Bat detecting made easy in parks and gardens across Torbay

A Greater Horsehoe Bat. Picture Mike Symes

A Greater Horsehoe Bat - Credit: Mike Symes

Celebrating the return of Devon Wildlife Trusts Bat Project, Christopher Smith from Groundwork South talks about how you can get involved:

Over the years many of us will have found ourselves sat outside on a lovely summer evening or have been taking in a late afternoon stroll when quick as a flash, a silent and blurry shape darts past just on the periphery of our vision.

In the fading light we question what it was.

A trick of the eyes perhaps, a large insect or maybe a small bird making a late trip back to its nest?

But then we see it again more clearly, swooping majestically and effortlessly, performing aerial aerobatics that would dazzle and amaze a circus crowd as it twists and turns on the wing, feasting on the late evening bugs and midges that the lower humidity has brought out.

Finally, we realise, it’s a bat!

Bats are truly magical and mysterious creatures and whilst many of us are still fortunate to get regular glimpses of these amazing creatures, most of us will often have questioned which species of bat we routinely see.

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With 18 species of bat native to the UK, and all of them refusing to stay still long enough for an Instagram-style selfie, it can be almost impossible for most of us to tell them apart.

Fortunately, now you can!

Working with the Devon Wildlife Trust, Groundwork South will now be supporting local open space groups and homeowners to set up monitoring devices in their local parks and gardens across Torbay.

Left in position for a few evenings, each monitoring device is capable of recording the distinct audio frequencies produced from the sonar variations of different bat species.

All volunteer surveyors then have to do is return the memory card from the monitoring devices, enabling the Devon Wildlife Trust team to analyse the audio recordings and decipher which species of bats have been recorded.

To find out more about the monitoring programme and to learn how you can become a volunteer bat surveyor, please email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk

 Westerland Valley logo

Westerland Valley - Credit: Groundwork South