Volunteering

There are lots of ways to volunteer for BrumBats, from caring for injured and sick bats to activity surveys and advanced survey methods. Please be aware that in order to be covered by our activities insurance, you MUST BE A PAID UP MEMBER OF BRUMBATS TO VOLUNTEER. Membership is only £6 a year, and you get access to loads of training and events as part of your membership.

Bat Care
Looking after sick, injured, grounded or orphaned bats is a very difficult but rewarding way to volunteer. You will need to have an up-to-date rabies vaccination to get involved with bat care. If you’re interested, please email Chris with some info on your level of experience and why you’d like to do bat care.

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Stalls, Walks and Events
You don’t need any special skills or experience to help out at bat walks, stalls and events (you just need lots of enthusiasm!). It’s a great way to learn about bat ecology if you’re a beginner, and if you’re more experienced, it’s a great way to pass on your knowledge and skills to others. For more info, contact info@brumbats.org.uk.

The Batlas Project
If you fancy being part of something big, a great way to volunteer is to get involved with our Batlas Project – a systematic survey of every 2km square in our county! You don’t need any experience to get involved. Check out the project pages and if you’re interested, contact Chris. We are currently looking for Batlas Project organisers, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to organise volunteers, get in touch!

Surveys
Here at BrumBats we do all kinds of surveys. These include:

  • activity and emergence surveys (using bat detectors), for which you don’t need any experience – we’ll show you the ropes
  • bat box checks, for which you’ll need a current rabies vaccination – click here for info
  • endoscope surveys, for which you’ll need to have completed a training course (either ours or someone else’s!) – check out the BrumBats FaceBook page for upcoming training courses.

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Most of our surveys are organised through our Volunteers’ Facebook Group. If you’re interested in taking part, you’ll need to request to join the group, filling in some info about what your level of experience is and why you want to volunteer. This will be reviewed and you’ll then be added to the group. To come along to a survey, you just need to put that you are attending. Please be aware:

  • spaces on surveys are limited, so do NOT put that you are attending unless you are sure that you can come (and that you have the vaccination, training, etc required)
  • if you find that you cannot attend, you MUST remove yourself from the attendance list in good time to allow others to take your place. If you do not remove yourself, we will assume that you are coming and will be waiting for you on site, so this is very important.

Advanced Surveys: The Urban Bat Project
Advanced bat surveys involve catching, identifying and releasing bats. (Take a look at www.urbanbatproject.co.uk to see what we’ve been up to.

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Because bat welfare is our highest priority, here at BrumBats we’ve got a progression system for how volunteering for us works. It means that, while you may want to get stuck into advanced surveys straight away, we want you to have some experience of bat ecology, basic handling and identification, and an awareness of the legislation protecting bats (what constitutes disturbance, how licensing works, that kind of thing) before you learn advanced skills. If you are an experienced bat handler and would like to register your interest to take part in next summer’s advanced surveys, email Morgan with info on your level of experience and why you’d like to take part.

Bat Licence Training
If you are seeking a bat survey class licence for professional interests, please be aware that BrumBats would expect several years of dedicated volunteering in order to provide you with a reference, and that in order to attain that reference you must demonstrate knowledge of licensing, legislation, ecology, welfare, identification, survey methods and more. Working towards a licence is no small feat, and you should be aware that it is not something that you can accomplish in one or two seasons. We currently have a number of trainees working towards their licences, and so there is a waiting list. However, you can still volunteer, track your CPD hours and develop skills. Please speak to Morgan at a survey if licence training is something you are interested in.

If you are seeking a VBRV licence, we only have one trainer within our bat group, and there is often a waiting list for VBRV trainees. Please speak to Chris at an event if VBRV licence training is something you are interested in.

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