A grant for almost £50,000 will enable bat enthusiasts to conduct in-depth surveys into the behaviour of the little flying creatures.
Members of North Bucks Bat Group met with Aylesbury Vale District Council on Monday to launch their bat conservation project, financed by the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Matt Dodds, a biodiversity officer with the council and a trainer with NBBG, said: “The grant is fantastic.
It will enable us to purchase equipment and facilitate training for volunteers within the NBBG. There are a lot of in-depth surveys that can be done with the right equipment, but we couldn’t have afforded to do them without this grant.
“It will allow our group to massively extend our knowledge of bats and how they use the landscape and woods in Aylesbury Vale.”
Bats are now a European protected species but have not always been as popular as they are now. Before 1991 they were considered to be vermin with pest controllers being brought in to deal with them. As a result their numbers have declined dramatically and they are now one of our rarest mammals.
Mr Dodds said: “People once feared bats because they were considered to be creatures of the night, but it was a cultural misunderstanding. They don’t damage anything.
“They are totally benign and are part of our bio-diversity. They eat moths, flies, spiders and lots of insects which bite people.”
Keith Parnell, chaiman of NBBG, said: “This is the most exciting project we’ve undertaken to date, as so little is know about where bats roost and forage in woodlands.
“Our volunteers are going to make a real difference to the future survival of these rare species by investigating the use of artificial and natural roosts to find out how to improve woodlands for bats and create more places for them to shelter and breed.”