22nd May 2013

The Nottinghamshire Bat Group is sad to report the loss of Janet Eames after losing her battle with illness on the 20th of January this year. Her memorial service was held in an overflowing church close to her home in Creswell, Nottinghamshire on the 28th January.

Janet Eames, in real partnership with her husband Derrick, was at the forefront of bat conservation and bat group formation in the early 1980s and together they established the North Notts Bat Group in 1984.

Janet and Derrick were a partnership, some would say at times a double act, based upon a real dedication to bat conservation.

Like any family tree, or indeed good pedigree, the trainees coming out of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Bat Groups in the past 20 years and indeed still today can trace their lineage back to Janet. The delivery of bat conservation in Nottinghamshire began and continues on the foundations that she built with her life partner Derrick.

They ran their bat group and indeed their many training activities in a light-hearted informal way but with an effectiveness and professionalism that is evident in so many established bat conservationists they trained. Training with the Eames was not without hazard, not for any impending physical threat but one from cholesterol given the heavy focus upon foraging and the uncanny way that all events appeared to be supported by lavish banquets. What people didn't see was the amount of time, care and expertise Janet put into hosting any event.

Any bat walk, bat group survey or training event, or indeed the multitude of bat call outs they completed, was led by Derrick with his confident and expert approach, tinged with the usual joviality. However the quietest person in the double act, and indeed in the whole group, who was locating all of the hard to find evidence and the person discovering the most hidden bats was Janet.

Janet Eames was a remarkably good bat surveyor with an eye for even the slightest trace of evidence and a genuine passion for conserving bats. Janet was also at the forefront of bat care techniques and in the early days her house was filled with recuperating animals.

As a couple they spent an extraordinary amount of time batting in the caves at Creswell Crags, indeed Janet even took up a job there running the catering, but there was no better location to demonstrate her bat surveying skills than those caves. Most trainees were fortunate if Janet temporarily took them aside from the pack that was following Derrick to be shown droppings or indeed hidden bats that a plethora of bat surveyors had just walked past.

Nottinghamshire bat conservation has lost one of its finest, but would like to celebrate the contribution of Janet Eames with bat workers nationally.