Latest News

Bearing Witness for Wildlife Crime – Investigations project update

The Investigations Project has been working to prevent bat crime since its inception in 2001 as a collaboration between RSPB and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT). Since then, the Investigations Project has developed and is now based wholly within BCT, supported by bat groups and BCT staff. A part-time Investigations Officer Pete Charleston has led the project since 2010. We have two exciting bits of news regarding the project that we would like to update you on:


1. The 2015 Bat Crime report is now available to download from HERE. This report provides an update on the progress made throughout 2015 during which we have continued to work closely with the National Wildlife Crime Unit. As part of the project, Pete Charleston has provided training for those charged with delivering the legal protection offered to bats; This has included wildlife crime officers and prosecutors. In 2015 BCT made 133 referrals to the police, a substantial decrease on the 2014 total of 159 although the number of referrals is much in line with the 2010 – 2015 average. Please do download the report to find out more and read about some important case studies from 2015.

2. The project, now named “Bearing Witness for Wildlife Crime”, has received funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for the next three years, alongside a new Mitigation Project. This milestone has been achieved thanks to the ongoing financial support of bat groups, trusts/grants as well as donations from BCT members and supporters.  We want to thank everyone for this who has brought the project to where it is today.

The project will continue to be led by Pete Charleston in his role as Conservation Wildlife Crime Officer. Looking ahead, we will of course continue to work closely with bat groups in order to enable the project to tackle the crucially important issue of bat related wildlife crime.

We will continue to keep you updated with progress but for now we would once again like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed and supported our efforts on this important front.

More information about Bat Crime Investigations:

To contribute to the work of the Bat Conservation Trust:

Contact: Joe Nunez at or 0207 820 7183 for more information, images and interviews.

Lincolnshire Bat Group Annual General Meeting

Lincolnshire Bat Group Annual General Meeting
Admiral Rodney Hotel, Horncastle
Monday March 6th 2017 at 8.00p.m

Agenda for AGM

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Approval of minutes from 2016 AGM
  4. Any matters arising from the 2016 Minutes
  5. Reports from :

a) Chairman,
b)Finance Officer,
c) Bulletin Editor,
d) Secretary,
e) Records officer
f) Membership Officer
and adoption of respective reports.


  1. Adoption of the 2016 Accounts
  2. Election of Officers
  3. Membership Subscription rate – currently
  4. Constitution
  5. Any other business : committee meeting or members night

Date of the next meeting

Please also read the minutes from last year and the constitution:

Bat use of commercial coniferous plantations at multiple spatial scales: Management and conservation implications

This study demonstrates that with sympathetic management, non-native conifer plantations may have an important role in maintaining and supporting bat populations, particularly for Pipistrellus spp.

Full details can be downloaded at


  • Many studies have demonstrated active avoidance by bats of non-native conifer plantations.
  • We found a wide range of bat species using Sitka Spruce plantations, particularly Pipistrellus species.
  • A high proportion of the Pipistrellus spp. captured were lactating females.
  • Responses to local and landscape-scale habitat characteristics differed between species and foraging guilds.
  • Increasing roost provision and maintaining thinning should benefit bat populations in plantations.


Commercial plantations are primarily managed for timber production, and are frequently considered poor for biodiversity, particularly for mammalian species. Bats, which constitute one fifth of mammal species worldwide, have undergone large declines throughout Europe, most likely due to widespread habitat loss and degradation. Bat use of modified landscapes such as urban or agricultural environments has been relatively well studied, however, intensively managed plantations have received less attention, particularly in Europe. We assessed three of the largest, most intensively managed plantations in the UK for the occurrence of bats, activity levels and relative abundance in response to environmental characteristics at multiple spatial scales, using an information theoretic approach. We recorded or captured nine species; Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus were the most commonly recorded species on acoustic detectors and female P. pygmaeus were the most commonly captured. The influence of environmental characteristics on bat activity varied by species or genus, although all bat species avoided dense stands. Occurrence and activity of clutter and edge adapted species were associated with lower stand densities and more heterogeneous landscapes whereas open adapted bats were more likely to be recorded at felled stands and less likely in areas that were predominantly mature conifer woodland. In addition, despite morphological similarities, P. pipstrellus and P. pygmaeus were found foraging in different parts of the plantation. This study demonstrates that with sympathetic management, non-native conifer plantations may have an important role in maintaining and supporting bat populations, particularly for Pipistrellus spp.

SNH Commissioned Report No 928: Bats and Licensing: A report on the success of maternity roost compensation measures

Publication Detail

SNH Commissioned Report No 928: Bats and Licensing: A report on the success of maternity roost compensation measures

This project looked at a sample of cases where SNH has licensed the damage or destruction, under licence, of bat maternity roosts for development purposes. In each such instance the licence requires that measures are incorporated into the final development to compensate for this damage or loss. The success or otherwise of these features, including whether or not bats used these features was assessed. Factors affecting the likelihood of success are discussed.


Format : 55 pages; 1.07MB
Published in 2016

Fundraise for bats this Christmas

Fundraise for bats this Christmas

If you are throwing a Christmas party keep your furry friends in mind and fundraise for BCT. Pin badges are always a crowd-pleaser but you can just have a collection tin and some leaflets around.

Email us at if you wish to help bats this Christmas and click HERE for some fundraising ideas.


How to join the BCT…

Bats are utterly unique but often overlooked and underloved making them vulnerable to persecution and habitat loss.

By becoming a member you’ll be adding your voice to ours in speaking up for bats and helping us to help bats by:

·         Running the Bat Helpline, saving thousands of bats each year

·         Monitoring bat populations, to inform our conservation work

·         Lobbying decision-makers to safeguard bats and their habitats

·         Educating a wide range of people about bats through publications, events and the media

A BCT membership also makes for a wonderful gift! Click HERE to know more about the different types of membership we offer.