NBG Projects

Northumberland Bat Group have a few projects on the go. Due to the nature of web pages, the projects tend to get updated at the end of the season each year as we are too busy in the summer! Therefore, for up to date information on what people are doing, please also join our facebook page. Event dates and locations are sent out to members, please join us to find out more. Just click on the Facebook icon at the top of this page.

Northumberland Nathusius' Pipistrelle Project

This is part of a national project to find out more information on this migratory bat which has taken up residence, coming in via the north sea. The project has been ongoing for a few years now and has yielded some great results, especially through the determination of volunteers, as well as the use of radio tracking.

Results have included videos of a mating roost, evidence of breeding and also the recapture of certain ringed individuals. While these bats have a reputation for being migratory, some appear to hang around, possibly with with the male bats staying to maintain mating sites and the female bats migrating past. Lecking males have been observed in Northumberland, and so too have lactating females and pregnant female bats.

Receiver used for radio tracking Nathusius' bats
Following the 2019 survey season, Hazel is in the process of submitting the last few bits of data. It has been quite a good year, and despite the wet weather, it had a good start. The Nathusius group were able to radio tag a bat; unfortunately, the radio tag fell off soon after. The tagged bat was a pregnant female and so was not re-found. After the maternity break, (June/July) quite a few male Nathusius were then caught in the autumn, ringed but not radio tagged. Of note: a bat ringed in Northumberland in 2017, turned up in Poland! Great news just before the National bat conference too.
Amazing news! A female Nathusius’ pipistrelle which was ringed by the Northumberland Bat Group on the 20th of April 2017 as part of the National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project has shown up in Poland! This special bat was ringed as part of the National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project which is collecting information on the status of this species in the UK and its migratory movements. On the 10th of May 2019 the bat was found on the wall of a building (Forest Directorate) by Polish foresters in the town of Szczecinek. The team at the directorate took the details from the ring before releasing the bat into the wild again. This amazing find was reported to the Bat Conservation Trust in the last two days. For more information click here.
Nathusius Pipistrelle with new ring (Photo hazel makepeace)

National Bat Monitoring Programme - Hibernation Surveys

Bats are seen regularly in the summer and easily surveyed. But where do they go to hibernate? What conditions do they prefer and what influence does the weather / humidity etc have on their location choice?

Members have been visiting some sites in the county to monitor known roosts and check out potential new ones. All surveys are lead by a suitably licensed bat surveyor, so please ask if you are interested in coming on one of these surveys.

For more information about the hibernation surveys you can have a look at the Events page. The surveys are often over subscribed, so do be patient if you don’t get on the first one you apply for! 

Myotis Daubenton hibernating
Daubenton's bat in hibernation in an old lead mine, Northumberland

Gosforth Park Bat Boxes

A range of different boxes have been placed up in trees around Gosforth Park. They are being monitored and all of the statistics analysed, so that we can learn more about which type of boxes bats prefer, or if particular species perfer a specific type of bat box. In addition to this the boxes face different aspects (north, east, south, west); at certain times of year, it seems that bats may prefer facing certain directions.

Gosforth Park is a great place for bats, the mature trees are perfect for a range of species. We also have the NBG flight cage here too, so we can test fly bats before releasing them back into the wild.

Bat box checks at Gosforth Park
Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial