On the last weekend in January eight members of Derbyshire and Staffordshire bat groups teamed up to undertake a joint hibernation survey of four caves owned by the National Trust in the White Peak area of the Peak District National Park. This annual survey is part of the National Bat Monitoring Programme to help inform long-term data trends of how bat populations across the UK are faring.
This year we had record numbers of bats in one cave despite the warm winter weather. The highest number previously recorded was 10 bats (which given the extensive system is good in Derbyshire) and this year we recorded 15. It has been found through various studies that for every one bat you find during a hibernation survey, there are another nine bats that you don't find, so this cave is likely very important for the local population.