Mad about bats or just plain curious?
There are a fair number of bat species in the night skies in Heaton Mersey at the moment going about their business. Bats are nocturnal and they rely heavily on their ears and the use of echolocation to navigate and hunt in the dark. Echolocation is when bats ‘shout’ as they fly and the returning echoes give them detailed information on what is ahead of them. This means they can even tell the shape and size of an insect and which direction it is flying. Their shouts are so high in frequency they are inaudible to us humans so we have to use a specialist bat monitor to tune into their call frequencies, converting these into sounds that we can hear and use to identify them.
The best time to see and detect bats is as they come out to hunt for insects at dusk. Our free guided evening bat observation walks are available two or three times a week from 23 Aug to 28 September. They are weather dependent. Two guides will take out small parties of up to six people and we will use the bat detection monitor to identify what you are seeing.
Final details are being determined but we are likely to meet in the Heaton Mersey Bowl, off Station Road or the Heaton Mersey Common off Mersey Road, about twenty minutes before sunset. Good footwear and warm clothing will be required as befits the conditions as we may move off established paths as we follow signals from the hunting bats above us. We are yet to risk assess the route for accessibility issues so please watch this site for more information in mid-August. If you have young family members who are interested then they will need to be accompanied if under 16 years. The walk should take about an hour.
Any questions can be answered by calling Jo or Mel Godfrey on 07708 428096 or 0781 005 3743 respectively.
To find more details and book a book a place, please go to:
This is a collaboration between Heaton Mersey Village Conservation Group and Sustainable Living in the Heatons to increase awareness and appreciation of our local bats and other fauna. Expertise in designing the walks comes from a local ecologist Jeff Clarke, with the help of a grant from Stockport Hydro Environmental Challenge Fund.