Woodland Symposium 2020

Symposium - rescheduled for 19 and 20 November 2020

With the current situation around the coronavirus outbreak and considering our responsibility to all the speakers and attendees, especially those who may be more vulnerable due to their age or pre-existing health concerns, we have made the decision to hold the event online over 2 days in November.

The programme will now be split over Thursday 19 and Friday 20 November 2020 and to make up for the lack of in-person interaction, we have added additional discussion panels and specific networking sessions using breakout rooms. By taking the event online, we are also able to increase the capacity and invite more people to attend.

Woodland Symposium 2020

BCT’s second woodland symposium will be online and will be delivered through Zoom. This symposium will be a 2-day event aimed at bat workers, landowners, ecologists and the woodland/forestry industry.

We are delighted to welcome two keynote speakers to this symposium, Mike Render and George Peterken.

Mike Render has had nearly 50 years of experience of working within the forestry industry and currently works for the Forestry Commission. He will be talking about his reflections on almost 50 years in the forestry industry; what is missing and what should be addressed looking forward to the next 50 years.

George Peterken specialises in woodland ecology and conservation and has worked for the Nature Conservancy Council (as part of the Chief Scientist team) and the Forestry Commission. He recently wrote a book about the long-term study of Lady Park Wood titled ‘Woodland Development - A Long-term Study of Lady Park Wood’ and will be sharing the changes he observed from this study at the symposium.

As well as the 2 keynote talks (sponsored by Surrey Wildlife Trust Ecology Services), throughout the event we will cover research and knowledge, what bats are in my woodland and woodland/landscape management case studies/research. In addition there will be 2 panel discussions, one covering Woodland Priorities and the second one covering Climate Change and Conservation. Breakout rooms will provide opportunities to ask further questions to our speakers and panellist, talk to exhibitors and network in smaller groups. See below. Please note that this is a draft programme and is subject to change.

Day 1 - Thursday 19th of November 2020

All presentations, panel discussions and networking will take place on Zoom

Welcome and housekeeping

Sonia Reveley, Woodland Officer (BCT)

BCT overview and review of the priorities from the last woodland symposium

Dr Carol Williams, Director of Conservation (BCT)

Keynote Talk: Reflections on almost 50 years in forestry; what is missing and what should be addressed looking forward.

Mike Render, Forestry Commission

Keynote talk Q&A

Putting woodland bats on the map: using habitat suitability models to inform targeted action

Chloe Bellamy, Forest Research

An introduction to The Woodland Wildlife Toolkit – an online resource for conservation management

Gareth Fisher, RSPB

Monitoring the Public Forest Estate

Sonia Reveley, BCT

Improving survey methods for woodland bats (TBC)

David Hill or Matt Cook (TBC)

Session Q&A

Breakout rooms or bat footage in main room – an opportunity to talk to some of the speakers and ask further questions, network or speak to our exhibitors.

Panel discussion covering Woodland priorities

Woodland priorities chosen by delegates

Panelists (TBC)

Networking in main room (optional) – Breakout rooms available for those who would like to continue discussions with the panellists, speak to exhibitors or would like to network in smaller groups

Day 2 - Friday 20th of November 2020

All presentations, panel discussions and networking will take place on Zoom

How does forestry management affect how bats use our woodlands?

Ash Murray, Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group

Bechstein's in Dorset Heaths, Dorset

Chris Dieck, Dorset Bat Group

Veteranisation – using tools instead of time

Vikki Bengtsson, Pro Natura

Woodland plants: colourful past, uncertain future

Keith Kirby, University of Oxford researcher

Ash dieback, woodland and bats

Rob Coventry, Forestry Commission

Session Q&A

Breakout rooms or bat footage in main room – an opportunity to talk to some of the speakers and ask further questions, network or speak to our exhibitors.

Panel Discussion: Climate Change and Conservation

Panellists: Dr Orly Razgour, University of Exeter

Prof. Danilo Russo, University of Naples Federico II,

Dr Olly Watts, RSPB

Keynote Talk : Lady Park Wood – A long term study

George Peterken, formerly Nature Conservancy Council

Keynote talk Q&A

The effects of woodland thinning on bats and their insect prey (includes his research at Lady Park Wood)

Andy Carr, Bristol University

Knepp Rewilding and Bats

Penny Green, Knepp Estate

Woodland restoration and bat habitats from a woodland manager's view

Matt Parkins, Woodland Trust

Session Q&A

We are keen for the day to be seen as an opportunity for a group of professionals to come together, share their ideas and talk about priorities and issues. An ideal online networking and learning opportunity, so we hope you will be able to join us.


Each day will start at 08:45 for arrival and open space networking and will finish around 16:00.

Prices (member/non-member prices)

£85/£90 for both days

£50/£55 for one day (Thursday or Friday)

If you have any questions please email our Training and Conference Manager Naomi Webster at training@bats.org.uk, or our Woodland Officer Sonia Reveley at sreveley@bats.org.uk.

Woodland Symposium 2020

Surrey Wildlife Trust Ecology Services


We are grateful to our Keynote Sponsor: Surrey Wildlife Trust Ecology Services

Other sponsorship packages are also available, click here for more information.

Next: Bats and Artificial Lighting Symposium 2019