The group maintains the county bat records database. It currently holds nearly 13000 individual records including details of over 1100 roost sites. The earliest record we have dates back to 1954, a noctule bat seen in Ashbourne by the renowned Derbyshire naturalist Kathleen Hollick, but the majority have been added since the formation of the group in 1984.

Geographically coverage is very uneven, with over 50% of the 1km squares in the county still having no bat records, so there is plenty of potential for citizen scientists to add to our knowledge of these fascinating mammals. We welcome records from all observers including from commercial surveys undertaken in Derbyshire, in order to improve our understanding of species’ distribution and help us protect bats and their habitats. Members are encouraged to borrow one of the group’s detectors which can be used in a fixed location or for transects.

In addition to providing a baseline against which changes in distribution can be mapped, the database is an important conservation resource, enabling roosts, hibernacula, mating sites and significant foraging areas to be identified and protected during development planning.

Our bats

Seventeen breeding species of bat are present in Britain and twelve of these have been found in Derbyshire.

whiskered v2

Whiskered bat

Records for this species are fairly frequent each year and well distributed in Derbyshire. A small number of summer roosts are known. They are the species most commonly found in underground sites during winter hibernation surveys. A small bat, frequently found foraging along wooded watercourses and woodland rides, feeding mainly on small moths and flies eaten on the wing.

Brandts bats Steven Roe

Brandt’s bat

Not as widespread as whiskered. Records of Brandt’s are steady each year with a very small number of summer roosts known. A small bat, often found hibernating in underground sites, where they stay longer than whiskered bats; they are numerous at underground autumn swarming sites. Considered to be more dependent on woodlands than whiskered bat but are found foraging along tall hedgerows and tree-lines.

Daubentons Alan Roe

Daubenton’s bat

Fairly common and widespread in the county with the majority of records along waterways. There are recorded summer and winter roosts around the county including a previously significant site in mid-Derbyshire. A medium-sized bat easily observed foraging just a few centimeters above waterbodies and watercourses preying on aquatic larval stages of invertebrates such as midges and caddis flies.

Natterers copyright Steven Roe

Natterer’s bat

Widespread but rather locally distributed with clusters of records from certain areas. There are recorded summer and winter roosts around the county. A medium-sized bat and a woodland specialist although they can be seen foraging above water up to a meter above the water’s surface, making them easy to confuse with Daubenton’s bat.

Leislers Alan Roe

Leisler’s bat

Distribution within the county is localised but widespread with records increasing in recent years, including the discovery of a large roost at Chatsworth in the Peak District. Slightly smaller than noctule bat with less-steep dives when foraging. A large and loud bat with a distinctive feeding buzz which sounds like a ball-bearing being dropped onto a table.

noctule Alan Roe

Noctule bat

Widespread but thinly distributed with only a few records from the north-west of the county. Several roosts are known and it is regularly encountered in parkland. Often found in many of the group’s bat box schemes, including a regular maternity colony at a site in mid-Derbyshire. A large bat easily observed foraging high above parkland in the early evening with steep dives to catch prey items.

serotine Steven Roe

Serotine bat

Very rare. Have been recorded annually since 2000 at sites in the south of the county feeding on cockchafer beetles during late May and early June. A roost site was confirmed just north of Derby city in 2014, fourteen years after the first county record, now destroyed. Further work is now taking place to establish other sites used by this bat. A large bat with rapid echolocation calls.

common pipistrelle Alan Roe

Common pipistrelle bat

Widespread and common across the county. The most frequently encountered bat species together with soprano pipistrelles. Several summer roosts known. A small bat with a distinctive foraging flight and the species most likely to be seen foraging over urban and suburban gardens.

soprano pipistrelles

Soprano pipistrelle bat

Widespread and fairly common across the county. Soprano’s are more often encountered in bat boxes than common pipistrelles in Derbyshire. This may be down to the majority of bat box schemes in Derbyshire being located close to water bodies. Several summer roosts known including significant large roosts. A small bat with a distinctive foraging flight.

PHOTO 2018 05 19 13 54 46

Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat

Very rare. Several records in the Trent valley and a few elsewhere including from the north of the county. A migrant species present in Derbyshire in the summer with several records. There is growing evidence of a resident population within the county at this time, despite there being no known roost sites. Easy to detect at 38kHz, this is a small riparian species found at larger bodies of water and along our main waterways. Have a look at our latest news page to see more about the work we are doing with this species.

Brown long eared Steven Roe copy

Brown long-eared bat

Widespread and frequent, probably the third most common species within the county. Several summer roosts are known (including a nationally important site which is believed to be the largest known roost in the UK and is certainly the largest that is counted for the National Bat Monitoring programme with nearly 300 individuals) and it is regularly found on winter hibernation surveys in underground structures such as tunnels, caves and disused mines. Infrequently encountered during detector surveys due to the quiet nature of the calls. This medium-sized bat is more often seen than heard.

Barbastelle AlanRoe

Barbastelle bat

Extremely rare. Known from three locations in north-east Derbyshire close to the border with Nottinghamshire following a confirmed recording from a bat detector in 2015 and subsequent survey work, in the north-west of the county following collaborative work with the Moors for the Future Partnership and in the south of the county in a member's back garden! Work is being done by the group to further study this species and understand its distribution. It is considered to be a woodland specialist although males often move out of woodlands into arable areas in the autumn. A small bat, its flight is very rapid as it commutes along woodland rides.

icon login
Member Login