We recently welcomed local bat expert Haydn Brookes to Margam Park in Neath Port Talbot, to present the most recent addition to the Acer Ecology training calendar – Bat Survey Techniques.
The course covered the wide range of elements that are involved in undertaking professional bat surveys, including survey planning, health and safety, field survey techniques, field signs, architectural terms, assigning a level of roost potential, characterising different roost types and professional report writing.
The morning was spent within the impressive castle itself, which hosts roosts of all three pipistrelle species, brown long-eared bats, myotid sp., lesser horseshoes and even the rare greater horseshoe bat. Haydn and the Acer Ecology team brought essential equipment in so that the attendees could get hands on experience of their use, as well as learning how to distinguish between the droppings of different bat species.
After lunch we ventured out of the classroom to put what we had learnt in the morning into practice. Luckily the weather held out, and we made the most of the beautiful grounds of Margam Country park. The impressive buildings within the park gave us the perfect opportunity to learn architectural terms and identify typical bat access points and roost features – skills which are vital in professional bat surveys. We passed by the famous orangery, which supports a large maternity roost of soprano pipistrelle bats. The scattering of droppings across the wall beneath the roost was hard to miss!
The wealth of mature broadleaved trees within the park made it a perfect spot to study how trees can be used by bats. Haydn showed us how to identify bat roost features and gave some helpful tips on how to assess the likelihood of bats using a tree.
The course was great success and we can’t wait to welcome Haydn back for more courses in the future! Read an article about the bat survey course which has now taken place.
Whether you’re a student or graduate eager to gain more valuable skills for your CV for future employment, someone looking for a career change, or perhaps you just enjoy nature and are looking to improve your skills and meet like minded ecology lovers, we offer a wide range of training courses for everyone!
Throughout this year, Acer Ecology will be running a wide range of one day training courses for all ecology enthusiasts, from Bird Survey Techniques to Vegetative Plant Identification. Please see our website for more details, like us on facebook or follow us on Twitter.