Friday 6 December 2013

Scottish Conference

The Scottish Bat Workers Conference 2013

Anne Youngman, our Scottish officer writes ……

Hurrah, the Scottish Bat Workers Conference 2013 is now done and dusted for another year ….. After a short break to draw breathe it’s time to reflect on how it went and to start planning for 2014.
So how was it? Read onto find out more.

Battleby Conference Centre
The event was held at the Scottish Natural Heritage conference centre at Battleby near Perth. This is an ideal venue; great facilities for talks and workshops, helpful staff and is set in perfect bat habitat. It even has its own bat roosts in the buildings and in centrally heated bat boxes. 

Battleby Conference centre

Biggest so far - The venue was packed almost to capacity with just over 140 attendees. I was a bit worried that with so many people we’d never get the toilet, coffee and lunch queues processed in the available breaks. However there were no signs of people either fainting from hunger or standing cross legged so I believe everything flowed smoothly.  
Delegates arrive at registration

Workshops galore – there were 9 workshop options to choose from with (hopefully) something for everyone, no matter what their particular batty interest or level of skill.  The needlefelting workshop produced some new bat species (never before seen in Scotland or the world for that matter)

       Tracey Joliffe with her loveable BLE

Heather Macfarlane with the “MacFarlane’s Mango” bat

  “Amazing Lisa”

Lisa Worledge was a real star. When Kate Barlow was unable to lead the Sound analysis workshop Lisa was rapidly promoted from workshop assistant to workshop leader and rose brilliantly (if slightly nervously) to the occasion.

 Brian Boag enjoys the Sound Analysis workshop (who wouldn’t in such delightful company!

 More beautiful bat girls enjoying Sound Analysis
Other workshops included:

Introduction to Analook (lead by John Haddow)

 Bat to basics workshop with Ben Ross and Beth Wilson

Raffle, Sales and displays – The raffle made £90.00, however it was not featured very prominently so next year I will make the prizes more obvious and hope to raise even more money towards the Scottish Bat Project.

During break times attendees were able to watch;
a film by Stuart Pritchard showing the bats in the centrally heated bat box , 
·         *another film featuring the Scottish species champions ( Made by Scottish Environment LINK)
·         *a rolling power point by John Haddow showing this summer’s work on Arran “Looking for Leislers”

The Fifes Knitted Nature project displayed whole ecosystems of knitted plants, animals (including bats of course) and fungi, representing all the biodiversity action plan species in the Kingdom of Fife.

Fifes Knitted Nature species delighted and charmed attendees

Delegates were able to stock up on Christmas presents.  Jackie O’Hara brought an assortment of her own hand made cards, bags and other bat related delights, while the beautiful cards by Lyn Wells (Artful creatures) sold out completely. 

 Jackie O’Hara and her beautifully batty arts and crafts

 Lyn Wells(Artful Creatures) – Her cards sold out completely!

Unfortunately I think the lovely batty clock by crafty clocks was rather overlooked by delegates (there was so much else to see). However If you’d like to order a clock before Christmas and enter “Bat Conference“ in the comments box when you make your order a donation will be made to BCT for each bat clock sold.  
Feedback – from the conference was very positive, of the 65 feedback forms returned 41 rated the day as EXELLENT overall, 17 as Good, no lower ratings were given (and some people forgot to turn over the page!)   However I won’t rest on my laurels, next year the delegates list will be sent out a little earlier and the raffle will be made more obvious. 

It only remains to say some HUGE THANK YOUs, to everyone who delivered a talk or workshop and to the caterers and staff at Battleby who looked after us extremely well.
See you next year  J on 8th November.

Time flies!

Anne Youngman
Scottish Officer, BCT, December 2013

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