National Bat Monitoring Programme Surveys

Find out which of our surveys are right for you and how to take part

The National Bat Monitoring Programme surveys are carefully designed so that anybody can take part in monitoring these fascinating but easily overlooked mammals. As well as being of great value to bat conservation, the surveys are fun and rewarding to carry out. They usually involve visiting a roost or potential foraging site on two evenings in the summer. We run different surveys which cater to different levels of experience and knowledge.

Brown long-eared bats

Online recording available
Roost Count
Experience Required
If you have bats in your property then you can help us by taking part in the Roost Counts. You count the numbers of bats emerging from roosts at sunset on two evenings during the summer survey period. The species we focus on are common and soprano pipistrelle, serotine (England/Wales only), Natterer's bat, brown long-eared bat, and lesser and greater horseshoe bat. Find out more ...
You choose your own roost, so you will need to know of a roost site that you can count (usually in a building) to take part in this survey.
Hibernation Site

Online recording available
Hibernation Survey
Experience Required
Bats are monitored over the winter months through our Hibernation Surveys. In this survey, experienced bat workers count bats in hibernation roosts in January and February each year. Find out more ...
To take part in this survey you need to hold a hibernation licence or know of a licensed surveyor who can accompany you. If this applies to you, and you are interested in taking part, sign up below.
Daubenton's bat

Online recording available
Waterway Survey
Experience Required
Help us find out how Daubenton’s bat populations are doing by taking part in the Waterway Survey. For this survey, you walk a route along a 1km stretch of water randomly allocated to you (this will always be close to where you live) on two evenings during August. You record Daubenton’s bat activity using a bat detector to listen to the bats and a torch to spot them flying over the water. Find out more ...
Bat detector required You will need a bat detector and a torch to take part. You will also need some experience of listening for Daubenton’s bats using your bat detector.
Field Survey In Wales

Online recording available
Field Survey
Experience Required
Use your knowledge of bat detecting by taking part in the Field Survey. For this survey, you are asked to design and walk a triangular route in a 1km square that we randomly allocate to you on two evenings in July. You will use a bat detector to record noctule, serotine, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle bat activity (species you may encounter depends on where you live in the UK). Find out more ...
Bat detector required You will need a bat detector to take part in this survey. You will also need to have some experience of how to identify common British bat species using your bat detector.
Nathusius' pipistrelle

Nathusius' Pipistrelle Survey
Experience Required
This survey is aimed at improving our knowledge of the distribution of Nathusius’ pipistrelle. You will walk a 1km route around a lake that is allocated to you on two evenings in September. Ideally, you will use a broadband bat detector to make recordings of bat activity and listen for Nathusius’ pipistrelles. Find out more ...
This survey is not taking place at present.
Sunset

Sunset/Sunrise Survey
Experience Required
By taking part in the Sunset/Sunrise Survey you can find out about your local bats and help us find new bat roosts. Anyone can take part in this survey by looking for bats and their roosts in your garden or local green space. This survey takes place annually and this year you can take part anytime throughout June, July and August. Find out more ...
This survey is aimed at beginners and you don’t need any previous bat experience to take part. It is an excellent way of contributing to the monitoring programme if you are new to bat surveying.

Click here to get more information, download a survey form and enter your results online.
Barbastelle Roost

Woodland Survey
Experience Required
This survey is funded by Natural England and focuses on monitoring barbastelles at sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) due to the presence of this species. Find out more ...
Bat detector required The survey involves making audio recordings from a broadband bat detector while walking a transect route. Previous experience is not essential but in order to take part you need to live within easy travelling distance of one of the barbastelle SAC sites. We already have teams in place to survey these sites but if you are interested in assisting with these surveys then please contact us.