The Woodpecker Network


A Chichester Natural History Society volunteer project to monitor bats in the Chichester area,

co-ordinated by Ken and Linda Smith. Our bat monitoring project has been running all summer with fantastic results. We are looking for more volunteers to host the bat detector in their garden or other suitable location, for a couple of nights from now until October. This page shows the diary for the deployment of the automatic bat detector and the dates when it is available to be borrowed.

You would nornmally collect the kit from us, we live in Chichester/Lavant, (but we can bring it to you by arrangement).

The equipment is very simple to operate, all you do is put it out in your garden for 1 or 2 nights. It comprises a microphone sensitive to bat ultrasound, which is mounted on a 12ft plastic pole and connected to the detector box Bat kit 250 on the ground. As the bats fly over their sounds are recorded and stored on a memory card. The detector station is left out unattended overnight for one or two nights. When you return the equipment Ken will extract the data and transfer it to his computer for analysis by specialist software to reveal which bat species were detected in your garden.

More details in the Bat monitor set up instructions

Local event - learn more about bats on the Whyke Bat Walk, 8pm Friday September 7th. Join Mary Iden and Paul Stevens (from the Sussex Bat Group) for an evening learning about our local bats. Meet outside Muchos Nachos (Crown Inn, 140 Whyke Rd, Chichester PO19 8HT). The evening will start with a brief introductory talk about bats by Paul, who has some electronic bat detectors which will be distributed amongst the group. We will then set off on a short walk around our local area. The walk will end at Muchos Nachos. This is a free event, though we suggest a minimum donation of £5 per person to the Sussex Bat Group. Children of 12 years and older are welcome. No dogs! Maximum group size: 20 people. NB If the weather is likely to be very wet, the walk will be postponed. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to join the walk.

The bat project has revealed amazing results so far, 45 locations have been monitored far and the results are exceeding our expectations. At least two species of bats, common and soprano pippistrelles, have been detected at each place. At four locations eight or more species were indicated, but these will need to be confirmed by our bat experts.

We plan to place the bat detector overnight at as many suitable locations as possible in Chichester and surrounding area (within an approx 10 km radius of Chichester). This will give an insight into the species present in the area and their distribution. We will show the results on a map on this page once enough sightings have been confirmed.

If you are able to host the bat detector for a night or two in your garden or elsewhere please get in touch with the project co-ordinators, Ken and Linda Smith, contact details This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 01243 786079.

More details of the project see Chichester Natural Hisory Society website

Diary 2018

Throughout April - May- June - July - August the bat monitor has been hosted by Chi Nats members and other volunteers for 1, 2 or 3 nights in 45 differnt locations in the Chichester area including Lavant, East Wittering, Chidham, Middleton-on-sea, Bognor, Runcton, Slindon, Aldwick, Funtington, Siddlesham, West Wittering, Barnham, Yapton, Boxgrove, West Dean and several locations in the city itself.

1 - 3 September - West Wittering

3 - 4 September - Hunston

4 - 6 September - Almodington

7 September onwards - dates available

October - dates available


LSW TimPreston 256Lesser Spotted Woodpecker © Tim Preston

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