Bat Monitoring

I am now a licensed bat worker, having been inspired to get involved by Daniel Hargreaves when he was conducting box checks and trapping at the lake during the period 2010-2014. He's subsequently moved away from the area, but I plan to continue the work he started, finding out which bat species are present and how they are using the lakeside environment in order to help with their conservation.

Box inspections are ongoing, and experienced local bat workers help give trainees the opportunity to build their experience as they work towards their own licences, while we carry out the checks. Hopefully, in time, I will be able to put together a team of licensed bat workers that can take the investigatory work forward at Blagdon, and the other Bristol Water reservoirs, in this fantastic area for bats.

Remarkably, Daniel discovered a Nathusius' Pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii in one of the lakeside boxes, formerly considered a rare bat in the UK, and this has spawned a particularly fruitful area of research and encouraged us to try and find a local maternity roost. I've walked regular transects around the lake to determine when they are present, and to try and build a picture of their favoured roosting, advertising and foraging areas, and now we're conducting passive monitoring, trapping and radio-tracking, as part of a national survey of the species instigated by Daniel and the Bat Conservation Trust in 2014.

Bibliography (sources of information)

Russ, J. 2012. British Bat Calls A Guide to Species Identification. Pelagic Publishing, Exeter.

Updated 14 August, 2015