Lecale Conservation members conducted the County Down Bat Survey as part of the all- Island survey for many years.

In 2015 Dr Niamh Roche of Bat Conservation Ireland visited Downpatrick as part of her epic round-Ireland tour training volunteers on the all-Island Irish Bat Monitoring Scheme on new recording and echolocation technologies. Dr Roche conducted a training exercise in Downpatrick For Lecale Conservation volunteers assisted by Giada Giacomini her Erasmus student from Italy.

The scheme is up and running across the 32 Counties of Ireland and is being funded by the Natural Environment Fund of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the Republic.

The County Down survey was run annually by Lecale members Cadogan Enright and Finnebrogue Resident John Peacocke who organised volunteers to drive at night-time around rural areas and log the numbers of each bat species in the East and the South of the County from year to year. This allows Dr Roche and her team at Bat Conservation Ireland to monitor the welfare of bats Nationwide on behalf of the Department of the Environments in the North and Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the South.

Records from the bat surveys are passed on to the Ulster Museum and to the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford. The scheme has been running annually since 2003 and has revealed increasing trends in some of these elusive night time creatures, which may indicate that bats are responding to climate change.

Shown in picture is Cadogan Enright. Dr Niamh Roche, John Peacock and Giada Giacomini .

PLUS the results in graphical formats