BCT runs a number of national, annual surveys to monitor the status of bats throughout the UK. These surveys form the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP). UES volunteers with around 3000 others to collect essential data on bat populations every year.
UES is currently completing field surveys of 3 sites in Cheshire. Each survey involves walking a triangular route in a randomly allocated 1km square on two evenings in July, to record noctule, serotine, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle bat activity. UES uses several pieces of equipment during a bat survey; bat boxes which can detect the echolocation calls of bats, and the Anabat system which detects bat echolocation calls and displays them visually on a PDA screen which makes recording of the bat calls and identification of the bat species much more accurate.
The NBMP is of great importance as UK bat populations have declined considerably during the past century due to building and development works affecting roosts, and the loss of feeding habitats and flightlines.