Home

Monmouthshire is home to 14 of the 18 species of bat in the UK. It is also a stronghold for the rare greater and lesser horseshoe bat.

Bats are a vital part of our native wildlife, occupying a wide range of habitats, including wetlands, woodlands, farmland, as well as urban areas. They can tell us a lot about the state of the environment, as they are top predators of common nocturnal insects and are sensitive to changes in land use practices.

Like the rest of the UK, bat populations in Monmouthshire have declined considerably over the last century. Our bats are still under threat from building and development work that affects roosts, loss of habitat, the severing of commuting routes by roads and threats in the home including cat attacks and some chemical treatments of building materials. As a result all species of bat are protected by law.

About

Monmouthshire Bat Group is made up entirely of volunteers.

In summer we:

  • Monitor breeding roosts of Lesser Horseshoe bats (part of Natural Resources Wale’s Lesser Horseshoe Bat Monitoring Programme)
  • Undertake activity surveys of bats (using bat detectors at selected sites)
  • Do maintenance work to keep conditions at known roosts suitability for bats
  • Monitor batboxes
  • Attend events and run bat walks to promote awareness of bats and their conservation

In winter we:

  • Monitor hibernation roosts of the Lesser Horseshoe and other bats

All year round we:

  • Care for baby and adult bats which have been abandoned, found starving or injured.

Unfortunately, because of our voluntary commitments, we are unable to do commercial survey work.

How you can help

Join

By becoming a member of the Monmouthshire Bat Group your money will help us look after bats in the County, and support us in our work to inspire people about bats. Membership costs just £5 per year. Join now.

Volunteer

All of our work is done by volunteers. Every year we undertake roost counts, bat activity surveys, provide advice, run events and look after injured bats.

You don’t need to have had any experience with bats before to become a member. You could find yourself making good use of your organisational, IT, administrative or financial skills too. The best way to find out about these volunteering opportunities is to become a member.

Record

If you have a roost in your house make sure it stays protected. Submit your roost details to the South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBRec).

Garden

  • Plant night-scented flowers
  • Build a pond
  • Let your garden go a little wild
  • Put up a bat box
  • Plant hedgerows or treelines
  • Reduce or remove artificial lighting
  • Keep cats indoors at night

Report 

All bats and their roosts are protected by law. If you suspect that a wildlife crime has been committed, call 101, the non-emergency number. If you would like to give information regarding a crime anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you’re unsure whether an act constitutes wildlife crime, seek advice from a legal professional or specialist organisation. Many police forces have Wildlife Officers, whilst statutory bodies such as Natual Resources Wales, may also be able to help.

Be aware that you should always seek qualified legal advice if you are seeking to avoid prosecution or intending to bring a prosecution.

Need help with a bat?

I’ve found a bat on the ground or in an exposed area, what should I do?

Avoid handling the bat, but if this proves unavoidable WEAR GLOVES. Call the Bat Conservation Trust’s Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228 for further advice as soon as possible. They have details of local volunteers who specialise in bat rehabilitation operating nearby, and should be able to refer you to someone local for further advice.  If the line is busy please leave a message and if you have not been called back within one hour please try the Helpline again. If you still can’t get in touch then we suggest contacting your local vet, or the RSPCA National Helpline 0300 1234 999.

A bat is flying around inside my house, what should I do?

Never try to catch a flying bat, you are likely to injure it severely and it may even bite in self defence. If it’s a warm evening the best thing to do is: close the door to the room; open the windows to the outside as widely as possible and; dim the lights. This will give the bat a chance to find its own way out.

If you are not sure it has flown out, it is best to look high up in places such as in the folds of curtains and behind picture frames, (a healthy bat will want to be out of reach and out of the light) or in low level places (if a bat is injured or in trouble it will struggle to hide properly). If the bat does not find its own way out of the house by itself call the Bat Conservation Trust’s Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228.

The Local Authority has asked me to do a bat survey for my planning application, can you help?

Sorry but no. The Bat Group is unable to undertake bat surveys for commercial purposes. However, you can search for an ecological consultant who operates in your local area by visiting the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management website.