30th December 2014

Bat Carer in New Year Honours List

We are delighted to hear that Jenny Clarke of the Sussex Bat Hospital has been included on the New Year's Honours List for her outstanding contributions to bat conservation. Jenny is an inspirational conservationist and wildlife educator. We are really please that her many years of dedicated work to encourage people to care for bats has been recognised by awarding her an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire)

Jenny cares for many grounded and injured bats each year. In the busy summer months when bats are most active she takes in several injured bats a day. She has extremely high standards and superb knowledge of bat care, successfully releasing many bats back into the wild.

As well as helping bats directly by caring for them, Jenny has given thousands of people the opportunity to have magical encounters with her bats, inspiring many generations to care for wildlife for the first time. At BatFest, an annual event run in conjunction with and at the Natural History Museum, Jenny volunteers her bank holiday weekend to enthuse children and families about bats. With over three thousand visitors to BatFest each year, she works non-stop talking to people and carefully explaining each species and the personalities of the bats in her care. She casts a magical spell on her audience enchanting them with these mysterious creatures. Before going to see Jenny and the bats many people think bats are scary, ugly and riddled with disease but Jenny and her bats gently break down these myths and allow people to see bats up close, often for the first time. Everyone remembers encounters with Jenny and her bats. When asked about attitudes to bats after meeting Jenny, people are always won over. No one is resistant to her charms from MPs and civil servants who see her in action at the Bat Conservation Trust Westminster Bat and Moth Night in Parliament to hard bitten journalists on our bat walk for the press in Regent's Park. Jenny and her bats even make regular TV appearances such as the One Show and more recently, Sunday Brunch. This allows Jenny to reach an even bigger audience.

Jenny's way of telling stories about her bats is what makes the experience so special, she subtly educates and informs her audience, breaking down myths and preconceptions as well as giving people the information and inspiration needed to get involved in protecting our wildlife. Jenny makes a lasting impression and because of her skill, people remember bats as small, gentle, enchanting creatures in need of our care and attention. She has inspired tens if not hundreds of thousands of people about bats.

Jenny is outstanding in her dedication, commitment and passion for bat conservation. We are delighted that she has been honoured for her superb contribution to wildlife conservation.

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