Category Archives: Publications

Bath and Bradford-on-Avon Stone Mine Horseshoe Hibernation Surveys

Dr Fiona Mathews and Domhnall Finch recently reviewed the data arising through the monitoring of the stone mines in Bath and Bradford-on-Avon, and specifically the hibernation counts.

Fiona and Jenny Bennett have produced the following summary for Wiltshire Bat Group members. These surveys have been supported by large number of bat workers from Wiltshire Bat Group and our friends from other bat groups – all are warmly thanked for supporting this work.

WBG supplemental_Mathews and Bennett February 2018.








Voluntary recording scheme reveals ongoing decline in the United Kingdom hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius population

Read the Mammal Society’s recently published paper on the ongoing decline in the hazel dormouse population which is despite a high level of species protection and widespread conservation measures. Read the paper in full.

It’s finished! Mammals in Wiltshire, 2nd Edition

It is with great pleasure that we announce the completion of the new atlas, entitled, Mammals in Wiltshire, 2nd Edition.

The new atlas can be downloaded here, free of charge. Mammals in Wiltshire_2nd edition_ver 1.0

The intention has been to produce a freely-accessible web-based document to ensure the information is widely available, not least to the many recorders and organisations contributing to its production. Furthermore, such a document can be easily updated in the near future as new survey findings and data are added. The version number and future additions will be listed in the introductory pages of the document.Atlas Cover

This publication has been supported by Wiltshire Natural History Publications Trust, whose grant supported the map production and data management by WSBRC. Huge thanks are extended to the many other contributors, including those writing species accounts, capturing data, surveying and submitting records and to Dr Fiona Mathews and Dr Patrick Dillon for providing their insights for the foreword.

There has been a huge effort since 2013 to deliver this work. To assist with more of this work by Wiltshire Mammal Group, Wiltshire Bat Group and WSBRC, we’d be grateful if you could make a donation using this link. Wiltshire Wildlife Trust are kindly hosting this donation page and all funding will be administered by WSBRC to support future atlas projects as well as bat group and mammal group projects.

Make a donation

Suggested donation – £10 for individuals, £25 for ecological consultancies and other organisations.

It is hoped that this atlas will help to promote the importance of the county, its habitats and mammal species, to a wider audience, promoting the importance of safeguarding important sites for mammals, now and in the future, to local planning authorities, statutory bodies such as Natural England and Environment Agency, as well as nature reserve managers across the county. This includes those sites where mammals are the feature of interest for designated sites, for example the bat species listed on the Special Areas of Conservation at Bath & Bradford-on-Avon and Chilmark Quarries, and Dormice included as features of the Savernake Forest SSSI.

Wiltshire is an incredible county supporting significant numbers of many of the UK’s species of conservation, ranging from recovering populations of Otters and Polecat, to Brown Hare, Water vole, Harvest Mice and Hedgehog. The county also supports nationally and internationally-important sites for bats (such as the SACs mentioned above). Furthermore, recent surveys are highlighting important populations of rare woodland bats such as Bechstein’s and Barbastelle bats.

Help support your local mammal populations, whether by supporting the Hedgehogs in your garden, or supporting the survey work by the mammal group and bat group.

The atlas project may complete, but we still need to continue the survey and monitoring of mammals across Wiltshire – we will deliver updates to the atlas as we make new significant discoveries and advances in knowledge. Please keep submitting your records.

Further information here.

Happy reading!

Wiltshire Bat Group newsletter

The latest newsletter from our sister group, Wiltshire Bat Group, is released today. The bat group has had another busy year with further fascinating findings and monitoring data from across the county. Download here: wbg-newsletter-2-spring-2017.

The bat group has a new facebook page which is rapidly gaining popularity – the mammal group also has a facebook group too! Join them and find out more about mammals in Wiltshire!

Contributions for the forthcoming Wiltshire Mammal Group newsletter are still welcome – its not too late!


False Widow Spiders in Dormouse Boxes

Earlier this month, Sue Walker encountered a very splendid-looking False Widow Spider inside one of her dormouse boxes (near Salisbury, South Wiltshire). To our knowledge, this is the first time this species has been encountered in this way in Wiltshire – they are frequently encountered in dwellings and outbuildings. As Sue indicates, its another non-target species to look out for in bird/bat/dormouse boxes.

Bill Blumsom (Wiltshire County Spider recorder) kindly circulated some information on this species, drafted by the British Arachnological Society, to help dispel some of the myths associated with this species(and propagated by the media) . See here.

Thank you to Sue Walker and Bill Blumsom for kindly sharing this information.

Wiltshire Mammal Group & Wiltshire Bat Group newsletter Spring 2016

Wiltshire’s mammal group and bat group have been busy producing the latest newsletters, promoting some superb projects and forthcoming work. Thank you to all members, volunteers, supporters, funders and landowners who have supported these projects!

Wiltshire Mammal Group’s latest newsletter may be found here WMG newsletter Spring 2016.

And Wiltshire Bat Group’s latest newsletter is here: WBG Newsletter 01 Spring and Summer 2016

Now Published! Vincent Wildlife Trust’s national polecat survey report

A very big thank you to all WMG members and friends who have submitted records of Polecats and Polecat-ferrets to us and to VWT, to contribute to the VWT’s national Polecat survey. All of these records will contribute to the Wiltshire Mammal Atlas Project, as well as the national mammal atlas project.

The newly-published report can be downloaded from the VWT website here.

PLEASE keep the records coming in! In recent weeks there has been a small number of Polecat records submitted to us from across Wiltshire, relating to pre-breeding movements of Polecats, unfortunately all killed on the roads. If you spot a possible Polecat or Polecat-ferret, please let us know. If you see potential carcasses on the roadside, and if its safe to do so, getting photos of the face and body can help us to determine if its a pure Polecat or a hybrid. Any queries, please get in touch via this website.[GH]


Newsletter Submissions

We are in the process of compiling the Wiltshire Mammal Group’s latest newsletter and are asking for submissions from all Members and Friends.  These can be an interesting mammal related story or sighting; a review of an event, talk, book or other; a photo; quiz or anything between.

Please send all submissions to Ben Williams directly or via by Monday 18th April.

Fingers crossed for a bumper issue!