North Somerset Bat Survey – FAQ

I’m having issues with booking a 1km-square.

If you’re unable to book a 1km-sqaure using the online sign up map, please contact us at northsomersetbats@uwe.ac.uk telling us which square(s) you would like to survey.  

I’m not sure whether I have successfully booked a 1km-square.

Once you have booked a 1km-square you should receive a confirmation email. Please check your email inbox and junk folder, if you still can’t find it send us an email and we can help.

I would like to take part in the survey but my nearest detector hosting centre is quite far away.

We have aimed to spread our detector hosting centres across North Somerset as much a possible, however we are limited in the number of suitable locations we can use. Please feel free to contact us if you are aware of any locations you think may be interested in becoming a detector hosting centre.

I have forgotten the contact details for my detector hosting centre.

All of the details for your detector hosting centre can be found in the confirmation email or visit our homepage for a map and information about all our centres.

I am unable to find the landowner of the location where I want to survey.

If you are having trouble finding the landowner, please try the suggestions provided on the landowner permission form. If you still can’t find the landowner, consider using a different location within your 1km-square – it does not matter if it is not situated right in the centre of the plot. Otherwise, please contact us and we can help you select a new 1km-square.  

I am unable to gain permission from the landowner to access private land for the survey.

Please consider using a different location within your 1km-square or contact us and we can help you select a new plot.

What species of bats do these detectors record?

Different species of bats have different frequency calls. The Song Meter Mini bat detectors are full-spectrum, meaning we are able to record bats across a range of frequencies, giving us the highest chance of detecting all species present in the area. Most species identification will be possible to a species level, although Myotis bats are known to have very similar frequency calls, making it difficult to identify them to a species level.

Which species of bat might I record?

The UK has 18 bat species, 17 of which breed here. Many of these species are distributed throughout the UK, although some are more common in certain areas than others. Visit the Somerset Bat Group’s website to see the most common and rarest bat species in Somerset.

Can I deploy my detector/record during bad weather?

Bat activity is very weather dependent, meaning in really cold, windy or rainy conditions, you will be unlikely to record many bats. Please only survey when the predicted weather conditions are suitable, you can check the nightly weather in your area on the Met Office find a forecast webpage. If the weather forecast changes and the conditions become unsuitable, please wait before deploying your detector. If have been unable to survey due to poor weather conditions you may want to book additional timeslots on our website to complete the six survey nights.

Do I need to return to my detector each night?

No, if you have used fully charged batteries, they should last the full six nights of recording. You will only need to visit the site once to deploy the detector and once to collect it after the final night of recording.

Can I move my detector on different nights to different spots within my 1km-sqaure?

Ideally, we ask that you keep the detector in the same location each night. However, if for some reason this is not possible and you need to move it, you must update the survey location.

My equipment has gotten wet.

These detectors are designed to be outside, so a bit of rain won’t be an issue. Please just make sure that you wipe down the equipment before putting it back in the box to prevent condensation damaging the inside of the equipment. If you think that the equipment is damaged, please contact us as soon as possible.

Question not answered yet?

If you still have questions about the project, please email us at northsomersetbats@uwe.ac.uk or visit our Resources webpage to download a range of helpful documents.