Research opportunities

Volunteer opportunity for a bat detective interested in historical buildings

We are looking for a volunteer to carry out research for our Bat Hibernacula Project. We are keen to identify both existing communal hibernation sites and places which might be suitable for conversion into hibernacula. The kind of features we are looking for include tunnels, lime kilns, ice houses, bunkers and air raid shelters, church crypts and other partially sunken buildings, such as disused boiler rooms and cellars. Essex must have many of these structures that bats are using now or could be using with small modifications.

The job of our volunteer would be to identify such features from various sources, including the internet, maps and archive photographs and documents, and draw up a list. This information would then be used to identify target sites, after which the process of contacting owners, arranging site visits and exploring possibilities could begin. We have a list of sources of information and can provide further guidance on where to look. If you think this might appeal to you, please contact Pat at

Pillbox_APEssex has hundreds of historical structures that host or could host hibernating bats.  Hardened field defences (pillboxes) are amongst the most numerous of these structures and are widely found across the county (image copyright: A Palmer)