About the Project

The Parkhurst Forest is located between Cowes and Newport on the Isle of Wight. It is a well known tourist spot for people who enjoy nature, and is a prime piece of habitat for red squirrels, badgers, woodland birds, and of course bats...

The forest is managed by the Forestry Commission, and is comprised of both ancient woodland and plantation. It is the combination of ancient woodland, glades, drainage channels (recently ponds too), bridleways and footpaths that combine to make such a rich habitat for bats. This habitat combined with lack of human interference over many years means that this forest is a real "Goldilocks Zone" for woodland bats.

So what was this project all about? The forest has been the site of many investigations in the past, the most notable one being the survey carried out for The Peoples' Trust for Endangered Species by Ian Davidson-Watts in 2008 that identified the UK's largest recorded Barbastelle roost (115+ bats in one tree...). Since moving to the edge of the forest, I'd often considered undertaking a long term survey of the Parkhurst Forest bats, and this project is the result of extensive planning and saving up for the professional equipment necessary to undertake it.

The fundamental objectives of the project were to establish the species presence and any correlation with the micro level habitat of the forest. The general forest area is shown below:

You will find a description of the project methods, and regular updates on the survey data, and in addition I'll be putting together some pages on useful bat survey and identification tips in time.

Following the deprecation of the Classic Google Sites in September 2020, I've had to migrate this site to the "New Google Sites". This has meant some pretty major look and feel changes, along with some of information from the original site. I don't intend to spend a lot of time trying to work around the new site limitations, so if you are a returning visitor and can't find what you are looking for, please contact me through info(@)iowbats.org.