BatChat

BatChat

Steve Roe talks to the experts as well as local heroes to bring you the stories from the bat conservation movement. Designed for both Bat Conservation Trust members and the wider bat conservation community, Series 2 will have episodes released every second Wednesday from autumn 2020 all the way through to the spring of 2021. Bats are magical but misunderstood mammals. At the Bat Conservation Trust we have a vision of a world rich in wildlife where bats and people thrive together.... Show More

Episodes

March 3, 2021 45 min

For the final episode of Series 2 we join Nottinghamshire Bat Group member Barry Collins at a Leicestershire Church where he talks to Steve about the works that were undertaken on the church to restore it whilst retaining the Natterer's bat colony living in the fabric of the building. Barry also discusses the importance of churches in the local community as well as how they're adapting to the 21st century and how he, along ...

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February 17, 2021 43 min

The 2020 Woodland Symposium was hosted by BCT, six years after the inaugural symposium. It bought together landowners, ecologists, bat workers and professionals from the woodland and forestry industry to listen to talks from 15 speakers covering research, knowledge updates and case studies on woodlands and bats. We hear from three of those speakers as well as a couple of the 11 students who had been given a place at the conference ...

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February 3, 2021 54 min

Chester Zoo is the most visited zoo in the UK with over 2 million visitors a year. It's also a conservation and education charity committed to preventing extinction. The fruit bat forest in the Twilight Zone exhibition is a fantastic visitor experience; Steve joins Dave White, the manager of the Twilight Zone, who explains how it's also used as an insurance population for the endangered Rodrigues fruit bat Pteropus rodricen...

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Steve joins Helen Ball and other members of Staffordshire Bat Group as they undertake a winter hibernation survey for the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP). Recorded in February 2020 in the Staffordshire Peak District, they undertake the latest survey of disused lead mines searching for bats deep in torpor.

Helen reveals what it's like to undertake the survey (it's a VERY steep hillside!) and what sort of things you&#...

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January 6, 2021 25 min

The Bat Conservation Trust is a small conservation charity but undertakes a vast amount of work in their aim to conserve bats. During the runup to Christmas, Steve spoke with their Chief Executive Officer, Kit Stoner, to find out what it's like to run a small but busy charity, the current challenges and whether she manages to get out and do bat work in her spare time after work! 

  • Follow Kit on twitter
  • Find out more about the upco...
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    In November 2019 before the word Coronavirus had become all-too familiar, the Scottish Bat Conference was taking place in Perth. In this episode Steve speaks to Liz Ferrell BCT's Scottish bat officer, Sue Swift who published the authoritative work on long-eared bats and Tracey Jolliffe who has an interest in zoonotic diseases and discusses bats and rabies. 

  • Book your place at the 2021 Scottish Bat Conference here
  • Find your local ...
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    The weather has certainly got chilly in the last few days, but back in late October, it was still mild and Steve visited a bat colony which was still in residence in its summer roost. He meets up with Helen Parr, community engagement officer for the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project. They discuss how the project has been received by the community over the last five years and what achievements its had whilst wandering around the c...

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    Winifred is the Chief Scientist at Bat Conservation International as well as an associate research professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    In this episode, Steve finds out about the discovery Winifred made about the ecology of Pallid bats whilst undertaking her PhD out in the deserts and chats to her about her work as a key scientist in the efforts to research the effects of White-N...

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    November 11, 2020 34 min

    Remember seeing bats over your garden years ago and suddenly realised that they've vanished over time? Wildlife garden landscaper Joel Ashton reveals how you can help attract bats to your greenspace by greening up a fence and planting certain species to increase insect diversity which in turn will provide your local bats with a buffet! At the Bat Conservation Trust we have a vision of a world rich in wildlife where bats and peo...

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    October 28, 2020 40 min

    A camping trip in the New Forest was the first sighting of bats that broadcaster, naturalist and writer Chris Packham had. He became the president of the Bat Conservation Trust in 2006 and in this episode recorded during the 2020 lockdown, Steve Roe asks Chris what it was about the Trust that made him want to become President. Chris tells us about the time he had serotine bats flying around his house whilst watching a European cup ...

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    May 7, 2020 35 min

    In this bonus episode recorded during the UK lockdown, we have two guests on the show. Tom August is a scientist based at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Lisa Worledge is Head of Conservation Services at the Bat Conservation Trust. They talk to Steve about the interest that bats are currently getting in the press around the origins of the current COVID-19 pandemic, what bats can teach us about future pandemics and how s...

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    April 1, 2020 26 min

    This week we have two guests on the show. Hannah Van Hesteren is one of the Helpline Managers at the Bat Conservation Trust. She talks to Steve about the vital work the Helpline does each summer when it takes hundreds of calls each day from members of the public who have found an injured or grounded bat.

    Gail Armstrong was the recipient of the Pete Guest Award in 2019 for her outstanding practical contribution to bat conservation. O...

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    March 18, 2020 21 min

    Despite a number of our bats using trees as roost sites, we know surprisingly little about how bats use trees. In this episode Steve sits down with veteran tree expert Jim Mullholland from the Arboricultural Association and discusses what we still don't know about the ecology of bats and trees. Jim also touches on a project he's been working on recently using trail cameras as a surveillance technique to help understand this...

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    March 4, 2020 24 min

    The British Isles have a large number of islands around its coasts and some of these have bat groups. In this episode Steve discusses the challenges of being an isolated voluntary group with Carol Williams who is  the secretary of the Isles of Scilly Bat Group and with Ani Binet who until recently was a resident on Jersey in the Channel Islands and an active member of the Jersey Bat Group.

    There is also some news hot off the press ...

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    February 19, 2020 16 min

    Steve heads to the Churnet valley in north Staffordshire to join Staffordshire Bat Group members Helen Ball and David Nixon for the day. Helen explains how a colony of Brandt's bats in one of their bat box schemes (started by the Vincent Wildlife Trust) have become one of the main study subjects in their small Myotis bat project which is taking place across the Churnet valley. In the evening, Dave explains the aims of the advan...

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    February 5, 2020 12 min

    James has been involved in bat conservation since 2010 and has been involved in a variety of projects in that time including setting up Gib-Bats (the Gibraltar Bats Project) in 2013. In 2016 he was awarded the Bat Conservation Trust's Pete Guest Award for making an outstanding practical contribution to bat conservation. In this episode Steve joins James at a bat box check event just outside of Greenham Common in Newbury Berkshi...

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    January 22, 2020 23 min

    This is the second installment of a two-part special recorded at the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London.

    This time Steve Roe talks with Roberto Portela Miguez who is the senior curator in charge of mammals at the Museum.
    Roberto tells the tale of how he and colleagues discovered that a bat preserved in a jar of alcohol which had sat on a shelf in the collections for 30 years was actually a new species to science. He als...

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    January 8, 2020 25 min

    This is the first of a two-part special recorded at the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London.
    In this first half Steve Roe talks with Steph West who is the Biodiversity Training Manager at the Museum based within the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity.
    Steph discusses the need to train the next generation of natural historians using the Museum's scientists to decant their knowledge as well as some of the bat su...

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    December 18, 2019 27 min

    Episode five was recorded in May at the Wales Bat Worker’s weekend. The weekend brings together bat workers from across Wales and further afield and Steve speaks to four of them in this episode.

    Naomi Webster the is the Training & Conferences manager at BCT and gives an insight into what happens at a BCT event.

    Steve Lucas is the Wales Bat Officer and Species Legislation & Policy Specialist. He talks about bat work in Wales a...

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    December 4, 2019 23 min

    In our fourth episode, Steve joins bat legend Daniel Hargreaves on an autumnal evening in Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on the coastal boundary of Sussex and Kent in the search of Nathusius’ pipistrelle. Dan gives us an insight into the ecology of this migratory species and what discoveries the National Nathusius’ pipistrelle project has had to date in its five year history. Dan is also responsible for setting up the successful ‘Trini...

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