Taking you into the field to discover the world of bat conservation. BatChat is for anyone who loves bats or has an interest in the conservation of these fascinating mammals and the wider bat conservation community. Ecologist and BCT Trustee Steve Roe takes you on-location, talking to the experts as well as local heroes to bring you the latest from the world of bats. Series 5 is recorded and on it's way this autumn. Bats are magical but misunderstood mammals. At the Bat Conservation Trust we have a vision of a world rich in wildlife where bats and people thrive together.


April 26, 2023 29 mins

S4E45 - Bonus! This summer, in a major new exhibition, you can see how documenting the animal world has resulted in some of humankind’s most awe-inspiring art, science and sound recordings:
Animals: Art, Science and Sound is now open at the British Library
Part of the exhibition is dedicated to darkness and Steve got to have a preview of what's on show a couple of days before the exhibition opened. In this interview w...

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S4E44 - Bonus! The landmark nature documentary series Wild Isles, presented by Sir David Attenborough is currently transmitting on Sunday's at 7pm on BBC One. The fourth episode "Freshwater" features a fabulous bat sequence, recorded in Yorkshire of the phenomenon of autumn swarming. Back in November as the series had entered picture lock, Steve went along to the offices of Silverback films to interview assistant pro...

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S4E43 As series four comes to a close, Steve sits down with a titan of bat conservation. Dr Robert (Bob) Stebbings is one of the original bat workers in the UK and in this episode we hear about some of the major bat conservation work undertaken by Bob over the last half century.

Make sure you follow the show so you get notified of our two bonus episodes which will go out before the next series. The first of those will be ...

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S4E42 This week Steve joins Chris Damant in the grounds of Cliveden House on the banks of the River Thames. As fine dining takes place in the hotel above them, Chris and his team have set up traps to catch bats as they arrive to mate in the middle of the night. Underneath the south terrace are a number of rooms which mimic underground structures and its these that the bats travel to from far and wide to undertake an annual phenomen...

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February 1, 2023 37 mins

S4E41 Tony Hutson has been shouting about bats since the 1960's and has changed the bat conservation landscape in that time. He was a founding member of the bat groups of Britain, the precursor to the Bat Conservation Trust. His survey work on the lonely greater mouse-eared bat inspired a play and he's been on expedition to a remote cave with astronaut Neil Armstrong. Steve sits down with Tony in this episode to find out ...

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S4E40 In this interview recorded right at the end of August 2022, Steve is sat in a Norfolk woodland with Dr Charlotte Packman. We learn what potential impacts a new road in the area might have on the local bat populations and as Lotty explains it could have a significant impact on a nationally significant barbastelle bat population. Lotty works for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) as their Conservation Scientist and the research d...

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January 4, 2023 28 mins

S4E39 Rodrigo Medellín is Mexico's very own 'Bat Man'. Since he first kept vampire bats in his bathroom as a child, Rodrigo has dedicated his life to saving them. On the evening of the 2022 UK National Bat Conference, Steve sits down with Rodrigo and asks him what it felt like to succeed in taking the lesser long nosed bat off the endangered species list and what it felt like to watch the bat volcano of Calakmul for ...

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December 21, 2022 35 mins

S4E38 We return to London's Natural History Museum. This time however, we're in the bowels of the Diptera collection with flygirl herself, Dr Erica McAlister. If you think you recognise that name it's because Erica has graced the airwaves several times before including BBC Radio 4's The Infinite Monkey Cage and The Life Scientific. As you'll hear in this episode, Erica needs help from those of us who regula...

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December 7, 2022 24 mins

S4E37 Haddon Hall, the private residence of Lord and Lady Edward Manners,  is set in the Peak District in the valley of the River Wye. With nine hundred years of history, it is one of the oldest houses in the country and moreover one of the only houses in England to have remained in one family’s ownership for its entire existence. In the corner of the Hall, a large soprano pipistrelle bat roost resides within the roof of the Chapel...

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November 23, 2022 35 mins

S4E36 You join us in a secret location this week. Back in 2019, Scotty Dodd from the Sussex Bat Group made the most significant discovery in the history of the bat group...the first maternity roost of greater horseshoe bats in Sussex for one hundred years. Truly the find of the century! In a small dry valley surrounded by beech trees, Scotty & Steve are sat in front of the run-down stable block as Scotty describes to Steve how ...

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November 9, 2022 35 mins

S4E35 We're back with a brand new series! This week Steve joins a volunteer roost visitor, Chris Smith from Staffordshire Bat Group, on a roost visit requested by the Bat Conservation Trust. Chris discusses the value of the free service, how he got into volunteering for the visits and why he thinks it provides such a great positive outcome for bats (most of the time!). Hear how Chris undertakes the survey and provides advice t...

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October 19, 2022 3 mins

BatChat is returning on 9th November 2022 with series 4 and we want to hear from you!

Yes that's right; you guys, your voices, on this show. We want you to get in touch with your favourite bat experience. Maybe you discovered bats living in your house, you went on a bat walk for the first time or you saw bats somewhere you weren't expecting. Whether you’re new to bats or a seasoned bat lover, we want to hear all ...

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March 23, 2022 38 mins

S3E34 Hidden amongst the boughs of an Oak tree, Steve & his guests look down over the Knepp Castle Rewilding Estate; former farmland which has been allowed to return to nature by the owners Isabella Tree & Charlie Burrell. In this episode, as the sun sets the light turns golden. Below us red deer begin to bellow at the start of the rutting season, a green woodpecker calls out from amongst the tussocky grassland and bats beg...

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March 9, 2022 42 mins

S3E33 Discover the amazing work taking place in the dead of night each year by hoards of volunteers. This episode starts with Steve joining a team of these volunteers who are counting out a brown long-eared bat roost in the Derbyshire Dales at dusk as a nearby rookery gathers. We then sit down in Battersea Park, London with Philip Briggs, monitoring manager for the Bat Conservation Trust who collates all of this data sent in by vol...

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S3E32 Join Steve on the Welcombe Hills overlooking Stratford-upon-Avon as he sits down with the author of Bobby the brown long-eared bat, a children's book which follows the adventure of a baby brown long-eared bat who lives in the attic of a farmyard. Sitting in the autumn sunshine on a wooden bench watching the world go by, Angela reveals to Steve where the inspiration for Bobby came from, how she got into the world of bats,...

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S3E31 This week Steve is on the Tortworth Estate in south Gloucestershire with Jim Mullholland. They're joined by a voluntary team of arborists who are assisting Jim with his 5 year project to create natural tree features for Bechstein's and barbastelle bats. By using chainsaws to create different crevices and cavities within living trees, the team hope that they will be taken up by colonies of the two bat species which a...

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January 26, 2022 22 mins

S3E30 This week Steve is in Surrey at RHS Garden Wisley with Principal Entomologist Dr Andrew Salisbury. Andrew sits down with Steve in the brand new wildlife garden outside their new laboratory building to tell us about the work the RHS do and how we can improve our gardens for wildlife including bats. 
This week we also have a piece of nature writing by James Gilbert. James creates 'thumbnail' pieces and tweets them...

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January 12, 2022 25 mins

S3E29 This week Steve joins Martyn Cooke outside a holiday cottage in Staffordshire as they set up a matrix of bat detectors to record the sound of Brandt's bats emerging from their roost before flying into the adjacent woodland. Martyn explains why he is recording the calls, why he's travelled all the way from Surrey to record these bats and what the calls will be used for. Steve finds out how an injured serotine bat got...

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December 29, 2021 32 mins

S3E28 This week Steve is joined in a Derbyshire churchyard by Jon Russ who is an expert on bat echolocation calls. They discuss how Jon got into studying bat calls, his latest book on the subject and his passion for Nathusius’ pipistrelle bats. Jon's latest book "Bat Calls of Britain and Europe" is available from Pelagic Publishing and is aimed at anyone interested in bat echolocation. It contains introductory chapte...

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December 15, 2021 39 mins

S3E27 This week Steve is in the Lake District National Park with Ecologist and Chair of south Cumbria Bat Group Rich Flight. Rich published the findings of a study called "Bats with Altitude" in the journal British Island Bats in 2021 and he sits down with Steve to tell us about what inspired the project, what bats were found at over 500m on the mountainsides and how volunteers surveyed for bats in challenging upland cond...

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