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Board of Trustees

Officer trustees

 

David Gibbons
Chair

David GibbonsDavid's first introduction to bats was as an enthusiastic teenager during field visits with the Bedfordshire Natural History Society. Despite this promising early start, David's career took a different path and he ended up as an ornithologist.

Following a Natural Sciences degree, and a doctorate specialising in behavioural ecology at Cambridge, he worked for two long memorable summers in the Camargue on birds and damselflies. His first proper job was with the British Trust for Ornithology, where he collated information from thousands of birdwatchers to produce an atlas of the distribution of birds in Britain and Ireland.

He moved from the BTO to the RSPB in 1994, and for the last fourteen years has been responsible for overseeing the RSPB's scientific programme. The research portfolio of David's team is very broad, ranging from trying to understand why house sparrows are disappearing in London, to using novel technologies to track seabirds at sea and migrant birds across Africa, to monitoring the wildlife of a Sumatran rainforest. More broadly, David is also involved in setting the direction for RSPB's conservation work.

He is a former Chair of the European Birds Census Council, and helped to set up bird monitoring schemes across Europe. He is on the Steering Committee of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a collaboration between academics and conservation organisations that is establishing a new conservation campus within the university.

David hopes that his knowledge of research, monitoring, conservation and organisational management, both in the UK and internationally, will be of value to BCT. He is also very keen to learn more about bats, and is helping out with the NBMP field survey in his home county of Suffolk.

 

Sarah Escott
Vice Chair

Sarah Escott, BCT Trustee

Sarah is a Manager in Natural England (NE) and leads their national Evidence Programme and Geographic Information Services teams and Principal Advisers in Evidence Services team.  She is a terrestrial ecologist and her interest in bat conservation was sparked during her time as manager of NE’s bat advice service (until July 2009).  By vounteering as a trustee she hopes her leadership experience, of both people and delivery programmes, helps BCT manage their current business, and develop its future delivery and funding.

 

Steve Markham
Hon Secretary

Steve MarkhamSteve is an Environmental Scientist, who has had a career working for companies to develop mathematical models helping clean up rivers and estuaries of the UK and overseas. More recently he has been designing rainwater harvest and irrigation systems, and undertaking the management and investigation of building water systems. He has always had an interest in conservation and holds Natural England roost visitor and mitigation licences. For the last 11 years, as a Director of Marquis & Lord Ltd, he continues to do business in the water management field and undertakes professional bat work.

 

Tom Andrews
Treasurer

Tom Andrews - TrusteeTom has worked for a wide variety of wildlife conservation organisations including WWF, IUCN and the Wildlife Trusts and is currently Programmes Director for the Soil Association. He says bats really came to his attention when managing an eco-tourism project in Uganda where, every night, hundreds of thousands of bats would explode into the dusk from a large escarpment cave, desperate to evade the circling bat hawks. “Since then, bats have seemed to enter my life more and more, from assisting with bat walks in Northumberland to wondering how many are in the walls and roof of our cottage.” Tom hopes to use his fundraising, communications and project management experience to help BCT's work.

 

Bat Group nominated trustees

 

Bob Cornes

Bob has been involved with bats and been a member of the Bedfordshire Bat Group for 20 years.  He has been a licensed bat worker for most of that time and is also a member of the Cambridgeshire Bat Group as well as a member of the Barbastelle and Bechstein's Technical Advisory Group.  Bob's involvement with BCT has included the Count Bat and other projects. 

He spent thrity years teaching biology, mostly at A level, and has served on the Council of his local Wildlife Trust for eleven years.  This previous understanding of conservation charity work aids his contribution to the running of BCT.

 

Tom McOwat

Tom has been 'hooked' on bats since 1970, when he met Bob Stebbings working on his PhD on Rhum. This was followed by attempts to locate bats in Scotland and from 1974 in Wales.  Over the years Tom has participated in a broad range of grass-roots bat work, helping to found bat groups, contributing to the first edition of the Bat Workers' manual, organising regional training conference workshops and initiating the Pengelli Barbastelle survey.

In 1978 he became the first person to be employed full time on bat work, in his two year research work on greater horseshoe bats is west Wales.

Tom was a graphic designer by profession and his work included digital mapping and GIS.  He continues to develop his skills as wildlife/bat artist, whilst maintaning his greater horseshoe work, helping householders with wayward bats and making development surveys for planning.  

 

Steve Parker

Steve ParkerSteve is a qualified Mortgage Adviser, and has a particular interest in the role of voluntary bat workers and bat groups and was nominated for election to the board by the Bat Groups.

Steve became interested in bats through South Lancashire Bat Group in 1999 and became hooked after meeting a number of bats in care. He soon realised that bat conservation had rekindled a passion for wildlife. He is now a Roost Visitor and trainer, and treasurer of the local group, and has helped re-structure the group, which recently became a charity. He is also involved in bat walks and talks, country events and helps his wife care for a number of grounded and injured bats each year. He has also run a number of projects for the group.

Steve is passionate about bat work on a local level and believes that bat groups are a great way of delivering bat conservation, talking directly to people and changing attitudes in their activities.

 

Ordinary trustees 

 

Abigail Entwistle

Abi is currently Director of Conservation Science and Design at Fauna & Flora International (FFI).

After studying Zoology at Oxford she undertook a PhD at Aberdeen University with Professors Paul Racey and John Speakman, focusing on conservation biology of the brown long-eared bat. This involved three years of roost visits, ringing and radio tracking, and resulted in an ongoing passion for bats.

Following her PhD she worked on a conservation project targeting the Pemba flying fox in Tanzania. This project was partly funded by FFI, and after her return to the UK, Abi started volunteering for FFI, and has stayed there ever since, in a variety of roles.

 

Rupert Lancaster photo

Rupert is Non-Fiction Publisher at Hodder & Stoughton, responsible for books by a wide range of authors including Ray Mears, Robert Peston, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Melvyn Bragg, Tristan Gooley and Simon King.

Born in Hereford, he trained as a teacher before moving to bookselling and then into publishing. After working as Publicity Director of Jonathan Cape, he became Group Marketing Director, then Editorial Director of Chatto & Windus. He was head of Random House Enterprises before joining Hodder Headline in 1995.

He’s had  a life-long interest in the natural world  and as a director of the Fortis Green Community Allotments Trust in north London, he’s been working with the Haringey Wildlife Officer to enhance the biodiversity of the allotment site and the adjoining grounds of Tetherdown School, where he’s a Community Governor. His interest in bats began when he published The Complete Bat by James Robertson while working at Chatto & Windus in 1990. He’s particularly interested in the PR and marketing side of conservation and the role of local and central government.

  

Roger Mortlock 

Roger Mortlock is Chief Executive of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT), the county’s largest environmental charity with 28,000 members and over 60 nature reserves. He joined GWT in 2013 from the Soil Association where he was Deputy Director and Chair of the Food for Life Partnership. Previously he was worked in policy, communications and fundraising roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Nursing and the national volunteer agency, Community Service Volunteers. He is also Chair of the Soil Association Land Trust which holds productive land in trust for future generations, a Trustee at Hawkwood College, and Chair of the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership. Professionally he has a particular interest in ecological land management, green infrastructure in the built environment, and programmes that connect people and nature, especially in relation to health and wellbeing. His interest in bats started when he was given a bat detector, aged 12, and has continued ever since. 

 

Kirsty Park

K Park trusteeKirsty is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling. Her interest in bats was sparked as a teenager when a bat flew in to the house and was rescued from being washed down a plug hole.

She then went on to do a degree in Biology at Leeds University where, by happy coincidence, John Altringham was based and became involved with his research in the North York Moors. Following this she completed a PhD in bat ecology at Bristol University under the supervision of both Gareth Jones and John.

Since then her research interests have broadened to encompass the effects of anthropogenic change on biodiversity and how best to manage this. Much of this relates to animal ecology and conservation in managed environments (e.g. urban, agricultural, forestry). Kirsty hopes that her experience will help BCT continue to expand its scientific research and that the results of this are implemented for the benefit of bat conservation.

 

Robert UpexRobert Upex trustee 

Robert is a barrister and Emeritus Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Surrey.  He is a specialist in employment law and has written a number of books on the subject, among them "The Law of Termination of Employment".  He was also a part-time Employment Judge for 12 years.

He hopes that his legal expertise will be of assistance to BCT in dealing with the challenges posed by the legal environment in which it operates.  And he hopes to increase his knowledge of bats and their habitats. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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