BatFest: what it is, when it’s on, and how to take part

Learn more about this month-long event, being launched by Chris Packham and celebrating 30 years of the Bat Conservation Trust.

Common pipistrelle bat. © Hugh Clark/www.bats.org.uk

What is BatFest?

BatFest is a month-long celebration of bats run by the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), which had its inaugural event in 2020. It launches on International Bat Night and runs through September.

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What events are taking place for BatFest?

BatFest is being launched with a free live online event on Saturday 28 August where BCT will be hosting a virtual bat walk on Facebook.

“We’ve seen 30 years of superb achievements for bat conservation since our charity launched, and I am proud to be a long time supporter and president of the Bat Conservation Trust,” says Chris Packham, president of BCT. “I too am looking forward to BatFest and 30 Years Bats events – I will be joining celebrations and I hope to see many of you there!”

There are a range of other events during BatFest, including:

  • RHS Hilltop: 30 years of gardening for bats, in collaboration with The Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Batty Sketch-a-long
  • Bats and Moths evening, in collaboration with Butterfly Conservation
  • Batty Awards for Talent and Achievement Evening
Serotine bat. © Hugh Clark/www.bats.org.uk
Serotine bat. © Hugh Clark/www.bats.org.uk

How many bats are there in the world and in the UK?

There are more than 1,400 species of bat in the world, 18 of which are found in the UK (17 are known to be breeding):

    1. Alcathoe bat (Myotis alcathoe)
    2. Barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus)
    3. Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii)
    4. Brandt’s bat (Myotis brandtii)
    5. Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus)
    6. Common pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)
    7. Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii)
    8. Greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum)
    9. Grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus)
    10. Leisler’s bat (Nyctalus leisleri)
    11. Lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros)
    12. Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus nathusii)
    13. Natterer’s bat (Myotis nattereri)
    14. Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula)
    15. Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus)
    16. Soprano pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pygmaeus)
    17. Whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus)
    18. Greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis)

Earlier this summer, a citizen science project in West Sussex recorded the social calls of a Kuhl’s pipestrelle bat, a species that rarely visits the UK and usually found in the Mediterranean region.


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Main image: Common pipistrelle bat. © Hugh Clark/www.bats.org.uk