Isles of Scilly Bat Group - News

18th June 2018 ~ Update

The Bat Group AGM took place on 12th June with a record number of members attending. Below are the minutes of the AGM.  In due course we will adda copy of he very interesting presentation on the subject of "Bat Monitoring in the UK: 21 years of the National Bat Monitoring Programme and new innovations" by Philip Briggs, Monitoring Manager at the Bat Conservation Trust who was our guest speaker.

The 2017 Isles of Scilly Anual Bat Group Report is now available in the Publications & Reports Section.

Following the AGM Mike Gurr retired as Secretary of the Isles of Scilly Bat Group after 11 years.  Carol Williams has now taken on the role of secretary and will be managing all of the administrative aspects of the group.  

21st February 2018 ~ Update

Further updates from the Isles of Scilly Bat Group are detailed in the additional newsletter below:

Isles of Scilly Bat Group Newsletter 2 ~ February 2018

Bat Walks for 2018 are as follows:

  • Friday 13 April (associated with ‘Walk Scilly’) 20:15
  • Tuesday 29 May 21:20
  • Tuesday 12 June (associated with AGM meeting) 21:35
  • Thursday 12 July 21:30
  • Wednesday 15 August 20:45
  • Tuesday 4 September 20:00

There will also be one in October, associated with the Autumn ‘Walk Scilly’. The date and time will be announced later.

Meet on Holgate’s green. Bring a torch. Cost £5 (except for the ‘Walk Scilly’ events, which will be £7.50). Children under 16 go free but must be accompanied by an adult. If the weather is bad, the walk will be cancelled.

13th February 2018 ~ Update

2017 provided another year of changeable and unpredictable weather, which no doubt influenced bat activity in several ways. Our meeting June, although poorly attended, provided great interest and new insights. We have continued to contribute to the BCT’s NBMP surveys on St Mary’s but sadly, there will be no further bat records kept on Tresco.

Bat walks have continued as before, attracting some very enthusiastic, albeit small, groups and providing much needed funds as well as useful observations about bat distribution.

It has been disappointing to experience falling membership and participation. The bat wardens have had a surprisingly demanding year.

Further information can be found in the two documents below:


30th June 2017 ~ Update

Following a successful Isles of Scilly Bat Group AGM and Summer Meeting; please find below the minutes from the AGM, the Summer Meeting Report and information regarding Environmental DNA.  

Thank you to those who attended and supported the meetings.  Please note that the attached AGM Minutes are the second version following the realisation that a member in attendence had been missed off of the "attended list" ~ please accept our apologies if you noticed this earlier ommision.

5th June 2017 ~ Update

The Bat Group AGM is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 20th June 2017 at 12:00 in the Garden Pavilion (next to the Church). For those wishing to know, here you can find out what's on the Agenda.

Prior to this the Bat Group are holding their summer meeting with the theme of "Bats in Trees". The Summer Meeting is scheduled to run from 10:30 - 12:00 on Tuesday 20th June. For those wishing to know more, here you can find out what's on the Programme.

21st March 2017 ~ Update

Subscriptions 2017

The financial year now runs from 1 January to 31st December, so all subscriptions should now be in. Any former members not submitting their subscription (£5) by 1st April 2017 will be removed from the members list. If we have a much reduced membership, we may need to consider winding up the Group.

Bat Walk schedule for 2017

  • Wednesday 19th April @ 20.30
  • Tuesday 23rd May @ 21.15
  • Tuesday 20th June @ 21.35
  • Thursday 27th July @ 21.15
  • Wednesday 16th August @ 20.40
  • Thursday 14th September @ 19.40

What you need to know:

  • Meet on Holgate’s Green; please bring a torch
  • Cost £5 per adult: children under 16 go free but must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Each walk will be publicised a week in advance in various locations in Hugh Town.
  • If the weather is bad, the walk will be cancelled.
  • Any changes in dates will be notified as far in advance as possible.

So come along and join us!

25th February 2017 ~ Update

Isles of Scilly Bat Group subscriptions 2017
Can I remind you that the financial year now begins on the first of January (following a resolution at last year’s AGM). Subscriptions – still at £5 per member – are now due. Can you please send Anne (Vale View Cottage, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly TR21 0NU) your fiver before 1st April at the latest. After that we shall assume that you no longer wish to remain a member (although we’d prefer that you confirmed, rather than just letting it lapse!).

Summer Meeting 2017
The Summer Meeting this year will be on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st June. The Programme will be:

1.  Tuesday 20 June

  •  “Bats in Trees” a talk by Carol Williams (BCT). Carol is also a member of our Bat Group and the Cornwall Bat Group.
  • Annual General Meeting
  • Bat Walk

2.  Wednesday 21 June

  • ERCCIS training session on the use of their on-line recording website:
  • Isles of Scilly Recorders’ Group meeting to discuss recording a wide range of tax/species in Scilly.

The sessions for these two days might be reversed, depending on circumstances but we shall announce any changes well in advance. If you think that you might come, it would be helpful if you could let me know which day you’d be most interested in.

Mike Gurr, Secretary
mike.i.gurr8@gmail .com
01720 422224

22nd November 2016 ~ Update

Nathusius’ Pipistrelles in Scilly

The identification of Nathusius’ Pipistrelles in Scilly, and especially the question of whether they are permanent residents and breed here, has been a subject of discussion for many years. It is not always easy to be sure that a particular call is that of a Nathusius’ as distinct from a Common pipistrelle that is modulating its call. Nevertheless, over the years, several have been recorded.

The Annual Report of the Isles of Scilly Bat Group for 2015 (circulated to members and available on the website) carries a discussion of this topic.

In October 2015, we were visited by a group of bat enthusiasts from the Suffolk Bat Group and one of these, Mark Smith, spent some time with a bat detector and reported detecting a Nathusius’ pipistrelle near Porth Hellick. He sent me details, including sonograms, that proved unequivocally the presence of a Nathusius’ pipistrelle. All peak frequencies were below 40kHz and most were at 38kHz. These were confirmed by an expert in bat detecting and recording, Philip Briggs at BCT.

I regret that I omitted to record this important observation in our own Annual Report either for 2015 or 2016, or in my report of the Isles of Scilly Bat Group’s work that I contributed to the Isles of Scilly Bird and Natural History Review, published by the Isles of Scilly Bird Group.

My apologies to Mark for this omission.

Mike Gurr
Secretary, Isles of Scilly Bat Group

13th October 2016 ~ Update

This year has been a busy one for our Bat Group and the Annual Report is currently being prepared.  

In the meantime why not take a look at the October Newsletter and AGM Minutes?

19th July 2016 ~ Update

The Bat Groups Summer Meeting will be taking place on Tuesday 19th July 2016 with various activities on offer - for full details please look at the Programme for the 2016 Meeting; the AGM is taking place on Wednesday 20th July 2016 at 13:00 the AGM Agenda can be found here

7th June 2016 ~ Update

Light Pollution in the UK ~ Petition

Light pollution does not only steal from us our stars, but also has massive negative implications for both people and the environment; including our bats.

Therefore, steps should be taken to reduce light pollution, particularly in areas where it has the greatest impact on the wellbeing on humans or other species.

Please take a few minutes to follow the link and consider signing the petition which is currently running to Introduce Legislation to Combat Light Pollution in the UK

Many thanks

3rd May 2016 ~ Update

Summer Meeting Date Announced

The Summer Meeting this year will be on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th July.

The subject will be 'Bat Evolution' and our main speaker will be Lisa Worledge, the BCT's officer in charge of coordination of Bat Groups.

Further details will be circulated later concerning the venue, the participation of other speakers and other aspects of the programme.

Mike Gurr, secretary

16th March 2016 ~ Update

March 2016 Newsletter

The March 2016 Newsletter is now available to view online please got to "Events & Our Work" to view and read more.

12th October 2015 ~ Update

Biological Recorders’ Group

As a development from the Group’s July 2015 meeting “Improving Biological Recording”, an Isles of Scilly Biological Recorders’ Group is being established.

Once the membership of the group and recommendations for reporting of observations of bats, birds and many other categories of wildlife have been decided, we shall post a more detailed description on this website.

Watch this space!

Bats on the Isle of Wight

In early September 2015, Mike & Anne Gurr were privileged to visit members of the Isle of Wight Bat Group. This beautiful island is home to virtually all the species of bats found in the UK. Because of its proximity to the mainland, it therefore differs significantly from Scilly and other remote islands, which have very few species.

Mike & Anne were given a night-time tour of the Parkhurst Forest – a large area of both deciduous and evergreen trees. The Parkhurst Forest Project is an ambitious programme to map the habitats of all the bat species found there, using the most technically advanced techniques developed by project leader Jon Whitehurst. Much was learned about the latest methods for recording and identifying bats, as well as storing the information, while ‘on the march’. This could be invaluable in Scilly in regard to mapping resident populations and identifying rare visiting species, provided that we can raise the considerable sums involved!

Later in the week they visited the Isle of Wight Bat Hospital, established by a very enterprising lady, Donna Street, in a single room in her own home in Sandown. This currently houses over a hundred injured bats that have been brought to her or that she has been requested to rescue. She showed an example of each type of bat in her care, which represented most of the bats found in the UK.

Some would eventually be well enough to return to the wild; others would never fly again and would remain with Donna for the rest of their lives. Each has its own personality – some loving to be cuddled, others preferring their own company. The visitors were most impressed and have sent a donation towards the work on behalf of the IOS Bat Group.

July 2015 ~ Update

Improving Biological Record Keeping - Meeting of July 2015

We recently held a meeting on St Mary's with a number of other biological recorders from both on and off the islands, and discussed how methods of biological recording on the islands could be improved. 

You can view the report of what was discussed here.

You can view a PDF of the report from the 2015 AGM in the downloads section below

Bat with broken wing seen on Tresco

A recent sighting of a bat on the island lead to questions after images of it were more closely examined...


Welcome to our new members!

The IOS Bat Group is pleased to welcome two new members on the Island of Tresco - Louise Davis and Ian Chesterman. They became involved in bat activities on Tresco in 2014, having met up with 'overseas' members Lotty and Lyn Packman and Ian Barr. They took part in a bat walk and are hoping to get involved with various projects this year, observing and recording bats. There is plenty of scope as Tresco has the largest population of bats in the archipelago. We wish them happy batting!


Changes to Bat Walks

Please note that the Bat Walks schedule on St Mary's has had to be changed. We apologize to those who might have been planning to attend a walk that has been cancelled.


Group Meeting 2015

The Group’s main meeting for 2015 will be held on Tuesday 14th July and the topic will be Improving Biological Record Keeping. There will be speakers from the IOS Bat and Bird Groups, the Bat Conservation Trust, the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation of Biological Recorders.

There will be ample time for discussion and a Bat Walk is planned for the evening. A full programme is available to view here.


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