The Derbyshire Bat Conservation Group is a registered charity (registration number 1139339) working in partnership with the Bat Conservation Trust and in close contact with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. We are a voluntary organisation and and this year in 2024 we are celebrating the group's 40th birthday!

As set out in our constitution, the group aims to advance the protection and conservation of bats, their roosts, feeding areas, hibernacula and surrounding environment in Derbyshire and to educate the public and the group’s members in all matters related to bats.

Members of the group give advice on bat related issues and those who have a Natural England licence can examine roosts and any bats which are present. Membership extends across the whole county and visits can be arranged as required.

The group also records and maps the distribution of bats and operates a number of bat box schemes. Our records database represents a unique resource for bats in Derbyshire and we provide data to conservation bodies and ecological consultants on a regular basis.

Members of the group are happy to visit clubs and societies to give talks about bats and to lead walks. Please contact us for more information and/or to arrange an event.


Get Involved

We undertake a whole range of activities to help conserve the bats of Derbyshire. These include:

  • Training our members in a range of survey techniques

  • Monitoring bat box schemes

  • Carrying out field surveys using acoustic survey methods

  • Undertaking winter hibernation surveys of caves and other underground structures

  • Education through walks and talks to promote awareness of bats and their ecology

  • Caring for injured bats

  • Maintaining a database of biological records


Becoming a member entitles you to attend any of the events we organise including the above activities, all members receive access to our members-only area of our website with additional training materials and general information about bats and all members receive event notifications. Our members come from all walks of life and we encourage you to join us and come along to an event!

Our timeline

Take a look at some of the key milestones reached in our 40 year history!

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1984 - Group is Founded

On Thursday 15th March 1984, the inaugural meeting of the Derbyshire Bat Group was held at the White Hart in Duffield. The minutes from that meeting state that it was felt very important that the Group should collect bat records for the whole county and that training was seen as an important element.

First Hibernation Survey

1984 - First Hibernation Survey

In December 1984 members of the Group surveyed the cellars of Elvaston Castle searching for hibernating bats. Roy Branson, a founding member comments that no bats were found. Hibernation surveys would not be something that the Group undertook regularly until the early 2000's.

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1994 - Separation from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

In the early years the Group had been affiliated to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT) but in 1994 we became an entirely separate body which allowed us to grow and develop as we wished. We still work closely with our friends at DWT and regularly run training events for them at their offices in Middleton for their members.

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2004 - Nathusius' pipistrelle recorded for the first time

A new species of bat for the county, Nathusius' pipistrelle is recorded for the first time in Long Eaton. The bat was injured by a cat and was nursed back to health by a member of the bat care network before being sucessfully released. Over the next 14 years the number of records will increase from this one to 43 records.

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2006 - Filmed for BBC Countryfile

As the BBC's Countryfile programme spent a year at Calke Abbey, the Group was filmed checking the bat boxes for the series, the Group's second TV appearance.

Elvaston box check

2010 - We become a Registered Charity!

Twenty-six years after forming, the Group becomes a registered charity through the Charity Commission for England and Wales (number 1139339) as the need to become more accountable and professional grows.

That same year we also become a Partner Bat Group with the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), in the first year they are formed. The Partnership forms a closer relationship with BCT, working together in their visions for bat conservation.

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2017 - We host a UK first

The UK's first Autumn Swarming Conference takes place at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire. The Group co-organises the three-day event with the Vincent Wildlife Trust and the Bat Conservation Trust with speakers from Canada, Europe and the UK attending. Fieldwork takes place on the Saturday evening with all 100 delegates participating in the evening survey.



Steve Roe


Steve first joined the bat group when he was 12 and manages our Twitter account, updates our website & is the Partnership Group contact acting as a go-between the Bat Conservation Trust and ourselves.

Alan Wragg

Alan Wragg


Alan stepped down as chair after 10 years in 2015 and is concentrating on making sure our bat box schemes and National Bat Monitoring Programme surveys continue to run.

Suzie Hill

Suzie Hill

Secretary & Membership Secretary

Suzie is both our general secretary & membership secretary and takes the minutes at each of our meetings and organises our agendas. She is currently getting to grips with a new time-expansion bat detector so is often out and about!

Andrew Shervill

Andrew Shervill


Andy manages our financial accounts and is also the contact between ourselves and the Charity Commission and sends them our required document updates at the end of the year.

Sarah Tucker

Sarah Tucker

Bat Care Co-ordinator

Sarah keeps our network of bat carers running smoothly. She operates our phone line so that when members of the public find a grounded or injured bat, she can put them in touch with our nearest bat carer or ambulance driver.

Alan Roe

Alan Roe

Joint County Recorder.

Alan maintains and inputs new records into our database which is then used by Shirley to search for records. Alan is currently working to help us understand what is in our database by producing GIS maps.

Shirley Cross

Shirley Cross

Joint County Recorder.

Shirley joined the committee in 2015 and searches our database when we receive requests for bat data from ecological consultancies which provides a large source of our income, helping us enable to continue to conserve Derbyshire’s bats.

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Marie Athorn

Events Secretary

When you receive event reminders via email, this is who they come from! Marie organises when each of our events takes place and liases with the various event leaders to ensure that there is a variety of upcoming events.

Tom Bennett

Tom Bennett

Newsletter Editor

Tom compiles and edits the Group's Newsletter which goes out to all our members. If you have any articles, however short, please get in touch with Tom who would love to hear from you! He also leads the Group's involvement in the National Nathusius' pipistrelle project which is contributing to understanding the ecology of this little-known species.

Helen Towle

Helen Towle


Helen recently stepped down as bat care officer and places her vote on any committee decisions at our monthly meetings.

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Jill Leheup


Jill joined the committee in 2018 and places her vote on any committee business required. Jill works with the local Wildlife Watch Groups and runs bat detector evenings for them at locations such as Hardwick Hall. She recently organised the member's event at Thornbridge Hall which was a great event and saw lots of new members attending a bat group event.

trustee fallback

Martyn Jackson


Martyn is looking forward to updating our digital systems and places his vote on any committee business required.

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