Project aims

Our projects aim to improve our understanding of bat distribution and activity by providing an opportunity for anyone to take advantage of recent advances in technology for automating the capture and analysis of acoustic data for bats. Currently we are conducting or plan to conduct bat surveys across the whole of Norfolk, southern Scotland and parts of Suffolk.

To achieve this, we have set up a number of Bat Monitoring Centres in these areas, from which you can borrow equipment for a few days to take part in the survey. In return we will let you know what species were recorded. The survey season runs from mid-April (from the beginning of May in Scotland) until the end of September, so plenty of time to take part.

We are limited by the number of detectors, so if you are interested you need to be quick in expressing interest and reserving your 1-km square to survey. Once you have reserved a square, you will be able to reserve a  detector to use.

Please note that this survey requires three different points (ideally at least 200-metres apart) to be surveyed ideally on consecutive nights within a 1-km square (survey methods). To choose a survey square please sign up through our Norfolk or Scotland sign up maps (sign up map for southern Scotland to be added in February 2016).

The Norfolk Bat Survey was launched by Dr Stuart Newson at the British Trust for Ornithology in April 2013, to improve our understanding of bats and support their conservation. Since this time, the project has analysed over a million bat recordings from across the county. The Southern Scotland Bat Survey will run from May 2016 through our Scottish Office in Stirling.

If you have any queries about the projects or equipment, please contact Stuart Newson at BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU, Tel: 01842 750050, Email: