. To do this the project is working with landowners and communities to raise awareness and to improve habitats, as well as running research programmes like the Devon Bat Survey to increase understanding of bat species.

The Monitoring Centres for 2018 are as follows;

·       Avon Mill Garden Centre, Loddiswell

·       Beehive Community Complex, Honiton

·       Braunton Countryside Centre, Braunton

·       Combe Martin Museum & tourist information point, Combe Martin

·       Chudleigh Town Hall, Chudleigh

·       Blackdown Hills AONB, Hemyock

·       The Dartington Hall Estate, Totnes

·       Devon Wildlife Trust, Cricklepit Mill

·       Devon Wildlife Trust Cookworthy Forest Centre, Cookworthy

·       Eggesford Garden Centre, Eggesford

·       Lydford Gorge National Trust, Lydford

·       Mole Avon Forecourt, Okehampton

·       Occombe Farm (Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust), Paignton

·       Poole Farm, Plymouth

·       Puffing Billy Trading Co., Great Torrington

·       Quince Honey Farm, South Molton

·       Seaton Jurassic, Seaton

·       Stover Country Park, near Bovey Tracey

·       Tamar Valley Centre, Drakewalls

·       The Watermark, Ivybridge