Guide to BatFest, and how to take part

A new event in the calendar for bat lovers, BatFest is a month-long celebration of these winged mammals.

Greater horseshoe bat. © Gareth Jones/www.bats.org.uk

What is BatFest?

Organised by the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), BatFest runs throughout September and aims to celebrate bats in the UK.

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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).

Daubenton's bat. © Hugh Clark/www.bats.org
Daubenton’s bat. © Hugh Clark/www.bats.org

What events are taking place for BatFest?

There are a range of events taking place throughout the month. BatFest kicked off on International Bat Night with a free online event hosted by conservationist, TV presenter and president of BCT, Chris Packham, and BCT’s helpline manager Hannah van Hesteren.

“As president of the Bat Conservation Trust I am excited to be involved with BatFest,” says Packham, “a wonderful new festival in our wildlife calendar, a whole month of natural history wonder, brimming with opportunities to discover more about these extraordinary animals. I have always been a huge admirer of bats – here is a chance to find out why! No doubt BatFest will deservedly expand the bat fan club!”

Other events include:

  • National Bat Conference: two days of talks, workshops, panel discussions and networking online.
  • Bat Science Stage: A virtual poster session with networking to showcase some of the cutting edge science being undertaken by bat researchers, many at early stages of their career.
  • Spotlight: Shining a Spotlight on the diverse people involved with bats, both professionally and as a volunteer. Join for live Q&As to find out more about their bat work.
  • Global Bat Conservation Showcase – Wednesday 23 September: an online showcase of bats and conservation projects from across the world.
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Many of the events are free. A full list of events can be found on the BatFest website.