On the 29th April 2018, Nathan Duszynski volunteered with the Suffolk Bat Group to check numerous bat boxes located within Thetford Forest. The Suffolk Bat Group have been monitoring the bat boxes within the forest for the past few decades, recording the species, sex and age of all the bats found on these visits, and educating those attending the sessions. The Suffolk Bat Group checks these boxes on a biannual basis, with checks conducted in April and October. For more information on the Suffolk Bat Group, their upcoming events or how to join, please click here.

It was an incredibly cold and windy day, and did not look promising with only a handful of bats discovered in the first few set of boxes. As the day began to progress, more and more bats were being observed. Arthur Rivett then began to explain how different bat species can be identified in the hand, how to sex and age them, and how to check their health (e.g. mites, loss of fur, etc.). Throughout the day a mixture of pipistrelles and brown long-eared bats were passed around the group to give everyone handling experience.

The results for the day included:

  • Brown long-eared bats = 78
  • Pipistrelle sp. = 10

Total: 88 bats

Despite a good number of bats, no ‘big bats’ (Noctules and Leisler’s) were observed. This could potentially be due to the cold and wet weather over recent days, and the work conducted by the Forest Commission in the area.

Greenlight has experience in conducting various work with bats, including Preliminary Bat Roost Assessments (“PRA”), Bat Surveys, Mitigation Licences and Watching Briefs. Please click here for more information on bat surveys or the ecology services we offer. If you require a quote, need further explanation or have any questions, please contact us by clicking here.

Brown long-eared bat handled during bat box checks at Thetford Forest with the Suffolk Bat Group

Brown long-eared bat handled during bat box checks at Thetford Forest with the Suffolk Bat GroupBat box checks at Thetford Forest with the Suffolk Bat Group