“Hi dudes, peace and ultra sonic vibes man.......I’ve just been to my first ever music festival, Doune the Rabbit Hole. It’s gone to my head and I now think I’m really hip. There was; VERY LOUD music, oceans of mud, a faint whiff of herbal cigarettes and naked people! It was all a bit of an eye opener!
The real star on our stand was a captive bat. The sight of him melted lots of hearts and fascinated people. We got the usual comments about how tiny he was but one odd question when someone asked if the mealworms where his babies! On Saturday night we offered a bat walk. We were quite excited as we’d found a perfect route. A safe path took us through wildflower meadows and between woodland edge and a reservoir. Perfect bat habitat. We were looking forward to pipistrelles flitting around the trees, Daubenton’s skimming over the water and possibly even some Natterer’s whizzing over the grassland. The rain, which had been a steady downpour conveniently stopped at 8:30 pm, the time to start the walk, the sky went pink and a small band of batters set off ready to tune in with our detectors. We saw; fish jumping, frogs hopping, a rescue helicopter searching for a missing man but the one thing we did not see was a bat! Not even a “pop” on the detector. It’s the first bat walk I’ve ever done and not got a bat.
Sunday was our last day at the Festival and Andrea and I were joined by Alistair also from Central Scotland Bat group. He brought good weather with him and the sun shone all afternoon. This meant we were visited by lots of happy people and it meant we could pack up the tent in a relatively dry condition.
We all left very grubby rather tired, but happy that it had gone well. It was quite an experience. Driving back there was the most perfect rainbow, it all felt very apt after our rather hippy batty weekend. My top tips for anyone taking a display to a similar event:
- Take wellies and waterproofs (essential)as well as sunscreen
- Take thick sheets of cardboard - to use as flooring if the ground is muddy
- Have loads of layers to sleep in / on/ under
- Have loads of plastic boxes to stand things in
- Have plastic boxes with lids – to protect leaflets etc from the rain
- Take loads of baby wipes and some kitchen roll – you’ll be constantly cleaning things
- Pack midge repellent
- If you can take pallet to provide a raised surface above the mud to stack things on
- Pray for good weather