Big Bat Survey needs you

Volunteers needed to help find the elusive greater horsehoe bat.

The Big Bat Survey needs volunteers in Dunkeswell and Yarcombe as efforts are stepped up to find the elusive greater horseshoe bat in East Devon.

Taking place on July 20, the annual event is run jointly by Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC) and Somerset Bat Group, and is supported by the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

On the night of the survey, volunteers will join a group led by an experienced bat surveyor - providing a great opportunity to learn about the different bat species, their flight patterns and echolocation calls.

The walk will take about two hours, including several allocated stops to listen for bats.

Agni Arampoglou, an ecologist working on the project, said: “Bats are thriving across the Blackdowns owing to the mosaic of habitats which make the hills such a special area for bats.

“This year, we are walking 15 routes aiming to determine bat species presence in new areas too.

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“During last year’s survey we identified barbastelle, Leisler’s and lesser horseshoe.

“We hope to record the elusive Greater Horseshoe this time round.”

Although older children are welcome on the survey, they need to be accompanied by an adult - as the event involves walking a good distance during the night and it is not recommended for children under 12.

Places are limited per survey route. Email or call 01823 652424 to find out more.

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