As part of the Group’s ongoing underground sites project, we teamed up with Staffordshire Bat Group on 20th September as the project includes the Staffordshire areas of the Peak District. The project is studying the mating behaviour of cave-dwelling bat species in the Peak District in which bats gather in large numbers at the entrances of underground sites. We surveyed the Bincliff Mines site in the Manifold Valley where there are aroud 10 adits on a steep wooded hillside. 13 volunteers met on a Friday evening and set up mist nets to catch the bats so we could identify them to species level and assess their breeding condition before releasing them. All of the sites are part of a long-term winter hibernation dataset but two of the three sites surveyed haven’t been surveyed for swarming behaviour before. 42 bats were caught and there was no movement of bats between sites. Only one bat was caught twice and this was at the same site.
The charts below show the breakdown of results. We are also very grateful to Daniel Hargreaves who has kindly loaned us his infrared beam camera trap system so that the bats could be photographed in flight as they were released. For more information about the project, download our latest summary report here.