Welcome to the Bernwood Forest Bechstein's Project Blog! Following the discovery of breeding Bechstein's in Buckinghamshire during a National Bat Conservation Trust survey, this subsequent project was conceived by Chris Damant, Jo Hodgkins and Toby Thorne to follow up and find out more. See below for updates on the blog and follow our Twitter feed @bechsteins.

All work is conducted under license from Natural England. All British Bats are protected by law.

The Bernwood Forest Bechstein's Project is a project of the North Bucks Bat Group.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First Year Summary

Well things have been a bit quiet on here of late. As it stands we have wrapped up fieldwork for this year; the bats are well into their autumn dispersal at the moment and with the weather getting colder the bat season is nearing a close - certainly for our surveys.

We are still working on analysis of the data, although this takes some time; particularly as we all have other commitments to attend to. However, to summarise the results from this year we have produced a brief outline of what we found.

A copy of this report can be viewed at the following link:


We would like to have spent slightly more time refining the document, but a couple of time pressures meant we felt it would be best to publish it today. The report was sent to a number of people relevant to some of the issues affected by the bats, I have also pasted a copy of the covering letter below the jump, so click to view that.

Bernwood Forest Bechstein’s Project
First Year Results Summary

Attached to this letter is a copy of the First Year Results Summary for the
Bernwood Bechstein’s Project which we feel may be of relevance to you.

The function of this document is to give a basic outline of the results from
some of the fieldwork conducted as part of the project this past season. We have not commented on the data in this report and further analysis is
required, particularly the radio tracking data, and we are continuing this
as other commitments allow. We would not normally plan to release such a report without further analysis as part of project such as this, however we recognise the relevance of our results to some ongoing concerns in the area and so have produced this summary at short notice in response to their
potential importance.

We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the level of work and
support that has been involved in gathering this information. A rough
estimate of volunteer field time comes to a total of 1,230hrs in the 2011
season. The project has involved twenty five volunteers, who are mentioned in the report acknowledgements, and to whom we are very grateful. We are also much indebted to the landowners who have allowed us access to their woodlands and other land, and whose reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and very encouraging to us.

The project team have also provided general land management advice to
landowners to assist with Higher Level Stewardship, woodland management and notably the creation of a new 60 acre semi-natural woodland at Waddesdon which will be a positive contribution to the areas landscape and biodiversity interest including bats.

While we recognise the limitations of rushing into producing and
distributing the report to all parties which we think it is sufficiently
relevant or interesting. We would welcome any feedback or comment, and please let us know if there is anyone you feel it would be of relevance to that we may have missed.

Best wishes,

Chris Damant, Jo Hodgkins and Toby Thorne

Bernwood Forest Bechstein’s Project


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