One of the very important things we do is to raise awareness of bats throughout the county, by getting ‘out and about’ i.e. taking information about bats and their conservation to the general public and helping to dispel any myths that might still remain! We do this in a variety of ways.
Firstly, we attend shows and festivals in the spring and summer months, with our Bat Stand. In a typical year these number twenty or so, including the three day New Forest Show, the Romsey Show and the Staunton Park Water Festival. These events are spearheaded by Chris and Mike Pawling, with other members helping on rotation and everyone finds it to be a rewarding experience. Help is always needed so please contact Chris and Mike if you would like to assist with shows – you don’t need to be an expert!
Secondly, some members give talks, including to other wildlife groups but particularly to schoolchildren. It’s not untypical for groups totalling 150-300 to be educated in one day! Some members also give talks at more specialised conferences such as the South East Bat Conference.
Thirdly, we also lead bat walks, sometimes preceded by a talk. We either organise these ourselves or are invited to lead them by other organisations such as the Forestry Commission, in which case they will be open to the general public. In a typical year there might be two or three a month during the spring and summer, with the majority open to both members and non members. This is a good way to get an introduction to ‘batting’ if you are new to the Group.
All activities are generally listed on the website and in our newsletter, Bat Droppings.