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

Thursday, 5 December 2013

BCT has Christmas all sewn up! Ahem, it's in the bag!

 Super giveaway gift with memberships bought before Christmas and an ideal gift idea for bat fans and conservationists who have everything: -Why not Adopt-a-bat! 

If you fancy doing something a bit special for some of Britain’s most at-risk mammals this Christmas, how about going a bit batty?
After all, aside from Santa’s Reindeer, bats are the only flying mammals in the world! At the Bat Conservation Trust, we think we have Christmas all sewn up this year. 
Buy an individual membership for yourself or a friend befo the big day,25th December, and not only do you get to help us secure the future for bats but you also get a special free gift of a fabulous cotton bag emblazoned with our logo. And that’s in addition to the usual membership pack, with postcards, a car sticker, fabulous bat pin-badge and information about our projects and thrice annual Bat News magazine. You will also get discounts to courses and conferences. Standard individual membership is £2.50 a month or  £30 per annum, paid annually or as a one off and discounts are available. Our fab batty bag also comes with family memberships bought at this time.
For the Little-uns we have Young  Batworkers’ Club membership to the Bat Conservation Trust for just £12 a year for each child.  Not only will they get endless enjoyment learning all about bats, but those vital funds will help conserve bats so their children in turn can be Young Bat Workers’ Club members.  Membership includes a subscription to the Young Batworker magazine, a special badge, a bat calendar and lots of batty things like stickers and postcards and fact sheets.  It’ll be like all their Christmases have come at once!
If you’re already a member and so are your friends and family, or if you simply know someone who fancies their own pipistrelle bat buddy, why not Adopt-a-bat. You will get your own fluffy bat toy, certificate of adoption (which you can download and print yourself if it’s all a bit last minute!) and welcome letter. You’ll also get an ‘I love bats’ magnet and  a colourful newsletter and poster sent out twice a year to keep you updated! For just £3.00 a month! Best of all you get to know you are helping secure the future for these winged wonders of the night! To adopt-a-bat head to
 You can sign up online for individual, family or Batworkers’ club membership  at
You can also join, buy memberships for others or adopt a bat over the phone and you can organise to have it sent directly to them and put in gift messages etc. The all important number is 0845 1300 228!
Don’t forget we have a fabulous selection of free Christmas e-cards on our website to spread the joy and save paper this year! 
Hope you all have a very batty Christmas!