"It’s not often that a small white plastic box holds so much promise. But that’s what I felt when I picked up North Somerset’s Bat Survey equipment from my local distribution centre.
"As a trustee of Long Ashton Nature, Community and Environment Trust (LANCE Trust), I understand how important it is to maintain and increase biodiversity within our parish and beyond. Collecting data on bat species is a great way of helping us achieve this aim.
"The LANCE Trust itself doesn’t have access to such specialist equipment, or the expertise to use it, but we know our local area and can guess the places that bats might favour. We also know most of the local landowners and can gain permission to survey their land. Though I’m not adept at downloading or uploading data or utilising different apps, the instructions provided by the University of Bath were straight forward and after some initial hesitation; I stepped away from the detector feeling very hopeful.
13 bat species - the same count as the Knepp Castle Estate!
"Then came the most exciting time of all. The BTO survey results popped into my inbox fairly swiftly after the upload. Though I can’t share the data, our first site has revealed a grand total of 13 bat species that is, amazingly, the same species count as the Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex – well known for its astounding nature recovery programme.
"This is something to be truly proud of – and, hopefully, the powers-that-be will respect the biodiversity importance of results like this. And, who knows, maybe our next survey in this parish will beat this count. Our hopes are high."