16th September 2013

West Yorkshire bat worker, Maggie Brown, is honoured for her outstanding voluntary contribution to bat conservation.

Maggie Brown, from Otley, West Yorkshire was announced at the Bat Conservation Trust's National Bat Conference as the 2013 recipient for the Pete Guest Award. This award is voted for by bat workers from around the UK and Maggie has been recognised for her unfailing hard work in bat care and for the practical conservation work she undertakes.

Not only does she tend to the bats in her care at the West Yorkshire Bat Hospital,which she runs from her home in Otley, she helps organise training and workshops on bats and bat care. She has her own shed and 'flight' (bat cage designed to allow bats to fly freely) for housing and rehabilitating the bats in her care. She has also written and produced the Bat Care Manual; viewed by many as an invaluable guide to bat care for rehabilitators. Maggie has been working with bats for many years.

Maggie Brown said on receiving the award: "I'm overwhelmed and surprised... ...For 28 years, along with my husband, I have been doing what I can in different ways to contribute towards the conservation of bats, but then so have many other volunteers."

Lisa Worledge of BCT says "The Pete Guest Award highlights the invaluable work undertaken by all dedicated volunteers in bat conservation.Numbers of British bats declined steeply in the last century due to changes in farming techniques and urban and rural development. Bats really do need all the help they can get - and we'd urge more people to get involved with their conservation."

The Pete Guest award - inspiring others

This award was established by BCT and is given in memory of Pete Guest who was an inspirational figure in the bat conservation movement for more than 20 years. Each year, the bat world is invited to nominate individuals who have made an outstanding practical contribution to bat conservation. It is voted for by bat workers.The criteria for the award includes: dedication, innovation, enthusiasm and inspiration in making a difference, both to bats and to people, helping make BCT's vision become a reality.