The Group is active across Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire, from Lambourn Downs across the Chilterns and across to the wooded areas around Windsor Great Park.  Throughout the year we undertake a range of activities.  Below are examples of some of the work we do.  
 
To see what we have been up to this year visit our blog.
 

Bat box monitoring
 
 
 

Above, a bat's eye view of the survey team checking boxes at Beale wildlife park.

The bat group has a number of bat box schemes across the county. The boxes are checked and regularly maintained. The boxes provide homes for bats and help us monitor the populations of bats at the various locations. If you are interested in helping at one of our bat box checks visit our calendar page to see when the next check is happening. At most sites we check the boxes in the spring and autumn.

The slideshow below is a selection of photographs from a day we spent putting boxes up at Blackhouse Woods near Reading and a selection of photos from our other schemes.

 

 

 

Bat box checking and Erecting

 
Hibernacula creation and monitoring
 
 
The photo below shows Glyn repairing the door on one of our existing hibernacula. The slideshow to the left shows some of the bats we have found in hibernation and some of the sites we visit.
 

 
For many years the bat group has been involved in finding, creating, maintaining and monitoring hibernation sites.   This is a great way to explore the county visiting the hidden grottoes, follies, mines and caves and exploring hidden underground worlds looking for hibernating bats tucked away in crevices. Hibernacula checks are open to members only.  The hibernation visits are undertaken yearly with results contributing to the national picture of bat numbers. Two monitoring visits are undertaken each winter with maintenance undertaken during the summer.  We are always prospecting for undiscovered hibernacula sites and have an ongoing Hibernacula hunting project.  Contact the group if you would like to get involved.
 
 

Hibernacula

Bat Care

Each year the group take in and cares for sick, injured and orphaned bats with the aim of releasing them when fit and well. The slide show below shows a number of our recent patients.
 

Bats in Care

Training

The group runs regular training events, from complete novices to people training for their licence.

 

 
Participants at a recent poo workshop

 

Walks and Talks

Each year we run a number of public bat walks by request or arranged by the group.  Usually one member will lead the walk after a short introductory talk, with other members mingling with the public, to answer questions and help identify bats.  Members are welcome to come along and help at any of the walks; experience is not necessary.  If you are interested in attending a walk, view our calendar page to see when the next one in your area is.

 

Indoor Meetings

Over the winter months whilst our furry friends are torpid, we continue our plotting, planning and scheming for the following year; and to give us inspiration and added enthusiasm from October to April we hold monthly meetings, including talks from guest speakers or members of the group, along with training sessions and our AGM.

Bat Survey and Monitoring

The group organises and runs a number of survey and monitoring projects across the county.  These vary from individual members participating on National Bat Monitoring Programme surveys, to Bio-blitzes and surveys of woodland undertaken on behalf of the wildlife trust.  The group also runs a couple of targeted projects each year - see our projects page.

Roost Visits

A number of our members are Volunteer Bat Roost Visitors (VBRV) for Natural England. VBRV provide fee advice to householders or churches who are experiencing problems or think they may have bats roosting in their property.  This often relates to queries about timber treatment, roof repairs, insulation and the need to undertake maintenance on other parts of the property.  During the visit the VBRV carry out a survey of the roof space or part of the building being used by bats.  Following the investigation the VBRV will discuss the proposed works or problem encountered with the householder and work out the best way to proceed.  After the visit a report is submitted to Natural England who provide advice to the householder on how to continue without breaking the law.  If you need help with bats in your house call the Bat Conservation Trust Helpline on  (0345 1300 228) to get in touch with a VBRV in your area.  Alternatively visit the Volunteer Roost Visits and Free Advice Web page of the Bat Conservation Trust.

Public Events

We are often invited to come along to public events such as county shows and local fairs.  Our aim for these days is to increase public awareness about bats and dispel myths. We also find out lots of information about bats and bat roosts in the county by talking to people.