The Cheshire Bat Group (CBG) has been established since 1986 with enthusiastic, active and knowledgeable members who share an interest in bats and bat conservation. This interest takes various forms and many members are involved in:

What area do we cover?

The group covers the administrative areas of Cheshire, Halton, Warrington, Stockport, South Manchester, Altrincham and Hale and has links to adjoining County bat groups. Members do not have to live in Cheshire.

Bat species in Cheshire

In Cheshire, 11 of the 17 resident British bat species have been recorded. The Group is keen to learn more about all of these species. Conservation and data gathering efforts target all species. Cheshire is rich in a variety of habitats from ancient woodland to meres and mosses, ponds, canals and parkland as well as urban areas. All of these habitats provide feeding and roosting opportunities.


I’ve found a bat – what do I do?

Please visit The Bat Conservation Trust webpages for a wealth of information on what to do if you’ve found a bat. Cheshire bat group do not have a direct phone, so if you need to speak to someone urgently please call the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228.

How do I join CBG?

Its free to join the group and all you have to do is register your interest by emailing us. Email is how we communicate with all members and send out notification of meetings and events, and Bat Group Bulletins from the Bat Conservation Trust. Please drop us a line at and ask to join the group. We'll send you a confirmation reply and add you to our mailing list. Once you’ve joined you’ll receive all emails we send out and you are free to come along to any of the sessions you choose. We don’t chase people, it’s up to you which events you choose to come on. We may have to limit numbers on some events, in which case its first come first served.Our group is made up entirely of volunteers, some of whom hold specialist licenses to enable us to carry out the surveys work we do. Our email address is not manned daily, so please be patient, we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Do I have to be an expert to join?

No! The group is open to everyone with an interest in bats, you do not need any prior knowledge. If you are a student wanting to know more about bats for your course then you are very welcome. If you are someone with a generic interest in wildlife and would like to know more about bats you are also very welcome. If you are an ecologist working towards a license you are also welcome.

What does the bat group do?

Throughout the year our activities vary depending on what the bats are up to. The winter months are usually spent checking any hibernation sites such as caves and also some bat box checking takes place. As spring develops and bats start to return we check sites where we have put boxes up over the years. This involves tree climbing with ropes and members are encouraged to get stuck in! We may also put new boxes up on sites that are suitable. Boxes need to go in particular locations and at certain hights so there is an art to be learnt!

During summer we are very busy monitoring sites where we have had long term involvement such as 3 barns at Manchester Airport that were specifically built for bats. We carry out roost counts (emergence surveys) on these barns which have 3 different species of bat -brown long eared, brandts and pipistrelles. These are maternity roosts and surveying these sites can provide you with good experience of large roosts and how bats behave around them.

Through our survey sessions you will have the opportunity to learn how to use a bat detector and any other equipment we may have. We can teach you how to look for evidence of bats and also how they use roost sites and our wider landscape.The months from May- August tend to bring a lot of requests for public guided bat walks/talks and we try our best to accommodate these where possible. We work with Rangers and Wardens at the many varied parks and reserves across our region, give talks to school and uniformed groups or any group that asks! These sessions are an important educational aspect of our work but you can also learn a lot by coming along and listening to the expert leads and experiencing the bat activity at the many different sites across Cheshire.

With our links to the Bat Conservation Trust we also have members who take part in national monitoring surveys. These may be roost monitoring, field surveys or species specific surveys. You can find more information about these surveys at We often get contacted by homeowners who have bats (either direct or via BCT) and we go out to visit homeowners and provide advice. Some people welcome ‘their’ bats others are not so keen, each situation can vary.

Each year we also take part in the Cheshire Show and will willingly take our display to any local shows where there are people to talk to about bats! There’s plenty of experience to be gained depending on what interests you.

Do I need any technical equipment?

We can loan you a bat detector for use on our surveys but if you have your own by all means bring it. The only other things you will need are sturdy footwear such as walking boots and waterproof clothes. A torch or head torch is also essential on the evening trips and hibernation checks at cave sites. If you have a hard hat/climbing hat also bring that but we do have ones to loan too. If we are out for a day session you are wise to bring a drink and some food with you. Mozzy repellent is also good in the summer months!

Will I get the opportunity to handle bats?

Handling bats should only be done when absolutely necessary, for this reason we don’t do it often. If we are out checking bat boxes in the late spring/summer and we find bats in a box we will check the bat over to identify what species and sex it is.

Do you rebhabilitate injured bats?

Injured bats generally go to the RSPCA Stapely Grange wildlife hospital or to a dedicated bat worker with specialist kit and skills. Some of our members are licensed bat handlers and rehabilitate bats that are not in need of any specialist vet care. If this is an area which interests you please speak to us for further information. If you have a bat that is in need of help please visit the The Bat Conservation Trust webpages or call the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228.

I’d like a license so I can work with bats, can CBG give me one?

Natural England is the licensing body for all protected species; you’ll find full details on their web site under their bats section.What we at Cheshire Bat Group can do is assist in training and experience if you want to work to becoming a Volunteer Roost Visitor for NE/BCT. VRV licenses can take 12-18 months depending on your knowledge and experience. You’ll find more details on this on BCT’s website or get in touch for a discussion.

All our meetings/survey sessions are open to everyone and if that suits your needs you are welcome to come along to as many of our sessions as you like to gain experience.

I have some bat data from surveys that have taken place what can I do with it?

Please enter all your bat records (whether it’s a garden record or a full bat survey) direct into RODIS. If you need assistance please contact us or speak to a member of the RECORD team direct. All bat data is very important and we urgently need bat data for the Cheshire region.

I’d like to know more and have some specific questions who do I contact?

You can get in touch with the group via our Facebook page or via email to

Bat boxes Marking boxes Demonstration Putting up boxes

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