Welcome to the North Somerset Bat Survey! This project is part of the South West Wildlife Monitoring Project led by UWE’s Bat Conservation Research Lab, working in partnership with BTO, North Somerset Council and the Avon Wildlife Trust.
Bats play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystems, particularly through controlling insect populations, but development threatens bat populations through habitat loss and fragmentation. This is especially true in the South West – over the next 15 years North Somerset Council are required to build over 20,000 new homes, many of which will be built within areas used by rare bat species.
The North Somerset Bat Survey aims to gather spatial distribution data on bats across North Somerset to enable planners to minimise the impact of development on bats, whilst engaging the public with bat conservation.
Archive footage credit: Thomas Foxley
The North Somerset Bat Survey is a citizen science project, meaning that we rely on people like you to conduct bat monitoring surveys, no experience required! This is how it works:
- Sign up by reserving a 1km square to survey (please only survey each square once per year)
- Choose a survey location within your 1km-square and get permission from the landowner using our standard letter and landowner permission slip
- Reserve a detector (8 days/7 nights) from one of our Detector Hosting Centres
- Deploy the detector in your 1km-square for 6 nights
- Upload the data to our system
- Return the kit to the Detector Hosting Centre
- Await results!
All the information you need to set up the detector is included in the detector kit and also available on our resources page.
Collecting data over several years will provide us with lots of useful information about how bats use the landscape and will allow us to monitor any changes in distribution and abundance. Therefore, if possible, we ask that you consider monitoring your 1km-square for the long-term.
- Smart phone or tablet with a minimum Bluetooth chipset version of 4.0.
- Desktop computer or laptop.
- Competent in using technology.
Sign Up Here:
Please read our instructions overview and requirements before signing up.
Reserving a Detector
We have set up Detector Hosting Centres across North Somerset, where you can collect and return your bat detector kit. When reserving your detector you will receive further information about picking up your kit from your chosen detector hosting centre.
Once you have successfully requested a 1km-square, you will receive a confirmation email, which will take you to our online booking system. Here you can book and borrow a bat detector kit from any of our detector hosting centres.
For this project to run smoothly and be effective we are relying on you to pick up, use and return our bat detector kits to your detector hosting centre as agreed. To make sure we are continuously collecting data we ask that you report any problems with our equipment as soon as possible and return the kit if for any reason you are unable to carry out a survey.
Detector Hosting Centres
If you have any questions about the North Somerset Bat Survey, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our FAQ page. Detailed information on survey procedures and other useful resources for participants are available on our resources page.