Bats up close and batty crafts
August 13, 2013
CREATURES of the night will be making a daytime appearance in Teesdale next week when they pay a flying visit to Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Conservation Assistant Alistair Lockett, from the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, is taking a common pipistrelle bat and a noctule bat to the newly refurbished visitor centre next Monday (August 19) as part of a range of nature-inspired activities being held throughout the summer holidays.
Although bats are commonplace in the UK, people often only get fleeting glimpses of them when they emerge from their roosts at night.
But visitors to the centre will get the chance to see these enigmatic creatures up close when Alistair explains their lifestyle and dispels some of the myths that are often associated with the reclusive creatures.
Alistair, who rescues bats as a volunteer for Durham Bat Group, said: “Bats often get a hard time. People think of them as blood sucking creatures because of their associations with gruesome stories written centuries ago – but they couldn’t be more wrong. They are very shy creatures but not at all aggressive. And the bats found here in the UK definitely don’t suck blood.”
The common pipistrelle bat is one that has been recently rescued from Durham Cathedral. Alistair regularly goes to the cathedral to help juvenile bats which are in need of temporary care.
“There have been bats roosting at Durham Cathedral for years. But at this time of the year the young bats can become disorientated and need a bit of looking after. We take them home for a few days, make sure they are well fed and watered and we send them on their way again,” said Alistair.
Sadly, the noctule bat is one that cannot be released back in to the wild. It was rescued last year by a member of Durham Bat Group ago after being found impaled on a barbed wire fence.
As well as being able to see the bats, visitors to the centre, which is run by the North Pennines AONB Partnership, will be able to take part in a day of batty crafts – from making bat food chains to batty finger puppets.
The event is free and will run at the centre from 10am until 4pm on Monday, August 19. For further information visit www.northpennines.org.uk or call 01833 622145. To help out with Durham Bat Group, or if you are concerned about a bat’s welfare, contact 0845 1300 228.
Released: 15 August 2013