AcroBATics – come along to your local bat area

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FANCY some acroBATics? Are you interested in creatures of the night…bats?

The local Biodiversity officer for Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady amd Moyle Councils is holding a series of ‘Bat Nights’ for anyone to find out about these misunderstood flying mammals. As part of the evening, there will be some revelations to unveil the truth on some of the ‘Old Wives Tales’ associated with them.

Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer explained: “This is the third in the series of events as part of the Biodiversity Games, which is a recording project supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. ‘Your Heritage’ Programme in partnership with seven other Biodiversity Officers, aims to get people involved in supporting local biodiversity by ‘getting them recording’”.

Rachel continued: “Bats are shy and unobtrusive animals, 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 bats, leads to misconceptions.”

Dispelling a couple of the most common myths about bats, Rachel says: “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 about our bats, please come along to any of the evenings in August. The bat event will allow beginners and experts to get involved in bat detecting, recording and conservation. The talk and guided walk will help to dispel common myths, discuss the conservation issues and explore what local action that can be taken to help bats.”

Why not come along to your local AcroBATic night: Monday 6th at 7.30pm in Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills; Tuesday 7th at 7.30pm in Roe Valley Hospital, LCDI, 24 Benevenagh Drive, Limavady; Wednesday 8th at 7.30pm in Ballymoney Townhall, Ballymoney; Thursday 9th at 7.30pm in Coleraine Town Hall, Coleraine.

There will be a few bat detectors available which convert the high pitched calls of the bats used for echo location, 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.

Rachel will be delighted to welcome everyone to find out more about bats, everyone is welcome! Please to wear suitable clothing and bring a torch! For further information log onto www.colerainebc.gov.uk or www.biodiversityni.com. Alternatively, contact Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer tel; (028) 7034 7272 or email; Rachel.bain@colerainebc.gov.uk