Hibernation Surveys

Created October 2011
Last updated Feb 2019

NB.Surveys are for people with some bat experience and for insurance reasons are for members of Bedfordshire Bat Group only.

Bat hibernation sites are protected by law and may only be visited in the presence of a bat worker licensed by Natural England. We are allowed to make a maximum of three visits per year, and to minimise disturbance numbers are limited. These trips are therefore available only to bat group members.They are not suitable for claustrophobics or people with limited mobility

The Bedfordshire Bat Group surveys 16 hibernacula sites each Winter, in December, January and February. The sites include private houses, cellars, ice houses and tunnels.

This need a sharp eye and endurance. Photo Sara Miller


some bats are easy to spot. Photo Gwen Hitchcock

Photo Gwen Hitchcock

Some are not Photo Gwen Hitchcock

There are a number of  icehouse hibernation sites in Bedfordshire. Designed  to store winter ice for use in the Summer, the good insulation make them excellent hibernation sites.

Photo Phil Gould

Photo Phil Gould

Dates for 2019/2020

7  Dec  9:00
8  Dec  9:00
4  Jan  9:00
5  Jan   9:00
9  Feb   9:00
11 Feb   9:00

!! Feb

Read more about icehouses  2008-10-icehouses

One of the icehouses we check was improved in 2011  More

Purpose built hibernacula
These are to be found at Aspley Guize 2005-4-Braystone Whipnade zoo 2009 whipsnade final and Luton Hoo 2010-1 luton Hoo
December 2011 Survey improvements to an ice house site

See slideshow of  photos of hibernating bats (and moths)