Quite a few bat books have become available in recent years. A possible reading list on bat topics (some of which mention the work of The Norfolk Bat Group) is:
English Nature produce a small booklet called "Focus on Bats", obtainable from your local office.
Your local museum or Wildlife Trust may well have a bat or mammal information sheet, or staff who can help.
A stamped self addressed envelope sent to your local Bat Group with some detail of specifically what you wish to know should work, alternatively, a question E-mailed to one of the addresses given could possibly give you an answer.
I have just found bats living in my house - what should I do?
Nothing - unless you are really worried or concerned that they might cause damage. They will probably only be inside the roof structure or cavity wall for a short time and will not chew wires or do any harm to the house structure.
For more detailed information about your bats check out the other bat pages on The Web, contact English Nature (the government body that covers the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which gives full legal protection to British bats), or make contact with your county Bat Group. (See other contacts).
I have just found an orphaned baby bat in my garden - what should I do?
Firstly, determine if it is a baby - our commonest bat called the Pipistrelle is very small as an adult (about the size of an average adult human thumb). Baby bats will only be found in late June through to mid-August. By far the best person to raise a baby bat is its mum! So do try to find the entrance to the roost, either in your own house, an adjacent house or perhaps a tree hole, and return the bat adjacent to the nursery entrance, just before dusk. Any immediate first aid should be confined to a drink of clean water .
I have just found an injured bat - what is the best thing to do?
If it is an injured bat with serious wing or body injuries, say from hitting a car or having been mauled by a cat, then realistically, it is unlikely to survive for long. Do not allow it to attempt to bite you, but place it in a shoe box with crumpled kitchen roll or similar. Your local veterinary surgeon should be able to help, while the R.S.P.C.A. will also usually help. Some county Bat Groups are in a position to take and care for sick or injured bats, others may not.
I am about to start work on / repair / convert / demolish a house / garage / barn which has been used by bats. How do I stand legally?
It is illegal to intentionally kill any bat or interfere with, or destroy, any known bat roost in Britain. If you are in this position, you are required to contact English Nature and seek their advice without delay (for Norfolk & Suffolk phone 01603-620558 during normal office hours and ask for the Species Protection Officer). It is normal for an English Nature officer, or a voluntary "Bat Warden" from the local bat group, to visit the site to see the bats and determine which species are present and what the usage of the building is. The advice offered is free, and certainly in East Anglia is invariably friendly, practical and very helpful! Bat conservation never seeks to prevent the legitimate repair and maintenance of buildings.
I would like to make a bat box. How should I go about this?
Ready-made bat boxes are available by mail-order from several firms including;
Jacobi Jane at
Jacobi Jayne & Company
Tel; 01227 860388.
Fax; 01227 860521
and locally in East Anglia:
There is an excellent booklet called "Bat Boxes - A guide to their History, Function, Construction and Use in the Conservation of Bats" 3rd edition 1991. by R. E. Stebbings and S. T. Walsh. which explores the subject in detail.