Start Gazing Retreat at Sharpham Trust

Stargazing & bat walk: a nocturnal nature experience


saturday 17 august, 7.45pm 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.

Bat Detecting

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 species of bat native to Devon
  • A fan of the Great Outdoors
  • Looking for a fascinating, family event

You'll experience:

  • 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
  • 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.

What should you bring?

  • A healthy snack if you get peckish along the way
  • A hat
  • A torch
  • Waterproofs
  • Good comfy shoes or wellies
  • Please wear long trousers not shorts (as we may be walking near long grass - small chance of ticks)
  • 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


This event takes place on Saturday 17 August, from 7.45pm to 9.45pm

The event will include an astronomy talk and telescope session, and guided bat walk with bat detectors will take place. Running order and locations around the grounds will be dependent on the weather.

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.


It was a fantastic experience

participant on a Sharpham Trust nature event

A fabulous day in such a special place - thanks to everyone involved

participant on a Sharpham Trust nature event

Lovely being out of doors, with such a knowledgeable bird guide

participant on a Sharpham Trust nature event
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Sharpham State

The Sharpham Estate

We're a 550-acre estate on the banks of the River Dart, set within a National Landscape Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We've been designated organic and we're rewilding parts of the estate, helping to restore nature and to connect people to the land and themselves through our programme of retreats, courses and events.

Get Directions View Venue


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 7 – 17) free - fully funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

There is a maximum of 2 children aged 7-13 per adult. Minimum age of 7 years old to attend this event.


Terms & Conditions

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy

Available dates

2024 17 Aug

Stargazing and Bat Walk

With Lisa Carnell & Dartmoor Skies