Talk: Bats, Bunkers & Bunkermen

A special BrumBats members’ event – talk by Dr Henry Schofield!

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Nietoperek Bat Reserve in the west of Poland is the largest recorded bat hibernation site in the European Union. The 2013 census in January counted 37,000 hibernating bats, of at least 12 species including greater mouse-eared, barbastelle, Natterer’s, Daubenton’s and brown long-eared, to name just a few! The tunnel complex extends for 32 km and dates from the Second World War. Bats travel long distances to hibernate there, coming in from Germany and the Czech Republic as well as other areas of Poland.image
Winter bat censuses were first undertaken at the site in 1985, but due to a lack of suitably qualified bat biologists, the single census lasted from 3 to 4 days. To increase the accuracy and to reduce bat disturbance to a minimum, the “sunrise to sunset census” was established in 1999. For the first 6 years it was carried out every two years, but it became an annual census in 2005 when the system was designated as a Natura 2000 site. 70 volunteers from around Europe take part, the largest contingent is from the UK and volunteers apply to participate (see link below).
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Come along to the talk and find out about the census, the species, the challenges of the site and it’s history.

When:  Wednesday 6th March, 7.30pm (refreshments from 7pm – including homemade cakes!)
Where: Bournville College, Longbridge Lane, Longbridge, Birmingham, B31 2AJ
SatNav: B31 2TW
The venue is close to the M5, M42 and Longbridge train station with direct links to Birmingham New Street.
Cost: This event is FREE to BrumBats members (you can join or renew your membership on the night). There is a £3 charge for non-members. – this is just one of the many benefits of membership!

Book a place by emailing Lisa at

For more information about Nietoperek please see:
General introduction to the site at:
Nietoperek UK Steering Group (if you are interested in volunteering):
VWT Spring 2012 Newsletter with Nietoperek article: