On Friday 14th September, a great evening was had by all at Siblyback Lake’s ‘Bat Walk and Talk’.

The event was run in partnership with South West Lakes Trust and Cornwall Bat Group and followed on from the Bat Box Building Day earlier this year. The evening, led by local bat expert Samantha Smith (MCIEEM Bat Ecologist from Cornwall Bat Group), started with an informal introduction to bats, before the group headed out into the dusk, armed with bat detectors. 22 visitors and 3 volunteers went in search of these fascinating creatures.

Local Countryside Warden Nigel Tomkinson said, “It was a really successful event and I can’t thank Samantha enough for giving up her free time and making the event such a success.  On site we managed to detect 3 different species of bat: the noctule, one of our biggest bats and identified by its ‘chip-chop’ echolocation, the common pipistrelle, and the soprano pipistrelle – two of the smaller species (4-7g), with erratic flight and an echolocation that sounds like a ‘wet smack’. It was great to see so many people on site, all with a keen interest to learn more about bats.”

Samantha, Cornwall Bat Group said, “Bat walks are a great way to introduce the public to the secret world of bats. Not only do they get to see them flitting around at dusk, but there is also the chance to hear their echolocation calls with the aid of a bat detector.”

Bats are truly fascinating creatures but sadly populations have declined with the loss of roosting and feeding sites and an increased use of pesticides. Thankfully, bats and their roosts are now protected by law and it is illegal to harm or disturb them. For more information on bats and how to get involved contact Paul McNie, Cornwall Bat Group Chair, via email: [email protected] or phone: 07866 771809.