South Lancs Bat Group are very excited to say that we are working with Cheshire Bat Group on a big project to record the bat communities of Cheshire’s meres in 2014 – aka the Cheshire Meres Bat Project…
I attended the very first survey at Tatton Park in April 2014 and there will be many more surveys to look forward to at Tatton and Marbury Park. We will be doing regular bat surveys across the summer and autumn. It’s quite difficult to tell some bat species apart on a bat detector, and even if you record the call for analysis later, it can be tricky unless you are an experienced bat worker. That’s why we will be using special nets to trap bats so that we can identify them in detail, ring them and hopefully catch them again so we can learn more about their ecology and behaviour.
We are especially interested in Nathusius’ pipistrelles as whilst we know they occur in the county, we don’t know much about where they go or what they get up to when they are there. Are they breeding in Cheshire ? Hibernating ? We hope trapping and ringing these bats will help us find out. We have some new gear courtesy of Bat Conservation Trust as part of a national project on Nathusius’ pipistrelle and will be putting it to good use around South Lancs and neighbouring counties in partnership with our other local bat groups.
The first survey was pretty successful with seven pairs of surveyors roaming Tatton Park recording common and soprano pipistrelles, noctules, brown long-eared and Myotis bats. I hope to go on a good few of these surveys during the summer, so watch this space, and in the meantime check out South Lancs Bat Group and Cheshire Bat Group on Facebook for the latest updates including pictures of bats found during the survey work.