Our Technical Director Dr Lucie Sweet reflects on a recent CPD field trip attended by herself and others within the ecology department where its safe to say they got to see and handle plenty of bats – as well as get some impressive photos!
Working towards a bat licence while employed within the consultancy sector can be difficult; you get exposure to small roost types and locally prevalent species such as pipistrelles and brown long eared bats with the occasional maternity roost thrown in, and the odd Myotis sp. to ponder over. Our ecologists are involved with emergence survey work over the summer period making it tricky to balance voluntary work and networking to gain exposure to the breadth of species within the UK, build hours handling bats of different sizes and temperament, and recognising diagnostic features to identify and separate species in the hand, which is valuable experience for personal logbooks and professional development in the industry.
To support the development of our ecologists and senior ecologists we recently undertook a day of bat box checks at Bowdown Woods, Newbury and an evening of harp trapping at Brown’s Folly/ Sally in the Woods, Bathford under the watchful eye of James Shipman, project officer at Berks & South Bucks Bat Group and Richard Crompton who provided their excellent advice and guidance on identifying species in the hand and unlimited general knowledge of UK bats through answering many questions we put forward.
Over the course of the day and night the participants gained so much confidence in handling and identifying species through the sheer number of individuals encountered, not to mention the number of species processed in such a short time with the team adding nine species to their logbooks including the four Annex II species which was the highlight of trip with Bechsteins, Greater and Lesser Horseshoes and my personal target of the trip Barbastelle.
This was a real highlight of the year for those of us lucky enough to attend and our warm thanks go to both James and Richard for sharing their expert knowledge and an incredible experience.
With the increasing demand on our contracting division, we are excited to announce the arrival of three new members of the contracting team!