Tuesday 2 November 2010

A successful Halloween for bats

Fundraising & Membership Officer Harriet Henley talks about BCT's Halloween marketing campaign

So here we are in November with the discount pumpkins and rejected Halloween odds and ends being removed from the supermarket shelves and replaced with increasingly premature Christmas-themed aisles!

If you are one of our Facebook fans or Twitter followers, you will have undoubtedly been aware over the last week that Halloween is a big event at the Bat Conservation Trust. Every year we ask ourselves this question; should we do anything in recognition of Halloween and thus acknowledge the link between bats and this annual scare-fest? And every year we come to this conclusion; yes. Of course we should!
Bats are intrinsically associated with Halloween and as silly as this may be it’s not going to change any time soon. Bats are inevitably on people’s minds at this time so we try to use the build-up to Halloween as an opportunity to do some serious myth-busting and encourage people to embrace their furry friends that feature so prominently throughout the festivities. After all, we probably wont be seeing much batty action now until the spring, so why not give bats a good old send-off into hibernation by turning Halloween into a celebration of all things bat!?

That is exactly what some of you bat-fans have done, so I thought I'd share a couple of the things that people have done for bats this Halloween...

We had some fantastic entries to our Halloween competition; “Halloween night in the life of a bat”. There were comedic accounts, diary-esque entries and some impressive poetic feats. The competition was judged by our esteemed panel of expert judges… BCT’s very own Helpline, who decided that the deserved winner was Jennifer Duran from North Carolina in the USA. Jennifer’s fantastic poem describes a bat’s feelings about Halloween night and really echoes our mission this year to get people to celebrate bats at Halloween. (Read Jennifer’s poem)

On Twitter, Laura Thompson showed us some amazing bat lino prints that she’d made (pictured above). Laura says; “The prints are ATC (artist trading card) sized lino prints based on images from the royal mail mammals postage stamps. I basically did a sketch, transferred it to the lino, then cut it out and printed it. The image is a 'test' print and the second image is of the ATC's I made.”

An in another aesthetic twist Martin Roberts, a trainee bat worker in Dorset, launched his second album “Attack of the pipistrelles” at a pub in Bournemouth on Halloween. Martin will be donating all proceeds of the album launch to BCT for us to use for bat conservation – thanks Martin and good luck with the album!

And finally, check out Kazz Larkin's batty pumpkin carving, I think we'll all be following suite next year!

So all in all this Halloween has been a storming success, and people have really gone above and beyond to THINK BAT throughout the festivities. The highlight for me has been the amazing level of interaction and response that we’ve had from all you bat fans on Facebook and Twitter. So a huge thanks to all of you for getting involved this Halloween (and for tolerating our awful batty puns!)

Harriet Henley
Fundraising & Membership Officer

(Currently sitting in the bat cave, desperately trying to convert aforementioned puns into a Christmas theme – apologies in advance!)

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