Bat nights to dispel myths

ARE you interested in bats?

Would you like to find out more about these creatures of the night?

As part of the Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady Biodiversity Project three ‘Bat Nights’ has been organised to introduce people to these misunderstood flying mammals, and to dispel some of the old wives tales associated with them.

Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer for Coleraine, Ballymoney and Limavady Borough Councils explained: “Bats are shy and unobtrusive animals, seen only in the dim light at dusk.

“Their wings make them appear bigger than they really are and as they swoop down after insects, people may sometimes feel uneasy. The general public tend to know little about these creatures which can often lead to misconceptions.”

Dispelling a couple of the most common myths about bats, Rachel added: “Bats are not blind, they actually have good eyesight and bats will not drink your blood - well at least the ones we get in Northern Ireland don’t! To find out more about our bats, please come along to one of our special evenings.”

Karen Healy, North West representative for the Northern Ireland Bat Group says “We are delighted to be involved with this biodiversity project.

“The bat event will allow beginners and experts to get involved in bat detecting and conservation. The talk and guided walk will help to dispel common myths, discuss the conservation issues and explore what local action can be taken to help bats.”

Bat detectors will be available during each evening which converts the high pitched calls of bats, used for echo location, to a lower frequency audible to humans.

“Each species calls at a particular range of frequencies, making various noises described as ‘smacks’, ‘slaps’, ‘clicks’ and ‘ticks’. By reading the frequency on the detector, and listening to their calls, the species of bat can be identified.”

Rachel added: “Bats are one of those creatures that everyone can identify but we often know very little. Events like ‘Bat Nights’ are an ideal opportunity for anyone that is even a little curious about bats, to come along and discover more about these mystifying animals.”

The event dates are: Thursday, September 15 at, 7.30pm, Visitors Centre, Roe Valley Country Park, Limavady; Thursday, September 29, 7.30pm, Ballymoney Town Hall, Ballymoney.

Please note that the Limavady evening is being held in partnership with NIEA and must be booked with Roe Valley Country Park, Telephone; (028) 7772 2074.

If you are interested in finding out more about bats, Rachel would be delighted to see you on the night. Please wear suitable clothing and a torch would be useful.

For further information on this event, or for details on Ballymoney, Coleraine & Limavady Biodiversity Project, please contact Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer. Tel: 028 7034 7272, or e-mail: [email protected] or log on to or