AcroBATics once again at Riverside Park

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Are you interested in bats? Would you like to find out more about these creatures of the night? Why not come along to your local ‘Bat Night’ and find out about these misunderstood flying mammals, including revealing the truth about some of the ‘Old Wives Tales’ associated with them!

Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle Councils explained: “This is the third in the series of events as part of the Biodiversity Games, which is a recording project supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, ‘Your Heritage’ Programme in partnership with seven other Biodiversity Officers which aims to get people involved in helping their local biodiversity by ‘getting them recording’.”

“Bats are shy and unobtrusive animals, seen only in the dim light at dusk. Their wings make them look bigger than they really are, and as they swoop down after insects, people may sometimes feel uneasy. Just not knowing much about them leads to misconceptions.”

Dispelling a couple of the most common myths about bats, Rachel continued: “Bats are not blind – they actually have good eyesight; and, bats will not drink your blood, - well at least the ones we get in Northern Ireland don’t! To find out more about our bats, please come along on the evening.

“The bat event will allow beginners and experts to get involved in bat detecting, recording and conservation. The talk and guided walk will help to dispel common myths, discuss the conservation issues and explore what local action that can be taken to help bats.”

Mon 6th Aug, 7.30pm, Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills

Tues 7th Aug, 7.30pm, Roe Valley Hospital, LCDI, 24 Benevenagh Drive, Limavady

Wed 8th Aug, 7.30pm, Ballymoney Townhall, Ballymoney

Thurs 9th Aug, 7.30pm, Coleraine Townhall, Coleraine

There will be a few bat detectors available which convert the high pitched calls of the bats used for echo location, to a lower frequency audible to humans. Each species calls at a particular range of frequencies, making various noises described as ‘smacks’, ‘slaps’, ‘clicks’ and ‘ticks’. By reading the frequency on the detector, and listening to their calls, the species of bat can be identified.

Rachel added: “Bats are one of those creatures that probably everyone has seen, but about which we know very little. Events like this are an ideal opportunity for anyone that is even a little curious about bats, to come along and discover more about these mystifying animals.”

If you are interested in finding out more about bats, Rachel would be delighted to see you on the night. (Please wear suitable clothing and bring a torch.) For further information log onto www.ballymoney.gov.uk or www.biodiversityni.com or contact Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer tel; (028) 7034 7272 or email; Rachel.bain@ballymoney.gov.uk