Going Batty In Newry Mourne and Down

Are you interested in bats?

Would you like to find out more about these creatures of the night? Come along to the Councils two ‘Bat Nights’ being held this August in the Fairy Glen, Rostrevor and Castlewellan Forest Park.

[caption id="attachment_58281" align="alignleft" width="390"]Come aling and enjoy the bat evenings and find out more about these unobtrusive creatures. Come along and enjoy the bat evenings and find out more about these unobtrusive creatures that can be seen at dusk. [/caption]

The truth about these misunderstood flying mammals will be revealed along with the “old wives tales” and misconceptions that surround them.

Danielle Begley, Biodiversity Officer for Newry Mourne and Down District Council, said: “Bats are shy and unobtrusive animals and are seen only in the dim light at dusk. Their wings make them look bigger than they really are, and as they swoop down after insects, people may sometimes feel uneasy. Not knowing much about them leads to misconceptions.

‘These bat events will allow beginners and experts to get involved in bat detecting, recording and conservation. We hope to help to dispel common myths about bats, discuss the conservation issues and explore what local action can be taken to help bats,” Danielle said.

Robin Moffitt,  the Chairperson of the NI Bat Group, will be leading the guided walks each night. Dispelling a couple of the most common myths about bats, Robin said, “Bats are not blind… they actually have good eyesight. And, bats will not drink your blood – well at least the ones we get in Northern Ireland don’t!”

“To find out more I would be delighted if you joined us on one of the evenings. On Thursday 27 August we will be at the Fairy Glen, Rostrevor, meeting at the Cloughmore Road entrance at 8.30pm and on Saturday 29 August we will be in Castlewellan Forest Park, meeting in the lakeside car park at 8.30pm.”

Each night bat detectors will be available to use during the walks. These detectors convert the bats’ high pitched calls to a lower frequency audible to humans. Each species calls at a particular range of frequencies, making various noises described as ‘smacks’, ‘slaps’, ‘clicks’ and ‘ticks’. By reading the frequency on the detector, and listening to their calls, the species of bat can be identified.

If you intend to come along on the night it is advisable to wear suitable clothing and bring a torch. For further information please contact Danielle Begley, Biodiversity Officer tel; 0300 013 2233 or email: