Dead Bat hanging in Bunker's Hole


Well-known member
Bunker's Hole is partly closed but the farmer won't like if you haven't paid him. There is very little passage in the 'old' cave - which is where the deceased bat is. The extension is locked securely. there is another cave in the quarry known as Shaky Cave that contains a short section of active streamway ending in undiveable sumps. Nearby is Potters Wood Mine.  I know a bit about WNS as I was in the states last summer and we had to constantly disinfect our kit. Our local bat expert didn't think it was WNS and neither do I. A bat a metre away was perfectly healthy as were the other bats.  LH's are highly mobile and seem to move around underground even in winter - personal observations over many years. Incidentally anybody seen any ringed bats about. It is feasible as they are long lived althugh I think the bat ringing program probably stopped decades ago. I once saw one in Reservoir Hole in 1968!

alasdair neill

New member
Potters Wood is has been and always will be the area of Bunkers/Shaky. The mine/cave over the fence is has been and always will be called white Cleave. I don't know where the misinformation has come from but it has resulted in the confusion re access; DCUC had permission from the farmer for Potters Wood (ie Bunkers/Shaky) but NOT White Cleave as it's not on his land (the owners live on the other side of buckfastleigh). I assume/hope DSS have permission from the latter for any digging there.

Alasdair Neill.


New member
mrodoc said:
anybody seen any ringed bats about.

When you say ringed, do you mean on the leg, like they do with birds, or on their wing?
I've seen a few GHBs with rings on their wings last autumn, that was in a stone mine in Gloucestershire.


The dead bat was removed and I sent it to the VLA for EBL testing and thus fungal culture (testing for White nose).  However the bat turned out to be too decomposed for any tests to be carried out.  One other bat was noted at the site when the dead one was collected but this looked entirely healthy. 
All we can do is keep a look out for dead bats and  or ones with white fungus on them. 
As for access to Bunkers I am one of the leaders and have a key.  We are always willing to take groups (of up to 4) down the cave, as it may be small but worth a visit.  I'm also on DCUC and we do have a new website, currently sat here  but even that needs improving.