RAY MEARS has tackled some of the toughest terrains on the planet – and now he is taking on the River Wye.

As part of his upcoming programme, Wild Rivers, Mears’ team visited the Weir Gardens to catch bats with the Herefordshire Mammal Group.

The bushcraft expert – who tracked leopards, bears and wolves as part of his series Survivor – was leading an expedition down the 150 miles of the River Wye.

Herefordshire Mammal Group’s Bat co-ordinator, Denise Foster, said: “It was a great opportunity to meet Ray and his team.

“Filming wildlife is a challenge, but we were lucky enough to find a soprano pipistrelle roost in the roof of the National Trust offices.

“We caught one bat in a hand-net as it emerged from the roost so we could positively identify it, which gave the crew the opportunity to film a real bat in the hand”.

While the soprano pipstrelle made great footage, the group are searching for it’s much more elusive cousin, the Nathusius pipstrelle.

There are very few record of the Nathusius in Herefordshire, but the species is almost exclusively associated with water and the group are concentrating its efforts on trapping around lakes and river locations like the Weir Gardens in the hope of finding the rare bat.

The one-hour special Wild Rivers with Ray Mears is set to air on ITV in January 2015.

And if you want to get involved with the Herefordshire Mammal Group, visit its website at http://ham.btck.co.uk/ .