Any bat that is found on the ground, or in an exposed area, especially during the day, is likely to need help.

If the bat is on the ground, on an outside wall, or in an exposed area where it may be vulnerable, it should be contained in a box.

You should avoid handling the bat, but if it is necessary WEAR GLOVES due to the small risk of a type of rabies.

You should call the Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228 for further advice. They currently have details for more than 400 volunteers who specialise in bat rehabilitation operating throughout the UK, and may be able to refer you to someone local to you for further advice. Together these contacts form the BCT UK Bat Care Network.

The Helpline is open during the day, evening, weekends and bank holidays between May and September each year when bats are most active. If you find a bat at a time when the Helpline is closed, contain the bat and refer to the following advice.

To contain a bat you will need:

A shoe box, with holes punched in the lid (or container of equivalent size)

A cloth or tea towel

A plastic bottle cap (milk bottle tops are perfect)

1. Contain the bat:

a) Like a spider, by placing a box on top of it and sliding a piece of card underneath.

b) Alternatively, cover the bat with a cloth/tea towel and carefully scoop it up and place it in the box. (Wear gloves, you should not handle the bat with bare hands.)

2. Put a tea towel or soft cloth in the box for the bat to hide in.

3. Put in a small, shallow container e.g. a plastic milk bottle top with a few drops of water (not enough for the bat to drown in). Make sure the water is topped up regularly.

4. Keep the bat indoors somewhere quiet and dark

5. Most importantly, call the Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228 for further advice.

Only a bat that has been confirmed as fit and healthy by a bat rehabilitator should be released, and never during the day.

Please don't assume the bat is healthy and leave it outside to fly away.

Between May and September you should be able to speak to someone on the Bat Conservation Helpline until 10.30pm, including at weekends and on bank holidays. Call 0345 1300 228 and follow the instructions. If the line is busy, please try the helpline again after a short while.

This Out of Hours service is manned by volunteers who receive full training and take emergency calls from home. Please be patient if you do need assistance but other options are your local vet or the RSPCA National Helpline 0300 1234 999.


For more information visit The Bat Conservation Trust at