Bat Handling and Advanced Survey Techniques Course

Bat Handling and Advanced Survey Techniques Course

Sep 01, 202002:00 pm

Sep 03, 202010:59 pm(GMT+0)


Old Court Hotel, Symonds Yat West, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 6DA

Event details

Bat Handling and Advanced Survey Techniques Course

A course developed and delivered by the Bat Training Partnership

Tutors:  Dr Sandie Sowler & Richard Crompton

Dates:   Tuesday 1st - Thursday 3rd September 2020

Venue:  Old Court Hotel Symonds Yat West Ross-on-Wye HR9 6DA

Cost: £600 (inc VAT) lunches and refreshments provided only

A course, first run in 2014 aimed to provide training in Bat Handling and Advanced Bat Survey Techniques for professional consultants.

The course will include:

Bat Handling, all capture techniques, use of acoustic lures, radio tags, radio tracking exercise, advanced identification skills, endoscoping and demonstrations in remote and Infra-red observation techniques and tree climbing assessments. This course is a must for all bat ecologists looking to 'upskill' in response to increased survey demands.

Natural England have recently revised their requirements for applicants for the various Bat Class Licence levels – you can read more here.

Although no sign-off for a ‘NE Level 1’ or ‘NRW without handling’ bat licence will be possible, with an appropriate amount of additional logged and observed competent bat handling, log book signatures, we will provide a course certificate that will count towards a ‘NE Level 2’ or ‘NRW with handling’ application. However it is important you are aware that a course on its own is unlikely to sufficient to achieve a licence or licence upgrade and further logged experience and/or a separate referee are likely to be required. It is important you have prepared your log book prior to attending any course – as in both England and Wales the ability to demonstrate wider experience over time has become much more important.

The flexible nature of the course also gives us scope to offer logged experience and a course certificate towards a ‘NE Level 4 bat licence’ for harp trapping with an acoustic lure (or equivalent NRW endorsement), or 'Level 3 bat licence' for mist netting with an acoustic lure for those looking to expand these skills - and all participants will receive training and practice in the use of the equipment. Please note that as course trainers we are no longer permitted to provide licence references for participants that have only attended this course, but a course certificate and log book signatures will provided which can count as 'one reference' for a licence application.

Course Content & Programme (provisional)

Day 1: Tuesday 1st September 2020

3pm Introduction to course including training in use of mist nets, harp trap, triple high and canopy net.

7pm till late. Mist netting, harp trapping, triple high, canopy net to catch bats in and around local area. 

Day 2: Wednesday 2nd September

10am Advanced identification- particularly pipistrelles and Myotis

11am Bat carer with captive live bats for handling and ID practice

2pm Tree climbing bat inspection demo and endoscoping training

7pm till late. Hand netting practical at roost

Mist netting, harp trapping, triple high, canopy net to catch bats including mist net and harp trap extraction and handling skills.

Day 3: Thursday 3rd September

10am Use of lures (demo)

Ringing (demo)

Wing punch (demo on dead bats)

1pm IR video with illuminator demo

2pm Radio tracking practical with ‘trainer tag’

Radio tracking exercise with 'trainer tag'. 

7pm till late. Mist netting, harp trapping, triple high, canopy net to catch bats including mist net and harp trap extraction, use of acoustic lures and handling

Course ends after this catching session c midnight - 1am.

Specific equipment required by attendees:

Bat handling gloves (e.g. nitrile gloves, light cotton manicure gloves, Gripz lite gloves, leather riding/pilots’/golfers’ gloves*), head torch, appropriate field clothes and footwear (including wellies) for all anticipated weather conditions, field note book/clipboard, bat detector, bat log book for signing.

You may like to bring a recording bat detector in order to collect calls from bats in the hand and on release.

Please bring a record of bats previously handled if appropriate. It is MUCH easier to sign bat log books at the event. Please try to prepare and bring your bat log with you.

*A selection of gloves is preferable to suit all species of bats that may be handled.

Please bring your up to date rabies certificate for checking


As this is a bat handling course all participants must provide suitable bat handling gloves and proof of up-to-date rabies inoculation. All voluntary bat handlers, licensed or not, are entitled to free immunisation from the NHS, although your GP may sometimes charge an admin fee, those handling for professional purposes usually have to pay for their injections.

You will automatically receive a booking confirmation on receipt of payment. If you require a VAT receipt, please email Richard quoting the name, date and booking reference.

Course Details and other information :


Old Court Hotel, Symonds Yat, Herefordshire - Tel 01600 890367

Note - to allow flexibility food and accomodation is NOT provided other than lunches and refreshments. However, we have reserved a number of rooms at the teaching venue for participants if they wish.  

Because of the late nights and intensive nature of this course we recommend that all participants stay at the Old Court Hotel or nearby.

Start and Finish Times:

Start times: 15h00 on Tuesday 1st September 2020

Approximate finish: midnight ( /- 1 hr) after catching on the night of Thursday 3rd September 2020.

Course numbers: 10

Terms and conditions

  1. All participants must provide proof of up-to-date Rabies inoculation. Tutors reserve the right to deny training to anyone unable to provide proof.
  2. Participants must bring appropriate clothing and necessary equipment to the course. Tutors reserve the right to deny training to anyone lacking this.
  3. In the event that a participant is unable to attend a course after paying the balance, a refund of the balance (not the deposit) shall only be granted if the place can be filled.   
  4. In the event we have to cancel a course all participants will receive a full refund.
  5. Programme and course content may vary from that advertised.
  6. Note that this course cannot provide references towards a bat survey licence - only log book signatures to confirm qualifying activity hours'.

Course is offered by the Bat Training Partnership and delivered by Sandie Sowler and Richard Crompton plus guest tutors.