Bat rescue at Seaton Wetlands

Council's Countryside volunteers help save distressed bat

A poorly Daubenton’s Bat, spotted at East Devon District Council's Seaton Wetlands nature reserve was, after several weeks of care, released on Good Friday.

On Sunday March 13 at 1.30pm, a bird watcher saw a bat flying around the pond, in the heart of Seaton Wetlands. The bat, which should have been hibernating, was clearly distressed. It had strong sun shining on it and was flying into things.

The bird watcher was concerned by the bat's behaviour and informed volunteers, John and Judith Richards, who were manning the Discovery Hut. The three sheltered the bat as best they could while trying to contact a local bat carer.

Countryside Team Leader, Steve Edmonds was contacted and he put them in touch with bat carer Bethan Withey who arrived to collect and transport the bat, which was treated to mealworm and water to regain its strength.

Seaton Wetlands volunteer, Judith said:

It was clear that the poor thing had been disturbed from hibernation. It could not find anything to eat and was very weak.

On March 16 Bethan called me and we tried to release the bat, which we christened Derek. However, it knew a good thing with all its free food and refused to leave. On Friday March 25, Good Friday, we tried to release the bat again. This time success, as we watched Derek join several Pipistrelles at his home in Seaton Wetlands, it certainly was a good Friday!

The moment of release was recorded on video and is on the East Devon Countryside Facebook page.

The East Devon District Council Countryside team work across a number of wildlife sites and with groups of volunteers. Managing them for the good of the public and wildlife for future generations.