Our Bat Carers and Bat Ambulance Drivers
After leaving school I began to pursue my interest in wildlife conservation and research by working with various voluntary projects around the world, such as seabird rehabilitation in South Africa, wildlife surveys in Belize, and wildlife surveys and re-introduction of hand reared birds in Mauritius. In between this I studied Zoology at the University of Bristol and two Masters at Plymouth and Bristol. Currently I work as a freelance ecologist with a class 2 Natural England bat survey licence. I became involved with bat rescue in 2010, shortly after meeting Stewart doing wildlife surveys in the UK. I began caring for bats in my home in 2011 and became part of the Bat Conservation Trust's volunteer bat carer register. Stewart and I married and moved in together in 2013, set up a bat hospital room and continued to rehabilitate these amazing creatures.
I grew up on a farm in Cornwall where my love of animals stems from. I decided to do a degree in Zoology and following that a Masters in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Bristol. I then did some rehabilitation and conservation work with an organization called Wildtracks where I assisted the release and rehabilitation of howler and spider monkeys. I helped feed and exercise an infant manatee. After this amazing experience I then returned to Bristol where I met Kiri Green and her husband Stew and started out as a volunteer helping in the hospital. They then asked if I would like to be part of the team for Bristol Bat Rescue of which I jumped at the chance. I am currently an ecologist and I am working towards my bat professional license. My ultimate aim is to help educate the public about bats, to assist bats and other species' conservation and try and help prevent the illegal wildlife trade. Science communication is key to protecting our wildlife as it is the public that we need to engage with if we want to be able to prevent the further decline of wildlife species.
I wanted to be a zoologist when I was a young lad; I was mad on wildlife. I went off on a different path for a while, studying archeology and history at the University of Bangor as well as working on archeological digs. I came back to wildlife while volunteering in environmental planning, and spent time volunteering for a wildlife hospital along with Kiri (where I proposed, witnessed by a young fox we were feeding). Our first 'date' was a trip to a Bat Care Talk. One thing led to another and now I have a house full of bats, hamsters, two cats, a gecko and a wife, Kiri, who I married at Bristol Zoo. Alongside this I work as a freelance ecologist with a class 2 Natural England license. I enjoy leading bat walks, as well as everything else batty, and love working so closely with these fantastic creatures.
"I'm a professional animal Artist now and have a passion for bats so when the opportunity to learn more arose, I couldn't wait to be more involved..."
I've always had a keen interest in animals from a young age, rescuing wildlife as a child and enjoying learning about nature - especially ponds! However, bats have always been a favourite and I remember doing a large project on them in Year 4 and again during my foundation Art year. I'm a professional animal Artist now an have a passion for bats so when the opportunity to learn more arose, I couldn't wait to be more involved. I mainly paint companion animals, but I also love to paint original paintings based around British wildlife, so meeting creatures first hand is inspiring and also fuels my passion. I have also completed some training at Secret World wildlife rescue centre and done some work for Avon Against the Badger Cull. I enjoy creating art around what I see and helping to raise awareness of issues and often raise funds for different charities.
My favourite education bats are: Harold + Chinook, Bridge + Devon. I really can't pick one. I love all four!
"I avidly defend and protect wildlife whenever the opportunity arises..."
My love of wildlife began when I small, when I watched the birds in my nan’s garden and she would tell me all about them. I went on to study Animal Management and volunteered as a zookeeper for 2 years with Dartmoor Zoo, mainly working with big cats and bears. I graduated with a BSc from UWE in Wildlife Conservation in 2017 and found Bristol Bat Rescue in 2018. Since then I have started over-wintering my first bats, Legolas and Gimli. Now I avidly defend and protect wildlife whenever the opportunity arises. I currently work as an Ecologist with Acer Ecology and hope to gain a protected species licence for bats. I love working with the bats and all of the volunteers at Bristol Bat Rescue, promoting the protection and conservation of bat species to the public.
"...showing the good people of Bristol (and beyond) how fascinating these species are."
After a childhood deprived of not seeing a UK bat up-close in the flesh I want to save people from a similar fate by showing the good people of Bristol (and beyond) how fascinating these species are.
Having recently had a rabies jab I can now handle our furry flying friends to contribute with the ongoing rehabilitation of bats under the care of Bristol Bat Rescue.
I am working as an Ecologist in Bristol and hold a Natural England Level 1 bat licence. The work provides the opportunity to incorporate novel ways of supporting bats into a project’s design. I am always eager to learn about new enhancement opportunities for bats so please contact me if you would like to discuss this further.
"I began volunteering with Bristol Bat Rescue as a bat carer April 2018."
I have always loved animals ever since I was little and have had pets all my life. Although I studied animation at university most of my projects would involve animals. Now I am volunteering at Bristol Bat Rescue and The Moggery (cat rehoming centre) as my goals have changed since University and I want a career working with and caring for animals. I am also doing a one day a week Level 2 animal care course at Bristol City College. I began volunteering with Bristol Bat Rescue as a bat carer April 2018 and am still helping out.
"Keen to continue caring for bats, I was over joyed to hear that Bristol Bat rescue needed carers..."
I cannot remember a time where I was not interested in animals. I frequently dazzled my parents with strange animal facts which I had read at primary school. My passion for bats stemmed from a talk from the Avon bat group in which they brought education bats into my primary school, I have been captivated by them ever since. This passion lead me to study diploma Animal Management at Hartpury College and a Zoology BSc at Reading University. In my first year of University I attended an expedition in Guyana with Operation Wallacea, where I learnt how to mist net and process bats by taking their weight, body measurements and gender. After finishing university I came home to Bristol. Keen to continue caring for bats, I was over joyed to hear that Bristol Bat rescue needed carers and have been volunteering with them since Autumn 2018. My future aims are to work towards my bat licence and to undertake a PhD in bat research.
"Working with BBR has given me a great opportunity to develop my understanding of bats."
I’ve always had a passion for nature and this has been demonstrated throughout my education and professional career. I achieved a BSc in Zoology from Cardiff University and since then I’ve had experience working for my local records centre, the Wildlife Trust and most recently within ecological consultancy. Throughout this I’ve always had a keen interest in bats be it attending local events, assisting with bat box checks and trapping surveys, or taking my son to the local park with a bat detector. Working with BBR has given me a great opportunity to develop my understanding of bats while caring for those that have been injured and contributing to the conservation of these magnificent mammals!
"I joined BBR as a volunteer so that I could care for these wonderful creatures..."
Growing up in the countryside I was very lucky to be always be surrounded by nature and wildlife. Here I am now, with a degree in wildlife ecology and conservation science from UWE, and still have this child like excitement for every new thing I learn about our natural world. My undergraduate thesis explored the effect of woodland fragmentation on the sex segregation of Bechstein's Bats, and that has really fueled my passion for bat conservation. I joined BBR as a volunteer so that I could care for these wonderful creatures, and learn as much as possible from the equally wonderful team that run it!
"My interest in bats was piqued when a roost was discovered in my loft..."
I grew up fascinated by animals and my interest in bats was piqued when a roost was discovered in my loft whilst trying to install a TV aerial! I knew they were local, but not THAT local! We used to sit and watch them from our patio at sunset, swooping and feeding. We lived right on the edge of an apple orchard in Kent, where the insect pollinators were plentiful. Bat utopia! Occasionally, we'd have bat experts turn up for the sunset feeding frenzy with cameras and audio devices. We were hooked!
Fast forward a few years, a move across country and I stumble across Bristol Bat Rescue on my Facebook News Feed. They're recruiting for bat ambulance drivers and my bat-like ears prick up and reignite my interest. I apply and here we are...
"I have a passion for conservation, and have built a strong interest for bats..."
I started volunteering with Bristol Bat Rescue in early March this year. I studied Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at UWE and have over the years both worked and volunteered with different endangered species, such as bats, water voles and dormice. I have a passion for conservation, and have built a strong interest for bats through extensive dusk/dawn survey work as well as transects, and identification field work. I have handled and released bats as part of past field work in Cuba. I have also recently been to the North Devon flight cage run by Sam Pickering, to see the bats that we have been rehabilitating be test flown, so that they can be released back in to the wild. Such an amazing experience!
"The first summer with the group has let me get close to these beautiful creatures once again, and I couldn’t be happier..."
One of my earliest memories of nature is counting bats with my sister. We would stand in the garden, excitedly staring up at the roof, after a tip off from our parents that one was seen. Counting them into the darkness, over many late summer evenings, is a very fond part of my childhood. Although I grew up in the country side, and have always had a big crush on just about every animal and insect, an equal love of music and psychology took me in other directions. The idea of working with animals was never anything I thought I could follow, until I was lucky enough to go and volunteer, mainly with primates, in Central America. I ended up spending 8 months there, and on return decided I wanted to study a course in animal conservation. Looking for local projects to volunteer for was now a natural desire. Once I met the team, I knew I wanted to help as much as possible just after seeing how dedicated they all were. The first summer with the group has let me get close to these beautiful creatures once again, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
"I fell completely in love with bats...."
I’ve been studying at the University West of England for five years, and I have been doing lots of volunteering along side. I fell completely in love with bats during my dissertation on the Bechstein’s bat. I am now coming to the end of my masters, and I am working towards a bat licence, a PhD and a very batty future working with bats.