Projects & Research

rge number of bats for centuries. If u’ve ever been to an event at the Cathedral in the Summer or Autumn you’ve probably seen some bats flying around the cloisters. Indeed, they can even been seen flying during the day there on occasions.

Durham Bat Group provides help and support to the Cathedral when it comes to helping their bats. A large proportion of our work is bat care for grounded bats. During the main swarming season members of the group form a rota to check the cloisters daily for any bats who may be in difficulties. We also provide first aid training for Cathedral staff so they can also support their bats.

We are also carrying out ongoing research into how the bats use the Cathedral throughout the year.

Hamsterly Forest

Many years ago, when Durham Bat Group first started, they started a project of bat monitoring at Hamsterley forest to see how they are using the bat boxes on site. 40 years on and we still carry out an annual check.


If you’ve ever visited the wetlands centre you are sure to have seen the bat boxes they have put up around the reserve. Durham Bat Group has assisted the WWT for a number of year with monitoring populations and checking the bat boxes at key times of the year.

Bat Care

Some members of Durham Bat Group are also involved in bat care. This can involve anything from supporting members of the public who have found a grounded bat, to collecting them from vets when they need more long term care and hand-rearing bat pups that are unable to reunite with their Mum. Found a bat you think needs help? Discover what to do with our quick guide.

Volunteer Bat Roost Visitors

VBRVs are volunteers registered with the BCT who are licensed to visit bat roosts in domestic settings and assist householders with any issues they may be having with bats. If you require the services of a VBRV you will need to book them through the BCT.

Our Projects

Durham Bat Group is involved in a number of ongoing projects across the region. As well as creating a valuable insight into bat behaviour and conservation, these projects are a fantastic way for our members to get hands on experience

Found a bat?

Help! I’ve found a bat, what do I do?

It’s a statement we hear often and we’ll help where we can.

Firstly, where is the bat? This will determine how you deal with it. Follow these questions to see what you best options are.

Question 1

Is the bat in your house?

  • No – Go to question 2
  • Yes – Go to question 4

Question 2

Has the bat been disturbed during building work?

  • No – Go to question 3
  • Yes: If possible, carefully recover the bat and contact the BCT Helpline. If the bat can’t be returned to its original place then secure it following our containment advice before contacting the BCT Helpline.

Question 3

Is the bat in a reachable location?

  • No – Keep an eye on it to see if becomes reachable.
  • Yes - Follow the containment advice and contact the BCT Helpline

Question 4

Is the bat flying around the house?

  • No: Contain using our guidelines and contact the BCT.
  • Yes. Don’t try and chase it, you’ll only stress yourself and the bat. If possible, contain it in one room. It will eventually settle so you can encourage it out at dusk. Once it is dark (or if it already is) open the windows in the room wide, keep curtains and blinds well out of the way and turn off all the lights. You want them to be able to see it is dark outside so they fly out, if lights are on they can’t tell that it’s an exit. It may take quite a while for a bat to leave. If it doesn’t go, contain it using our guidelines then contact the BCT.

Submit a record

Whether you’ve seen a single bat or carried out a full survey, you can add the details here. Simply fill in the form with as much information as possible then hit submit. All the data you provide helps us build up a better picture of bats across the North East and will aid conservation attempts.