Sending in Bat Records

Created 2008
Updated May 2020

Chis Tomain’s photo of a pipistrelle in flight

“Any Bat record is useful”
Bat Recorder for Bedfordshire

In order to conserve bats in Bedfordshire we need to collect as much information about them as we can. We are often approached by consultants for information about the distribution of bats in the county, and the more information we can provide, the better it is for bats, especially with the level of development being planned in the area at present.

“All records are equal but some records are more useful than others”
(With apologies to George Orwell)

We are therefore keen to have ANY record of bat activity, in whatever level of detail you have available. One member’s observation that ” I have bats flying in my garden but they don’t seem to be like the other bats I’ve seen” led us to our first serotine record .

Obviously the more detailed the information is the better it is for us.

What information would we like?

Location – an address, postcode or grid reference
Identification (if known)
How did you identify the bat ( by eye, using a bat detector, grounded bat)
A telephone number in case we want to contact you to clarify any point

Help with grid references
Now available on the Bedfordshire Natural History Site Grab a Grid Reference Duo
. This popular tool now supports Ordnance Survey maps, postcode searches and place name searches.View aerial photos alongside OS maps of different scales and get grid references directly from both. Locations can be linked, emailed, and book marked. Also very useful for verifying grid references.The Beds boundary, VC30 and Accessible Wildlife Sites can also be overlaid

For details of how to take a six figure grid reference  from an Ordnace survey map, try

The more specific the location the more useful your record is .. If these explanations do your head in, don’t despair, the record is still useful if you give a more general location – it just isn’t QUITE as useful

If you can give as idea of species so much the better- but even with a bat detector this can be hard to do, even sonogram analysis won’t always give us the answer. It would be very helpful if you could give us a contact number so we can phone to check interesting records.
Our database only records locations as 6 figure grid references or post codes, not as individual addresses.

If any of this this whets your appetite for collecting records, BCT has launched the  National bat monitoring project 

“Since 1996 more than 3,000 volunteers have taken part in our surveys at over 5,800 roost or field sites around the UK. The data collected have already indicated population changes in some species but surveying needs to continue for many more years in order to ascertain whether these are long-term trends or simply short-term fluctuations.”

BCT website

If you want to learn how to identify bats

  1.  Have a look at this article from April 2006 newsletter on recognising bats in flight 2006-4-Identifying bats in flight
  2. Come along to one of our open surveys (basically a walk round a site with a bat detector)  atHarrold Odell.  Sandy WarrenStockgrove or Wardown
  3.  or come along to one of our regular walks at Priory Park (booking necessary with Park Rangers)

4.   The Field Studies Council produces a useful guide on identifying bats- but warned they are not easy to separate out
 5.    Join the bat group and get involved in more complex surveys

How do I get this record to you?

In an ideal world you could complete the form effortlessly on line. but there is nothing in the known universe more annoying than an online form which doesn’t work and we are not going to risk alienating you, so

The easiest thing is to send you records to the bat recorder at

Albino Daubenton’s Photo Our most unusual ever record of a Daubenton’s bat is the one shown in the photograph below.We can’t tell for sure if this is analino or leucistic animal ie does it lack all pigment or does it have pigmented eyes) This was e mailed to us by a member of the public.