Past Activities

Some of the actitivies the group has got up to over the last few years.

Recording and Monitoring

Hazeley Wood, Milton Keynes

Throughout 2006, Linda Piggott performed monthly transect surveys through Hazeley Wood in Milton Keynes to monitor its usage by bats. This information is used by The Parks Trust to manage the habitat effectively.

This ancient park land is home to several colonies of tree roosting bats. It is checked annually to ensure that bats are not disturbed during tree works.

Tree hole checking
Ice House Survey

The National Trust invited us to survey this Ice House to see if bats were using it during winter to determine how best to renovate and preserve the building.

To assist in species recording and identification, bat calls can be recorded for analysis offline. This is particularly helpful when rarer species are found or, as in this screenshot, many different species are present. This recording was made over a National Trust lake where at least 3 species were present.



Watermead Bat Walk

As part of the annual SAVE week, NBBG holds a public talk and walk at Watermead in Aylesbury which is always well attended.

Similar walks are held each year in Milton Keynes, like this one at Emberton Country Park, ...

Emberton Bat Walk
Buckingham Bat Walk

... in Buckingham, like this one along the Old Railway Line, and at Tring Reservoirs.

Indoor events include the County Museum in Aylesbury for their annual Wildlife Day...

Museum display boards
Museum display cabinet

... including live and dead specimens retained by us and the Museum ...

... and the always popular Bradwell Abbey Family Fun Day in Milton Keynes.

Bradwell Abbey Fun Day


Bat Box Checking

NBBG has several Bat Box schemes running around the county. Every bat box is checked at least twice a year.

Some of the schemes have been very successful, like this one on a BBOWT reserve in Aylesbury Vale. This enables us to monitor species presence and estimate population sizes.

Brown Long Eareds in box
Brown Long Eared

We can check the species, sex, weight and size of the bats. It is a good opportunity to see bats up close. This is a Brown Long Eared found in a bat box in private woodland in Oxfordshire. This site is checked every year by WildCRU.

It is a good opportunity for suitably trained and vaccinated members to handle bats, like this large Leisler's bat.

Leislers in the hand
Whiskered in the hand

Some species can only be positively identified in the hand, like this rare Whiskered Bat. This is the first live record in the county found in a box in the west of the county in 2006.

Provision of advice

Barbastelle in the hand

We are regularly contacted by householders who have roosts in their house or find grounded bats in their gardens. We are always happy to help. Occasionally something out of the ordinary turns up. This exhausted and dehydrated bat was found in a public building in Milton Keynes. Imagine our surprise when we identified it as a nationally rare Barbastelle bat. The bat was nursed back to full health and released a few weeks later.

Having a bat roost can occasionally have its downside, as parishioners at this Vale church know only too well. This mediaeval church is home to one of the largest Natterer's bat colonies in the country. How could we help? Every year we go and clean the church for them. It's the least we could do to help maintain a nationally significant roost.

Church cleaning
Church emergence survey

An emergence count is performed twice a year and the figures are included in BCT's national statistics. We often invite the villagers along to see the bats close up. It's our way for the bats to say thank you.

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