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Sunday, December 13, 2009


These photos from Kids Zone web site, link here.

The internet provides an amazing ability to link subjects together. Here is how I recently
found myself reading about bats!

A few days ago I found a bright yellow flower, size about 10 or 15 mm growing on a grass trail round a local meadow. I tried to remember enough details about its size, petals, stamens and leaf arrangement to identify it at home with books such as Wild Flowers by Blamey and Keeble Martin. Bearing in mind that it is now mid Dec I decided that it must be either the Creeping or the Spring Cinquefoil. I asked a friend for an opinion and went back to check. Naturally the flower had disappeared and I had little luck trying to pin down where I had seen it. There were no other specimens around either.
I've been persuaded that it is the Creeping form and as a final check I searched the web for any further guidance.

I came across a new web site run by Natural England called, "Gardening with Wildlife in Mind" .

Their web site says: "Natural England's Gardening with wildlife in mind aims to help people choose plants likely to attract wildlife. It also shows what eats what in the garden." It seems to be a joint venture with a private company called, " The Plant Press", publishers of books and CD's on gardening.
So with the help of Plant Press you can search for a range of wild animals and find out what they eat and other data. This is where I found my way to Bats!

I tried it out with bats and that is the point of this post, here is an extract from the site. Read more at this link.

I find it interesting to read that:

The pipistrelle bat was thought to be a single species until around 1998, when it was found that there are two genetically distinct species, the larger common pipistrelle and the smaller Pipistrellus pymaeus or 'soprano pipistrelle', so-called because its echolocation call is at a frequency of 55kHz as opposed to the common pipistrelle, which echo locates at 45kHz. New research into these two species is showing that they also have different preferences for food and habitat. The 55kHz bat prefers wetland and lives up to its German common name of 'midge bat'.

In future I must remember to talk about 45 or 55kHz bats which sounds very much more interesting!

I had to follow up this article by clicking on the link to the Bat Conservation Trust which I recall visiting some time ago before posting an item on bats. This time their web site , as usual gives a lot about bats but here is an extract on bats and biodiversity, the latter subject I had posted about recently.
Read more at this link:

Protecting our Biodiversity

The United Nations Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992 committed member states to conserve their biological diversity and set a global target 'to achieve a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss'. In Europe however the goal is that 'biodiversity decline should be halted with the aim of reaching the objective by 2010' known as the Countdown 2010 initiative. We are now less than 600 days away from the end of 2010 and there is still a lot of work to do.

Throughout the UK, BCT is working to maintain our bat biodiversity. We have 17 species of bat and we wish to see the populations of all these conserved and, where possible, enhanced.

All of our bats and their roosts are protected by law. Legislation is one way of maintaining bat biodiversity and shows that the Government thinks that conservation of bats is important.

BCT's Bat Biodiversity Project delivers a whole range of actions in conjunction with the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations, volunteer bat workers, other environmental charities, sectors of trade and industry and government departments to help ensure that bat biodiversity is maintained. Further details of our work on policy and lobbying can be found on the consultation and lobbying pages.

The work of the Biodiversity Officer is supported by Natural England and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

A final interest in all this is that I have been trying to persuade our Group to purchase a bat detector for some time now. I might just have to buy one myself!
Out of this bit of research several outcomes might be generated:
  • We organise another meeting about Bats or a bat walk to support the Countdown 2010 event.
  • We write to all our local authorities : parish and town councils, to ask about their interest in the environment and what they are doing about their responsibilities in respect of biodiversity etc.
  • We continue to promote wildlife gardening.


  1. Hi David. I came across your post in the same sort of random roundabout way you stumbled onto bats. That's the great thing about blogging and the net in general. Anyway...speaking as a self-confessed bat geek.. I would strongly encourage you to get that detector! They enhance the pleasure and interest in bat watching so much. Go for it!!

  2. Anonymous2:51 pm

    I would agree with Allan above. I love listening to our bats with the detector I bought - and have organised some local bat detector evenings in the village. I'm surprised you don't have a bat group in Somerset, I'm a member of Dorset Bat Group which is affiliated to Dorset Wildlife Trust. We've had some very interesting meetings and discussions. It's a fascinating subject. Jane

  3. Jane,
    Thanks for the comment. We do have a very good Bat Group and I intend to ask them about detectors.