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Intrepid urban wildlife explorers join Bankside Urban Forest Bat Ramble

A nocturnal ramble around Bankside Urban Forest uncovered some of the more elusive animals in the neighbourood
Valerie Beirne
Bankside Urban Forest Manager
  • Bankside Urban Forest's wildlife explorers
    Bankside Urban Forest's wildlife explorers
  • Bat - drawn by Atyeo Thomas du Toit
    Bat - drawn by Atyeo Thomas du Toit
  • The group approach the site of Cross Bones Graveyard
    The group approach the site of Cross Bones Graveyard

On a balmy summer’s evening  Bankside Urban Forest and local firm the Ecology Consultancy co-hosted a bat walk around the Bankside area. Attracting 20 plucky urban wildlife explorers the walk was led by assistant ecologists Huw Bramhall and Rosie McLaughlin from the Ecology Consultancy.

Before the walk set off, Huw gave an overview of bat biology and ecology, and demonstrated how to detect bats using elctronic bat detectors.  By the end of Huw's talk participants learned that the most likely bats that would be spotted would be common pipestrelle or soprano pipestrelles.  Our youngest participant Ateyo Thomas du Toit was so inspired he drew his own bat after the walk - you can see his wonderful drawing in the slideshow of images above.

Sites visited on the walk included Copperfield Gardens, Mint Street Park, Red Cross Garden, Crossbones Cemetery, Little Dorritt Park and St George the Martyr Gardens. After a slow start, one common pipistrelle flying was spotted flying around a block of flats between Redcross Way and Ayres Street - a key green stepping stone between Mint Street Park and Red Cross Garden and Little Dorrit Court.

Huw said, “We had a really good turnout from local businesses and a great mix of local residents of all ages. Most of the people who attended were interested and keen to find bats. Hopefully we’ve inspired a few people to follow up on their interest and go out looking for bats again.”

A further walk is planned for August - so watch this space for further information.

For further information on the conservation of bats in the UK, and to find your local bat group,  visit the Bat Conservation Trust.

Jul 18 2013