Found A Grounded Bat?
Bat Rescue and Care
If you find an injured or grounded bat, please follow these instructions:
1) Contain the bat using these instructions from the Bat Conservation Trust (also summarised below)
2) Contact your nearest bat rescuer. Contact details can be found in the list below
3) If contact cannot be made with a rescuer, please phone the BCT helpline on 0345 1300 228.
Bat Rescue and Care
Bicester: 07786 162056
Oxford: 07738 020370
Oxford: 07878 265076
Banbury: 07811 333643
Wantage/VWH: 01235 764832
0345 1300 228
Bats are protected by law but that doesn’t stop you from helping an injured bat. If you find a bat that’s out in the day, is grounded or injured in any way it needs immediate help. Please don’t assume that the bat will be OK and fly away later.
To keep the bat safe use a cloth or tea towel to gently scoop it up, or pick it up in a gloved hand, or cover it with a box and slide a piece of card underneath it.
Put the bat in a secure shoe box or similar, with tiny air holes in the lid. Bats, even injured ones, are escape artists so make sure your box is sturdy, has no holes of any significant size and has a snug-fitting lid.
Put a soft cloth or some scrunched up kitchen roll in the box so that the bat has something to hide in. Water is very important – the bat may have been down for some time and may be dehydrated. Put a little water in a small shallow container such as the plastic lid of a milk bottle and add that to the box. Weakened bats have been known to drown in even a shallow depth of water so please take care to offer a little at a time and check occasionally to see if it needs topping up.
Leave the box in a cool, quiet place and call your local volunteer batworkers [see box above for phone numbers] - or the national Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228. They will advise and/or arrange for a local volunteer to come and assess/collect the bat.
If the bat is lively and appears uninjured it may be possible to release it at dusk. A bat cannot fly until the body temperature is about the same as that of humans so if it is not very active warm it for a couple of minutes in cupped hands (remember to wear gloves) before attempting release. Release it by opening the hands and letting the bat fly off when it feels ready, or tilt the box so that the bat can fly directly from it. NEVER throw the bat into the air or drop it from a height. If the bat is not inclined to fly, put it back into the box and contact help as above.
Baby bats: adult British bats are small and can be confused with baby bats (born around June-July) which sometimes become separated from their mothers. Baby bats have no fur or very short fur and are about the size of a bumble bee – see photo. They should be referred to the local bat group immediately and kept warm in the meantime.
For any bat it is essential to make a note of the address or area where the bat is found, ideally with a grid reference. If the bat recovers the Bat Group will release it where it was found so that it can return to its familiar roosting sites and feeding grounds and link up with its colony again. In addition, records of grounded bats are very valuable to the Bat Group in building up a picture of the distribution of the various species within the county – even finding a dead bat can help in this respect so do please get in touch.