FAMILIES taking part in a Bats in the Park walk around the town lake in Warminster heard different calls from five species.

Wiltshire Bat Group experts led a walk around the Warminster Town Park lake into the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Reserve at Smallbrook Meadows in search of the tiny furry mammals.

The event on Saturday June 1 was organised by Sustainable Warminster with help from the Wiltshire Bat Group and Pete Gulliver and Liz Eley from Frome Bat Care.

Sustainable Warminster spokeswoman Gemma Annan said: “It was a slow start for bat sightings but once it grew darker, the bats became more active.

“Everyone enjoyed listening for the bats using bat detectors, and loved watching them feed across the lake.

“The group heard pipistrelle, noctule, serotine, Daubentons and brown long-eared bats, all of which have different calls.”

The event began with a talk by Jenny Bennett at the Pavilion Cafe.

The event aimed to educate and inspire families to better protect local bat populations and to learn about their ecology and fascinating behaviours.

Afterwards, Mr Gulliver and Mrs Eley allowed families to get up close and personal to four rescued bats in a safe gazebo.

Gemma added: “The children loved learning about the different species. Seeing them close up, the children could to note the different size, shape and calls, something which is often missed when observing bats in the wild.”

Eleven families and ten volunteers from Sustainable Warminster made up the total of 48 people who thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

One mum said: “Thank you for educating my children about the wonderful world of bats! They came home and watched their own at show in the garden afterwards.”

Sustainable Warminster has organised bat surveys to be undertaken in the Smallbrook Meadow area this summer.

Bat ecologists will look for important roost sites as well as identifying foraging and migration routes.

Alongside this, the group will be hosting a bat box-making session in the Town Park for people to assemble their own free bat box.

These activities are funded by the Wiltshire Wildlife Community Fund and Warminster Area Board.