Category Archives: SBG News

New set of Bat Detectors for the group

The groups new set of Bat Detectors arrived today.  Thanks to Adel who got the group a good discount at the Bat conference this weekend!

The group now has three sets of Detectors that we can use for public bat walks, and other group uses.  One set is with Adel in the north of the county, with the other set with Ed at the bottom.  So this set will probably be kept in the middle, but location yet to be agreed.

The detectors are for the groups use, hence if any members would like to use them for activities then please get in touch.

For info. the group also has a Anabat and a Petterson Detector that can be used for survey work.

New set of bat detectors for SBG

New set of bat detectors for SBG



Brue Valley 2017 Big Bat Survey Report

Results of the last Brue Valley Survey are in.  The culmination of “our 5 year mission”.

What bats did we hear, and where were they? Have a read of the report to find out.

With many thanks to:

  • all the volunteers that took part,
  • the landowners that allowed the survey to take place,
  • Paula Hewitson at SERC for coordinating the volunteer effort,
  • Edward Wells for the sound analysis and writing the text
  • Claire Smith for pulling all of this together into a report

(hopefully I haven’t missed anyone out, but if I have I’d like to say a very big thank you!)

In Memory of Lou Pickersgill

1st July 2013LouP

Lou Pickersgill died in June 2013 at the age of 64. Until her final illness Lou was Secretary of the Somerset Bat Group, a member of Dorset Bat Group and Avon Bat Group, Treasurer of the Somerset Mammal Group, Chairman of the Yeovil Area Group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, a Voluntary Bat Warden and a dedicated surveyor for the NBMP and for the surveys of the various groups to which she belonged.

Lou had the unusual virtue of being both a superb organiser and motivator and an excellent field naturalist. She was the most dynamic secretary the Somerset Bat Group has ever had and everyone came to rely on her untiring efforts. It is not always easy to keep all the group up to scratch but Lou made sure that people turned out for every meeting. She was an essential part of the team for the Bechsteins Survey and the leader of the Barbastelle Survey on the Quantocks. Lou was the driving force behind many bat box schemes and a part of the group monitoring the hibernation sites in the Mendip cave. It was typical of Lou that only a few months before her untimely death, as she awaited chemotherapy, she was walking and mapping out transects for the new Brue Valley Big Bat Survey.

Our thoughts are with her partner, Nigel, and her sisters and brother. Lou faced her illness with characteristic practicality and pragmatism. She enjoyed her life and whilst frustrated at not being able to do more she saw much to celebrate in what she had seen and inspired others to enjoy. She will be remembered and greatly missed by everyone who knew her.

Aerial acrobats – Somerset Life article

We’re famous! (almost).   This article on your Bechsteins work was published 28th Feb 2013 in Somerset Life magazine.

Excerpt below:

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. No, not teddy bears, but the rare Bechstein’s bat species. The Somerset Bat Group elaborates

On a muggy, starless night, in the midst of the ancient wood a trap has been set. Looking for all the world like a giant, squareshaped harp on legs, the trap, constructed from strong steel and light aluminium, employs a mesh made from fine fishing line. Its intended catch is lured using sounds pitched above the level of normal human hearing. What is the purpose of such an elaborate device? Somerset Life goes down to the woods to investigate

The harp trap is a good way to catch a variety of woodland bats with the minimum risk of harming them, explains Paul Kennedy, a licensed bat worker who is supervising tonights catch. Bats fly into the strings of the harp and are directed downwards into a large canvas pouch with pockets into which they can crawl and from which they can be extracted.

Paul and fellow volunteers from the Somerset Bat Group are using harp traps to survey over fifty woods in the county for bats. The project is being coordinated across the southern counties of England by the Bat Conservation Trust, the national charity devoted to the conservation of bats.

The projects focus is a particularly elusive species Bechsteins bat thought to be among the rarest of all 17 bat species resident in the UK. They live only in ancient woods, and not in every wood by any means, Paul Kennedy continues.