NORTH SOMERSET BAT SURVEY
Welcome to the North Somerset Bat Survey! This project is part of the South West Wildlife Monitoring Project led by the Bat Conservation Research Lab at the University of Bath, working in partnership with BTO, North Somerset Council and the Avon Wildlife Trust.
Bats, due to the wide range of habitats they occupy and their sensitivity to environmental disturbance (among other reasons), serve as excellent 'bioindicators'. This means that the health of their populations provides us with a good picture of how wildlife is faring overall. As top predators of nocturnal insects, bats play a crucial role in the stability of ecosystems. Despite this, unsustainable development threatens bat populations globally 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 and wildlife at large, whilst engaging the public with bat conservation.
How does it work?
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:
1. Sign up by reserving a 1 km square to survey (please only survey each square once per year).
3. Reserve a detector (8 days/7 nights) from one of our Detector Hosting Centres.
4. Deploy the detector in your 1 km square for 6 nights.
5. Upload the data to our system.
6. Return the kit to the Detector Hosting Centre.
7. Await results!
How do I join?
Please follow our step by step instructions below with links to PDF downloads and videos for a full comprehensive outline of what you need to do to complete the survey. All the videos and PDFs are also found on the resources page.
Before Your Survey
(What you need to do to prepare for your survey)
Reserve a survey square
Reserve a Detector
Choose a detector centre near you and reserve a detector kit
You should book via the booking link which was emailed to you after you have reserved your square
Day of Survey
(What you need to do on the first day of surveying)
(What to do once the 6 days recording is finished)
Recharge the batteries
Recharge the batteries using the charger
Empty (wipe) the SD card
Info About Data
Due to the nature of this project, all results are confidential. Please do not share your results online or with anyone else!
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.
Get in contact with us if you need help or have any questions at
Partners & Funders
We thank our partners and funders for their essential contribution to the success of this project.