BatChat

BatChat

Stories from the bat conservation movement. Trustee and ecologist Steve Roe talks to the experts as well as local heroes to bring you the stories from the world of bat conservation. This podcast is for anyone who loves bats or has an interest in bat conservation and the wider bat conservation community. Series 3 is out now with episodes released every second Wednesday from autumn 2021 through to Spring 2022. Series 4 is coming later this year. 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.

Episodes

March 23, 2022 38 min

Hidden amongst the boughs of an Oak tree, Steve & his guests look down over the Knepp Castle Rewilding Estate; former farmland which has been allowed to return to nature by the owners Isabella Tree & Charlie Burrell. In this episode, as the sun sets the light turns golden. Below us red deer begin to bellow at the start of the rutting season, a green woodpecker calls out from amongst the tussocky grassland and bats begin to ...

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Discover the amazing work taking place in the dead of night each year by hoards of volunteers. This episode starts with Steve joining a team of these volunteers who are counting out a brown long-eared bat roost in the Derbyshire Dales at dusk as a nearby rookery gathers. We then sit down in Battersea Park, London with Philip Briggs, monitoring manager for the Bat Conservation Trust who collates all of this data sent in by volunteer...

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Join Steve on the Welcombe Hills overlooking Stratford-upon-Avon as he sits down with the author of Bobby the brown long-eared bat, a children's book which follows the adventure of a baby brown long-eared bat who lives in the attic of a farmyard. Sitting in the autumn sunshine on a wooden bench watching the world go by, Angela reveals to Steve where the inspiration for Bobby came from, how she got into the world of bats, the ch...

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This week Steve is on the Tortworth Estate in south Gloucestershire with Jim Mullholland. They're joined by a voluntary team of arborists who are assisting Jim with his 5 year project to create natural tree features for Bechstein's and barbastelle bats. By using chainsaws to create different crevices and cavities within living trees, the team hope that they will be taken up by colonies of the two bat species which are prese...

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January 26, 2022 22 min

This week Steve is in Surrey at RHS Garden Wisley with Principal Entomologist Dr Andrew Salisbury. Andrew sits down with Steve in the brand new wildlife garden outside their new laboratory building to tell us about the work the RHS do and how we can improve our gardens for wildlife including bats. 
This week we also have a piece of nature writing by James Gilbert. James creates 'thumbnail' pieces and tweets them out and he&#...

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January 12, 2022 25 min

This week Steve joins Martyn Cooke outside a holiday cottage in Staffordshire as they set up a matrix of bat detectors to record the sound of Brandt's bats emerging from their roost before flying into the adjacent woodland. Martyn explains why he is recording the calls, why he's travelled all the way from Surrey to record these bats and what the calls will be used for. Steve finds out how an injured serotine bat got Martyn ...

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December 29, 2021 32 min

This week Steve is joined in a Derbyshire churchyard by Jon Russ who is an expert on bat echolocation calls. They discuss how Jon got into studying bat calls, his latest book on the subject and his passion for Nathusius’ pipistrelle bats. Jon's latest book "Bat Calls of Britain and Europe" is available from Pelagic Publishing and is aimed at anyone interested in bat echolocation. It contains introductory chapters to the...

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December 15, 2021 39 min

This week Steve is in the Lake District National Park with Ecologist and Chair of south Cumbria Bat Group Rich Flight. Rich published the findings of a study called "Bats with Altitude" in the journal British Island Bats in 2021 and he sits down with Steve to tell us about what inspired the project, what bats were found at over 500m on the mountainsides and how volunteers surveyed for bats in challenging upland conditions.

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    December 1, 2021 23 min

    This week Steve is at Chorlton Water Park Nature Reserve in Manchester with author and illustrator Emma Reynolds. Emma's debut author-illustrator book "Amara and the Bats" was published here in the UK in July 2021 and she sits down with Steve to tell us how the book has been received, what she thinks the future of children's books holds and what it was that inspired her to write a kids book about bats.

  • Emma's web...
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    November 17, 2021 29 min

    This week Steve is on the Norfolk coastline in the East of England visiting Jane Harris from the Norfolk barbastelle study group. Paston Great Barn dates back to 1581. It’s a huge thatched barn made of flint, brick and stone measuring 50 meters in length and about 10 meters wide. Despite it’s size, driving south along the coast road it’s very easy to miss as you pass its end flint wall and not until you glance in your rear view mir...

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    November 3, 2021 43 min

    BatChat is back for a third series! Steve is on the roof of the biological sciences building with Professor Gareth Jones where he talks to Steve about just some of the research he has undertaken in his lifetime with bats. They discuss the work famously done to separate the two pipistrelle species back in the 90's, what Gareth gets up to in his spare time and the unusual behaviour found in fruit bat species which won Gareth the ...

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    October 27, 2021 3 min

    Hello everyone it’s Steve here from BatChat here to tell you that a brand new series is going to be along on Wednesday. I know it’s been a long wait since the last series but we’ve been working really hard to join our guests out in the field so that you don’t have to listen to any more Zoom calls! So all of our guests this series have been recorded on location. This is just a little teaser, to give you a little heads-up that were c...

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    March 3, 2021 46 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 45 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 55 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 26 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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