Is there anything cuter than tiny rescue bats? Probably not. Anything more important than helping to protect a vitally important British species? Definitely not. 

ALL seventeen species currently breeding in the UK are endangered. They make up around one quarter of our entire British mammal population and as such all bats and their roosts are protected by UK and European law.

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Above: Harold, an injured Brown Long Eared bat. Incredibly photogenic, and a real character. Unfortunately he suffered too much damage to his wings to be rehabilitated. The Avon Bat Group will continue to look after him and provide him with the best care.

Caught by a cat, leaving the roost too early, injured by birds, foxes, even cars...there are a whole variety of reasons why we find injured bats in Britain but whatever the reason, dedicated local bat group are there to protect, rescue and rehabilitate where possible. Every bat counts.

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This is Thunder, the velvety black Serotine Bat. One of the larger species

 

I went to the hub of it all, the Avon Bat Group, where couple Stewart and Kiri have a full scale rescue operation taking place in their house in Bristol.

Meet the rescue bats right here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1mx01buUio

Top Tips

If you do find a bat outside in an exposed area, especially during the day it will require help. Don't assume it'll be okay and leave it outside. We are coming into prime season for this happening more and more, up to 5 a day for the Avon Bat Group so here are a few basic steps to follow:

  • DO NOT directly handle the bat, instead get a towel/t-shirt/wear gloves if it is necessary to move.

  • Have a container with air holes, much like a shoebox, lined with soft cotton towel/blanket and gently place the bat inside

  • No food will be requied at this early stage - make your phone call to the helpline and in the meantime place a very small dish (the inside of a milk lid) with water

  • You can offer water droplets, make sure water is topped up regularly but isn't too much for a very small vulnerable bat to drown

  • Make sure you place the box somewhere dark and quiet while you wait for further advice.

  • The National Bat Helpline is 0345 1300 228

 

The Avon Bat Group is made up of volunteers promoting the conservation of bats and their habitat in the Somerset/Bath/Bristol area. They aim to:

  • improve public attitudes and education among all age groups
  • give advice and information on matters concerning bats
  • provide care for, and advice on, sick and injured bats
  • give talks and lectures to interested groups
  • carry out surveys and keep records.

 

Published by Kirsty Grant