Devon Bat Survey

IMPORTANT: Devon Bat Survey is open for bookings, however there are very few remaining booking slots. 

SURVEY REPORTS: Following analysis of the data, the first reports will be arriving in inboxes during early October.  Don’t forget to check your junk mail.

On making a square request you will be sent further guidance on how things will work this year. Due to Covid19 changes, the collection information will be different than that shown on the booking system, so you must read all emails carefully to ensure everyone’s safety, and to arrange collecting your detector. Always check your junk folder as these emails sometimes go awry.

PLEASE NOTE: only a limited number of Monitoring Centres can take part this summer. If the remaining locations do not suit you, please do not continue to request a square. Those supporting the survey are currently:

  • The Seed, Buckfastleigh
  • Quince Honey Farm, South Molton
  • Chudleigh Town Hall, Chudleigh

• Stover Country Park, near Bovey Tracey – FULLY BOOKED
• Seaton Jurassic, Seaton – FULLY BOOKED
• Tamar Valley Centre, Drakewalls – FULLY BOOKED
• Braunton Countryside Centre, Braunton
• Homeleigh Garden Centre, Crediton
• Mole Avon Garden Centre, near Okehampton
• Avon Mill Garden Centre, Loddiswell – FULLY BOOKED
• Grand Western Canal Country Park, Tiverton

Above information is correct as of 14th September 2020.

How to take part;

You must first request a grid square. This will need to be accepted by us before you continue to book your date slot. Please note these amended instructions for collection of detectors to ensure safety for all. Also read our revised Risk Assessment to ensure safety for all regarding Covid19

Read this page and then click on the red button near the bottom to request a square. You will need to add your location on the detector using the 4 figure grid reference for the square that you have booked. Please make a note of this on booking.

What is Devon Bat Survey?

Want to know what bats are on your favourite walk, or in your local area?  Borrow a bat detector to find out as part of the Devon Bat Survey. Read all of the information below before booking your detector.

How does it work?

From August-October 2020, you can borrow an SM4 bat detector for 4 days from a selection of Monitoring Centres across Devon.  We ask that you only make one booking to allow as many people as possible to take part in the survey.

Step 1 – Choose a 1km grid square from our online map to put your detector in.

Step 2 – You receive an email about changes this year due to Covid19

Step 3 – You receive an email inviting you to book a detector collection slot

Step 4 – Note the booking date but please note that conditions of collection may be different from those displayed on the booking system! You must read these amended conditions. You will receive an email reminder a couple of days before you need to collect the equipment.

Step 5 – Collect the detector, and follow the instructions to put it out for 3 nights in your chosen grid square. The detector will record any bats which pass by on an SD card.

Step 6 – Post your SD card back to us.

Step 7 -Return the detector on the agreed day so it can be prepared for the next person.  

What if I don’t own the land I want to survey?

You must speak to the landowner before choosing a square to gain permission. Click here to download a letter to give to the landowner explaining about the survey. We will also need a signed form (click here to download the form) returned after the survey. If you are placing the detector on someone else’s land, you must take someone else with you whilst you do so (for health and safety reasons), observing social distancing guidelines if that person is not from your household.

What happens to the results?

Once the data has been analysed, a report will be sent to you, showing you all the bats that passed by. This can take up to 6 weeks, (don’t forget to check your junk folder!). The report will come from one of the project team on an email address.

The information you collect will help us to understand where greater horseshoe bats live right across Devon. It could result in finding new roosts and will make sure that our work is focused in the right areas. Data on all bat species will be passed on to the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre.

Information for participants

Please visit our downloads page to read the following important documents;

  • You must read and action the Risk Assessment 2020 
  • Recording sheets (if the ones in the detector box have run out)
  • For more details you can read the Devon Bat Survey Instruction Manual (a copy is with each detector box)
  • You can check our FAQ guide for commonly asked questions before contacting us

Now make your booking

Please only select one grid square and one time slot, to ensure that as many different people as possible are able to book a detector and take part in the Devon Bat Survey.

Click on the red ‘Book a Bat Detector’ button below and follow the instructions to select a square. This will take you to our booking site (hosted by the British Trust for Ornithology). 

Please note that you must first request a grid square which will need to be approved before you continue to book your date slot. Zoom into the map to see the grid squares.

Book a bat detector button in red with white text