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Bat Group Talk - Stepping Stones - Zoom

We start the 2020/21 winter talks with a fascinating presentation on the ‘Stepping Stones’ project. This programme of landscape scale environmental improvements will see a wildlife link between the Long Mynd and Stiperstones hills in South Shropshire. In this 150th year birthday celebration of the National Trust, we’ll hear about its lead in this ground breaking project, along with Natural England, the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, DEFRA, the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership and local community groups.

Charlie Bell, Project Officer for the National Trust’s involvement will describe the programme of work which has a 50 year ambition to provide connectivity between the two Shropshire landmarks. Linked to the Stepping Stones project is research by the Shropshire Bat Group, led by Mike Worsfold, to understand the movement of bats, notably the Lesser horseshoe bats and the way they use the habitats between the hills. Whilst Mike’s work has been hampered by the Covid restrictions this year, Mike has spent many years investigating the behaviour of bats in the local area, through trapping and tracking, notably around the border with Wales at nearby Llanymynech and through hibernation surveys in the  caves and abandoned mines around the Stiperstones.

Join us for this joint presentation by Dr Bell and Dr Worsfold, that will link the Stiperstones and Long Mynd, bats and their habitats in a fascinating virtual tour of the South Shropshire Hills.

Everyone welcome! 

£3 for Warwickshire Bat Group members or £4 for non members. Please visit http://www.warksbats.co.uk/aboutus/donatepay.aspx to pay for the talk and we will send you the details for the Zoom meeting.

Dr Charlie Bell has a background in protected habitats and conservation of rare species. Her work has not only included analysis of complex ecological data sets but also engagement with community groups and the general public.

Her projects have included opening up the wildlife of the River Don catchment areas to the wider public at the University of Sheffield, bringing landscape scale conservation to the rivers of Hertfordshire with the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and involvement with biological recording through training and engagement with the Field Studies Council.

Charlie is the National Trust’s Project Officer forthe Stepping Stones programme and will describe what the project aims toachieve. 

Dr Mike Worsfold is leading the Bats in the Landscape project, facilitated by a grant from Natural England, to study bat movements as part of the ‘Stepping Stones’ project. The funding has enabled members of the Shropshire Bat Group to provide equipment and training and the ringing of bats at the old lead mines at Snailbeach on the Stiperstones. By tagging and radio-tracking, Mike is able to find key roosts, including sites of maternity roosts, used by various species of bats, notably the Lesser horseshoes.

Since 2015, Mike has tracked bats around the Tanat Valley, generating some striking data for Lesser and Greater horseshoe bats and identifying intriguing behaviour. Mike and his partner, Eileen, have been very active in identifying hibernation sites in the abandoned mines and caves around South Shropshire, becoming active with the Shropshire Caving and Mining Club since 1993. Mike regularly provides training and education for public engagement in the fascinating world of bats.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020 19:30 - 21:30