Stargazing & bat walk: a nocturnal nature experience
Saturday 27 August, 7.30pm to 9.45pm
Meet the creatures of the night at Sharpham!
See bats and stars (hopefully) on this very special event that awakens your senses to nature at night-time.
The Sharpham Estate beside the River Dart hosts various bats, while our streetlamp-free dark skies are perfect for stargazing on a clear night.
We’re one of the few places in the UK and Europe where the Greater Horseshoe Bat can be found.
And we are home to Lesser Horseshoes and other types of bat too.
You’ll find out more about these endangered mammals, you’ll try bat detecting and hopefully you’ll witness these elusive mammals in Sharpham’s grounds.
You'll get a chance to use a bat detector that you can tune to the frequency of these incredible animals, eavesdropping on their echo-location sounds as they hunt for food.
Here is the sound of Lesser Horseshoe bats, as they leave their roost behind Sharpham House and head out to forage:
This packed event also includes – clouds permitting! – a tour of the night-sky, thanks to Dartmoor Skies
Using their telescope, weather permitting, you’ll see celestial objects including stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae!
Dartmoor Skies leaders share fascinating facts and observations, helping you to understand the night sky - and perhaps continue your astronomy after this event.
If it is cloudy, there will be an introduction to astronomy with lots of hints and tips so that you can explore the sky for yourselves when you get home.
This event is part of our Wild for People rewilding project that has been supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
This event is for you if you are:
- Adults and children of any age and experience looking to discover more about nocturnal wildlife, the night sky and space
- Interested in learning more about the natural world
- A fan of the Great Outdoors
- Looking for a fascinating, family event
What should you bring?
- A healthy snack if you get peckish along the way
- A hat
- A torch
- Good comfy shoes or wellies
- Paper and pen if you want to take notes
- Bottle of water
- If you have your own bat detector do bring it along
Above: Jupiter (right) and Saturn shining above The Great Run at Sharpham, in a long exposure shot taken by Rob of Dartmoor Skies
Greater Horseshoe Bat close-up by Phil Richardson
This event takes place on Saturday 27 August, from 7.30pm to 9.45pm
SAMPLE SCHEDULE (2022 event running order to be confirmed)
7.30pm – Arrival & welcome, behind Sharpham House (house in use for residential retreat).
Depending on weather:
7.35pm - Introductory talk by Rob from Dartmoor Skies (aimed at families / kids).
8.10pm – 9.45pm – Dusk bat safari with bat detectors and Intro to Astronomy & Stargazing – we will split into 2 groups and rotate around the activities (families with younger kids are welcome to leave a little earlier).
PLEASE NOTE: If the weather is cloudy there will be slideshows by the visiting experts up in our woodland campsite, still outdoors, so wrap up warm. If it is wet we will have to cancel and will make the call the day before.
Click here for directions and how to find The Sharpham Trust.
If you're driving, you'll need to park in the green bays beside the middle road off the Three Way Junction:
Thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Funding, we have a number of free places on this event for adults and children, for those who would find it hard to attend otherwise.
Adult £6 – standard cost (helps support and sustain the work of The Sharpham Trust)
Adult £3 – subsidised cost for those who need it (still helps Sharpham)
Adult free – fully funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for people on low incomes or unwaged
Children (age 6 – 17) free - fully funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund
There is a maximum of 2 children aged 6-13 per adult. Minimum age of 6 years old to attend this event.
How to book easily and securely:
- online on this page
- by phoning 01803 732542
Ring us or email us on [email protected] if you've got any questions.
Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.