BCT's Roost Award judges for 2022 include experts in bat roost creation and mitigation representing the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations, academia and ecological consultancy. The latter being our previous winner from Bernwood ECS Ltd, Chris Damant. BCT are extremely grateful to them for offering their support and expertise to these Awards!
Kat Walsh, Natural England
Kat has been the Senior Specialist for Mammals at Natural England (NE), the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, for the past ten years. She has been a licensed bat worker and roost visitor for many more years and is an active member of the Cheshire Bat Group. Kat leads on NE’s mammal conservation agenda, establish and commission nationally strategic research and monitoring programmes for protected mammal species and as such has been and currently is on the steering group for many bat related publications and research programmes.
Rob Raynor, Nature Scot
Rob has worked as a species advisor and mammal specialist for Nature Scot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) for over 26 years, dealing with conservation management issues associated with bats and other terrestrial mammals throughout Scotland. Bats have formed a major part of his work over the years from undertaking roost visits in the early days to managing Nature Scot’s EBLV active surveillance programme between 2005 and 2010 and, more recently, overseeing projects such as the Southern Scotland Bat Survey, an analysis of Scottish bat population trends and production of the new GB bats and onshore wind turbines guidance. Advising on mitigation measures including artificial roost design remains a key part of his work. Rob is a member of CIEEM and is providing Nature Scot input to the revised guidance on bat mitigation.
Sam Dyer, Natural Resources Wales
Sam first joined Clwyd Bat Group in 2004, the combination of ecology, technology and the challenges of learning about these fascinating animals soon had him completely hooked. In a voluntary capacity Sam has been involved with many conservation projects in the UK and abroad and is Chair of the North Wales Mammal Group and Project officer for Clwyd Bat Group.
In early 2008 he became a freelance bat consultant through which he completed a wide range of consultancy projects which involved the design and implementation of mitigation in many different scenarios. In late 2017 Sam left consultancy to take the position of Natural Resources Wales’ Specialist Advisor: Terrestrial Mammals.
Paul Lintott, UWE Bristol
Dr Paul Lintott is a Lecturer in Conservation Science at the University of the West of England (UWE) and co-leads UWE’s Bat Conservation Research Lab. His research focus is on investigating how modern challenges, such as urban expansion, persecution, and noise pollution impact wildlife. Much of his work involves close interaction with ecological practitioners, with the aim of creating practical and sustainable solutions to human – bat conflict. He has worked alongside the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management to review the effectiveness of mitigation strategies for bats in buildings, led the dissemination of the findings from the UK bats and wind turbines project, and has published extensively in urban ecology.
Chris Damant, Bernwood ECS Ltd
Founder and company Director of Bernwood ECS Ltd with 25+ years’ experience working in countryside management and ecology. Winner of the 2021 Roost Award with "Avoidance of swarming site loss during restoration works at Cliveden".
Chris holds numerous bat licences including the Bat in Churches, Bat mitigation and class 3-4 survey licences and is taking part in Natural England’s Earned Recognition pilot. A member of the North Bucks Bat Group and co-founder of the Bernwood Forest Bechstein’s Group (2010 onwards) which undertakes specialist bat surveying using mist nets, harp traps, ringing and radio tracking for woodland bat specialists, particularly the rare Bechstein’s bat in Bernwood Forest.
Chris’s specialisms extend to working with churches to resolve impacts caused by bats; advising on historic building restoration projects; private landowners on Countryside Stewardship, Woodland Grant Schemes and land management options; and the development of Conservation Management Plans for historic parklands. Chris leads on the ecological aspects from project inception to completion and has been involved with major infrastructure projects including Milton Keynes, HS2 and East West Rail.
Bernwood Ecology has also supported NGO’s and universities in developing novel techniques in monitoring bat populations through the use of genetics, the development of the Mammal Societies new CountBat app and working with the private enterprise in the use of DNA to study the food prey and foraging habitat selection of Bechstein’s bats. The Bernwood Ecology team strives to continue to use advances in technology to improve our ecological understanding and have been working with private enterprise to develop a cost effective Infra-Red data logger to aid long term bat roost counts and activity recording.
Bernwood Ecology is a CIEEM Registered Practice and ‘Evidence Champion’ for the Conservation Evidence journal. We have contributed to published works on non-standard bat mitigation schemes (Conservation Evidence, 2013), genetic structure and diversity of a rare woodland bat, Myotis bechsteinii (Conservation Genetics, 2018) and the bats of Lokrum Island, Croatia, in relation to major renovations of the islands historical building (Lokrum Island Scientific and Professional Conference 2019).