By Mel Godfrey on behalf of SLH
A shorter version of this article was originally written for the August edition of Heatons Post, https://www.heatonspost.co.uk/
There are a number of bat species flying in the night skies at the moment. Bats are nocturnal so they rely heavily on their ears, using echolocation to navigate and hunt in the dark. Echolocation is where bats “shout” as they fly, and the returning echoes give them information about what is ahead of them. They can even determine the shape and size of an insect and which way it is going. The bats’ shouts are so high in frequency that they are inaudible to humans. We therefore need a specialist bat monitor to tune into their call frequencies, converting them into sounds that we can hear and use to identify them.
The best time to see and detect bats is when they come out to hunt for flying insects at dusk. Why not join us on one of our free guided evening bat observation walks? The walks will be scheduled two to three times per week from 23 August to 28 September (weather dependent). Two guides will take out parties of up to six people and will use our bat detection monitor to identify what you are seeing.
We are still ironing out the final details but we are likely to meet in the Heaton Mersey Bowl, off Station Road, about twenty minutes before sunset. Choose sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing because we may move off established paths as we follow signals from the bats hunting above us. We still need to risk-assess the route to check accessibility issues so please keep an eye on this website for more information in mid-August. Under 16s will need to be accompanied by an adult. We expect the walks to last about an hour.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mel Godfrey on 07810053743.
To find more details and to book a place, go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-evening-bat-walks-tickets-165113309353
These walks are a collaboration between Sustainable Living in the Heatons and Heaton Mersey Village Conservation Group, designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our local bats and other fauna. Expertise in designing the walks comes from a local ecologist Jeff Clarke, with the help of a grant from Stockport Hydro Environmental Challenge Fund.