Bat enthusiasts form group

A NEW group of bat enthusiasts has been established in Londonderry.

Following the success of its bat detecting event at the recent Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival, Derry City Council, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Bat Group, are establishing a North West Bat Group.

The group will raise awareness, provide training to use bat detecting equipment, implement measures to conserve and enhance the local bat population.

Those interested in getting involved in bat activities all year round, not just at Halloween, should come along to Creggan Country Park on Tuesday, November 16 at 7pm.

Christine Doherty, Derry City Council’s Biodiversity Officer, explained: “Bats are protected under EU and Northern Ireland legislation. They are classified as a Northern Ireland and local priority species.

“Therefore, Derry City Council, in partnership with Creggan Country Park have been working together to protect bats, by conducting bat surveys of local parks, to create a baseline of the local bat population.

“The NW Bat Group will allow beginners and experts from the city and region to get involved in bat detecting and conservation.”

Karen Healy, Northern Ireland Bat Group, stated: “We are looking forward to establishing a North West division of the Northern Ireland Bat Group, as it will help us to generate much needed bat records in the region.

“Also, it will provide an opportunity for people of all ages, to learn more about these amazing mammals!”

Nuala Griffiths, GRAHAM’s Community Liaison Officer added: “We are delighted to be involved with Derry City Council’s initiative, by creating bat boxes from recycled wood materials and will install them in Gransha Wood, Prehen Wood and Bay Road Park.”

The initial meeting will help to dispel common myths, discuss the conservation issues and explore what local action can be taken to help bats.

So ask your friends and neighbours where and when they have last seen bats and either bring these records to the meeting, or report them to your local biodiversity officer.

For more information about how you can play your part in conserving your local bat population contact Christine Doherty on 02871 365151 or email [email protected]