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As the sun begins to set over the horizon, a muted chattering and rustling of soft, leathery wings emerges from the shadows, accompanied by the scrabbling of sharply clawed feet. Bats are waking up, preparing for nocturnal flights in search of prey. But this is no nightmare scenario; more a heartening tale of redemption, recovery and one woman’s love for perhaps the most misunderstood creatures of all.

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Rescued Leisler's bat / Lesser noctule (Nyctalus leisleri) having its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage by Samantha Pickering at dusk, before being released back to the wild, North D... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Rescued Leisler's bat / Lesser noctule (Nyctalus leisleri) having its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage by Samantha Pickering at dusk, before being released back to the wild, North D...
Rescued Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) with injured wings having its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage by Samantha Pickering before release back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Rescued Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) with injured wings having its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage by Samantha Pickering before release back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care...
Samantha Pickering holding a rescued Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri) in her hand in a flight cage to test its recovery and ability to fly before releasing it back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care,... - Nick Upton
01542086
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering holding a rescued Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri) in her hand in a flight cage to test its recovery and ability to fly before releasing it back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care,...
Rescued abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) held alongside a paler Soprano pipistrelle pup (Pipistellus pygmaeus), North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Mod... - Nick Upton
01550218
Nick Upton / Rescued abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) held alongside a paler Soprano pipistrelle pup (Pipistellus pygmaeus), North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Mod...
Samantha Pickering holds a rescued, abandoned Brown long-eared bat pup (Plecotus auritus) as it eats a waxworm she has fed it, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released. - Nick Upton
01550201
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering holds a rescued, abandoned Brown long-eared bat pup (Plecotus auritus) as it eats a waxworm she has fed it, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released.
Rescued Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) resting on wires of a flight cage where its recovery and ability to fly is being tested before being released to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple,... - Nick Upton
01542106
Nick Upton / Rescued Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) resting on wires of a flight cage where its recovery and ability to fly is being tested before being released to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple,...
Bat flight cage for testing the flight ability of recovering bats before they are released back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016. Model released - Nick Upton
01542097
Nick Upton / Bat flight cage for testing the flight ability of recovering bats before they are released back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016. Model released
Samantha Pickering releasing young Common pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) she has reared  since their rescue as pups into a flight cage at dusk, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, U... - Nick Upton
01550192
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering releasing young Common pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) she has reared since their rescue as pups into a flight cage at dusk, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, U...
Young Common pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) reared in captivity since their rescue as pups, learning to fly and hunt in a flight cage at dusk before being released, North Devon Bat Care,... - Nick Upton
01550215
Nick Upton / Young Common pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) reared in captivity since their rescue as pups, learning to fly and hunt in a flight cage at dusk before being released, North Devon Bat Care,...
Samantha Pickering takes a bowl of mealworms to feed rescued bats in the flight cage in her garden, North Devon Bat Care, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released. - Nick Upton
01542041
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering takes a bowl of mealworms to feed rescued bats in the flight cage in her garden, North Devon Bat Care, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released.
Rescued Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) held in a hand, about to have its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage before release back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple,... - Nick Upton
01542093
Nick Upton / Rescued Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) held in a hand, about to have its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage before release back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple,...
Rescued Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) flies from a hand as it has its ability to fly tested in a flight cage before release back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, Jun... - Nick Upton
01542091
Nick Upton / Rescued Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) flies from a hand as it has its ability to fly tested in a flight cage before release back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, Jun...
Rescued Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) flying in a flight cage eating a moth it has caught, having its ability to capture insects on the wing tested before release back to the wild, North Dev... - Nick Upton
01542092
Nick Upton / Rescued Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) flying in a flight cage eating a moth it has caught, having its ability to capture insects on the wing tested before release back to the wild, North Dev...
Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteinii) held above a Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri)  for comparison during an autumn swarming survey run by the Wiltshire Bat Group, near Box, Wiltshire, UK, September.... - Nick Upton
01524118
Nick Upton / Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteinii) held above a Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri) for comparison during an autumn swarming survey run by the Wiltshire Bat Group, near Box, Wiltshire, UK, September....
Rescued Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) held in a hand performing a threat display while having its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage before release back to the wild, North Devon... - Nick Upton
01542102
Nick Upton / Rescued Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) held in a hand performing a threat display while having its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage before release back to the wild, North Devon...
Rescued Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) having its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage by Samantha Pickering before release back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon... - Nick Upton
01542109
Nick Upton / Rescued Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) having its recovery and ability to fly tested in a flight cage by Samantha Pickering before release back to the wild, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon...
Samantha Pickering placing a week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) wrapped in a small fleece in an incubator in her living room at night between two-hourly feeds, N... - Nick Upton
01542068
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering placing a week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) wrapped in a small fleece in an incubator in her living room at night between two-hourly feeds, N...
Rescued week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) held in a hand, being fed with goat's milk from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016. Mod... - Nick Upton
01542074
Nick Upton / Rescued week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) held in a hand, being fed with goat's milk from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016. Mod...
Samantha Pickering feeding a rescued week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) with goat's milk from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016.... - Nick Upton
01542076
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering feeding a rescued week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) with goat's milk from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016....
Rescued week old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) clinging to a ball of fabric and wrapped in a fleece before being placed in an incubator between feeds, North Devon Ba... - Nick Upton
01542065
Nick Upton / Rescued week old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) clinging to a ball of fabric and wrapped in a fleece before being placed in an incubator between feeds, North Devon Ba...
Samantha Pickering holding a week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) wrapped in a fleece and clinging to a ball of fabric, before placing it in an incubator between t... - Nick Upton
01542063
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering holding a week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) wrapped in a fleece and clinging to a ball of fabric, before placing it in an incubator between t...
Samantha Pickering with a Leisler's/Lesser noctule bat (Nyctalus leisleri), a Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) and a Serotine bat (Eptosicus serotinus) on her chest at her rescue centre, North Devon Bat... - Nick Upton
01532692
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering with a Leisler's/Lesser noctule bat (Nyctalus leisleri), a Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) and a Serotine bat (Eptosicus serotinus) on her chest at her rescue centre, North Devon Bat...
Samantha Pickering grooming a rescued Brown long-eared bat pup (Plecotus auritus) with a small brush after hand feeding it, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released - Nick Upton
01550199
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering grooming a rescued Brown long-eared bat pup (Plecotus auritus) with a small brush after hand feeding it, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released
Samantha Pickering carefully holding a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) brought to her by a member of the public, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released. - Nick Upton
01532708
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering carefully holding a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) brought to her by a member of the public, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released.
Brown long-eared bat pup (Plecotus auritus) being groomed with a small brush as it eats a waxworm, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released - Nick Upton
01550190
Nick Upton / Brown long-eared bat pup (Plecotus auritus) being groomed with a small brush as it eats a waxworm, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released
Samantha Pickering carefully washing a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) after peeling off the flypaper it was stuck to, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released. - Nick Upton
01532710
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering carefully washing a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) after peeling off the flypaper it was stuck to, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released.
Rescued abandoned Soprano pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) feeding from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released - Nick Upton
01550209
Nick Upton / Rescued abandoned Soprano pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) feeding from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released
Samantha Pickering inspects a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) with a wing damaged when the bat became stuck to flypaper, recovering at the bat rescue centre at her home, Barnstaple, Devon, UK,... - Nick Upton
01532682
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering inspects a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) with a wing damaged when the bat became stuck to flypaper, recovering at the bat rescue centre at her home, Barnstaple, Devon, UK,...
Samantha Pickering washing a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) that was brought to her rescue centre stuck to flypaper in a bathroom sink to help free it, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Mo... - Nick Upton
01532709
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering washing a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) that was brought to her rescue centre stuck to flypaper in a bathroom sink to help free it, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Mo...
Samantha Pickering carefully removing flypaper from a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) that was brought to her rescue centre stuck to it, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released. - Nick Upton
01532704
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering carefully removing flypaper from a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) that was brought to her rescue centre stuck to it, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released.
Samantha Pickering holding a Brown long-eared bat in her bathroom (Plecotus auritus) that she has just successfully separated from the flypaper it was badly stuck to in her bathroom, North Devon Bat C... - Nick Upton
01542040
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering holding a Brown long-eared bat in her bathroom (Plecotus auritus) that she has just successfully separated from the flypaper it was badly stuck to in her bathroom, North Devon Bat C...
Samantha Pickering drying off a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) that that she has just successfully separated from flypaper and washed, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released. - Nick Upton
01532701
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering drying off a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) that that she has just successfully separated from flypaper and washed, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released.
Samantha Pickering with a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) that was brought to her rescue centre that she has just successfully separated from the flypaper it was badly stuck to, Barnstaple, De... - Nick Upton
01542044
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering with a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) that was brought to her rescue centre that she has just successfully separated from the flypaper it was badly stuck to, Barnstaple, De...
Samantha Pickering watching a rescued Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) flying around her flight cage as she checks it's ability to hunt prey on the wing before release back to the wild, North D... - Nick Upton
01542110
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering watching a rescued Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) flying around her flight cage as she checks it's ability to hunt prey on the wing before release back to the wild, North D...
Whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus) with a wing damaged by a cat inspected in a flight cage where its recovery and flight ability is being tested as the wing heals before release back to the wild, North... - Nick Upton
01542099
Nick Upton / Whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus) with a wing damaged by a cat inspected in a flight cage where its recovery and flight ability is being tested as the wing heals before release back to the wild, North...
Samanatha Pickering holding and stroking rescued abandoned Soprano pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) held in hand, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released - Nick Upton
01550213
Nick Upton / Samanatha Pickering holding and stroking rescued abandoned Soprano pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) held in hand, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released
Samantha Pickering feeding a rescued abandoned Soprano pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) with goat's milk from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released - Nick Upton
01550197
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering feeding a rescued abandoned Soprano pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) with goat's milk from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released
Barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus) a rare bat in the UK, being fed with a mealworm at North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released. - Nick Upton
01532695
Nick Upton / Barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus) a rare bat in the UK, being fed with a mealworm at North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released.
Leisler's / Lesser noctule / Hairy-armed bat (Nyctalus leisleri) held to show the shaggy fur under its wings, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released. - Nick Upton
01532700
Nick Upton / Leisler's / Lesser noctule / Hairy-armed bat (Nyctalus leisleri) held to show the shaggy fur under its wings, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, October 2015. Model released.
Long-term resident brain-damaged Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) ^Nico^, held in a hand, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016. Model released - Nick Upton
01542082
Nick Upton / Long-term resident brain-damaged Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) ^Nico^, held in a hand, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016. Model released
Rescued week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) held in a hand after being fed with goat's milk, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016. Model release... - Nick Upton
01542071
Nick Upton / Rescued week-old abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) held in a hand after being fed with goat's milk, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, June 2016. Model release...
Samantha Pickering providing a bowl of mealworms for a long-term resident brain-damaged Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) ^Nico^ in a bat box also accessible to other bats using the flight cage behind th... - Nick Upton
01542081
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering providing a bowl of mealworms for a long-term resident brain-damaged Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) ^Nico^ in a bat box also accessible to other bats using the flight cage behind th...
Samantha Pickering providing a bowl of mealworms for a long-term resident brain-damaged Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) ^Nico^ in a bat box also accessible to other bats using the flight cage behind th... - Nick Upton
01542083
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering providing a bowl of mealworms for a long-term resident brain-damaged Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) ^Nico^ in a bat box also accessible to other bats using the flight cage behind th...
Samantha Pickering prepares to feed a mealworm to a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) at a public engagement event, alongside her daughter dressed as a bat, Boscastle, Cornwall, UK, October 2015... - Nick Upton
01542048
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering prepares to feed a mealworm to a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) at a public engagement event, alongside her daughter dressed as a bat, Boscastle, Cornwall, UK, October 2015...
Samantha Pickering feeds a mealworm to a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) at a public engagement event, alongside her daughter dressed as a bat, Boscastle, Cornwall, UK, October 2015. Model rel... - Nick Upton
01532703
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering feeds a mealworm to a Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) at a public engagement event, alongside her daughter dressed as a bat, Boscastle, Cornwall, UK, October 2015. Model rel...
Samantha Pickering showing a Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) to members of the public at an outreach event, Boscastle, Cornwall, UK, October. - Nick Upton
01532687
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering showing a Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) to members of the public at an outreach event, Boscastle, Cornwall, UK, October.
Samantha Pickering holding and stroking a rescued abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released - Nick Upton
01550205
Nick Upton / Samantha Pickering holding and stroking a rescued abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released
Rescued abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) fed from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released - Nick Upton
01550219
Nick Upton / Rescued abandoned Common pipistrelle bat pup (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) fed from a pipette, North Devon Bat Care, Barnstaple, Devon, UK, August. Model released
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