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news > Sussex Bat Appeal – Fantastic News, but we still need your help!

2nd September 2021

Please help us raise £350,000 to protect Britain’s most easterly breeding colony of greater horseshoe bats… 

Sussex Bat Appeal Latest (27 April 2022) More Fantastic News!

Thanks to the generosity of supporters and donors alike, we are now more than a quarter of the way to the £150K needed to restore and enhance the derelict stable into a safe and suitable maternity roost for greater horseshoe bats. Thank You!

And while we can’t start building works until the autumn when the bats will have vacated the building, we have started to clear the grounds in preparation for when work on the stable block can begin.

Thank you to a hardworking group of volunteers from Sussex Bat Group and from Surrey Bat Group who spent two days dismantling rotten sheds and clearing vegetation.

These are exciting times, but there’s still a long way to go to help the greater horseshoe bat return to SE England. Find out more about the plans for this new roost here.

You can donate here or by sending a cheque, payable to Vincent Wildlife Trust, to:

Sussex Bat Appeal, 3-4 Bronsil Courtyard  Eastnor, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1EP. 

We are very grateful to those of you who have already contributed. Thank you so much.

 

Sussex Bat Appeal Latest (1 March 2022)  Fantastic News!

Working with Sussex Bat Group, and thanks to the generosity of our wonderful donors and supporters, and a small loan, we have been able to raise the £200K needed to purchase this vital new greater horseshoe bat roost in West Sussex.

It may be a derelict building right now… but it represents one more step towards restoring greater horseshoe bats to part of their former range in the southeast of England. It also continues the legacy of VWT’s founder, the Right Honourable Vincent Weir, of acquiring and restoring buildings as safe roosts for some of Britain’s rarest bats.

But there is still much to do. First, we need to make sure that this derelict building is weatherproof and to secure it from disturbance so that it becomes a safe place for roosting. And then we need to install features that make it an optimal place for raising pups — all of which means that we are continuing to raise funds with Sussex Bat Group for our Sussex Bat Appeal.

We are already on our way to £150K! We are so grateful to individuals and to organisations such as the network of local bat groups who have made this next step possible and we hope that this generosity will continue so that the greater horseshoe bat can once again thrive in the southeast.

You can donate here or by sending a cheque, payable to Vincent Wildlife Trust, to:

Sussex Bat Appeal, 3-4 Bronsil Courtyard  Eastnor, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1EP. 

We are very grateful to those of you who have already contributed. Thank you so much.

 

Sussex Bat Appeal — how it started

Vincent Wildlife Trust, Sussex Bat Group and others are working hard to safeguard this rare bat species by purchasing and restoring a roost site in Sussex. But we need your help. To be successful, we must raise £350,000 over two years.

During the last century, greater horseshoe bat numbers fell by over 90% in Britain, by some estimates, and the species became confined to parts of Wales and south-west England. Today, however, there is some much-needed good news. The population is showing signs of recovery, with small colonies now found outside of this core area. This includes one pioneer breeding colony recently discovered in an old stable block in Sussex − a sign of a possible eastward spread. For this reason, it is a site we must protect.

Photo: Greater horseshoe bat @Frank Greenaway

 

For nearly 40 years, Vincent Wildlife Trust has been working hard to improve the conservation status of this bat species and manages the roosts that now hold around 50% of Britain’s estimated 13,000 greater horseshoe bat population (for comparison, there are around three million pipistrelles − our commonest bat). The signs of recovery of the greater horseshoe bat are due in no small part to the Trust’s hard work − but we really do need your help to see the recovery of this species continue across the country.

Photo: Greater horseshoe bats in flight @Andrew McCarthy

 

We have been given a window of opportunity to raise the purchase price, otherwise the building will be placed for sale on the open market. Please help us by donating now – any amount will be much appreciated and will help us towards our £350,000 goal.

 

Sussex Bat Group

Main photo: Greater horseshoe bat @Andrew McCarthy

3-4 Bronsil Courtyard, Eastnor, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1EP
01531 636441 | enquiries@vwt.org.uk