Totally Batty

Nocturnal bat discovery walk at Springhill

Did you know bats can live up to 30 years? Could you identify a bat’s tragus? Whatever your level of knowledge about bats, the National Trust would like to welcome you on a guided tour which will provide a privileged peek into their private world.

Springhill, the National Trust’s charming seventeenth century mansion near Moneymore, is the attractive setting for the evening stroll on Friday, May 20, 2005. The beautiful gardens, familiar in the day, will be transformed into an environment dominated by those creatures which only come out at night. Participants will be guided by expert ‘Bat Man’ Phil Richardson through a mysterious nocturnal realm.

Springhill is a favourite roosting ground for bats and it is hoped many will be in evidence during the event. Starting with a slide show, Richardson will amaze visitors with a wealth of fascinating facts about the many species of bats inhabiting Springhill. People will then venture outside with bat detectors, which will allow those taking part to hear bats communicating using high frequency sounds normally beyond the range of the human ear.

The bat walk will take place on May 20, 2005, at 8.30pm. Admission is £4 for adults and £2 for children (National Trust members, adult £2, children £1). Warm weatherproof clothing, walking shoes and a torch are advisable.

Note: A bat tragus is literally a fleshy projection which covers the entrance of the ear. Because each species of bat has a different shaped tragus, this is a good way to tell them apart.

Photograph: ‘Bat Man’ Phil Richardson and pipistrelle.