Conservation services

Lisa Worledge, Head of Conservation Services & Partnerships Officer

Lisa Worledge, Head of Conservation Services & Partnerships Officer

Lisa joined BCT in May 2011 as Partnerships Officer and was promoted to Head of Conservation Services in April 2016. Working with Elisabeth and Steve, the Scotland and Wales Bat Officers, a major part of Lisa's role is to support bat groups and share information between BCT and bat groups, as well working on joint projects with Partner Groups. Lisa also line manages BCT's Training Manager, our two Helpline Managers and the Bats in Churches (BiC) Project Training & Survey Officer. She sits on the Steering Group for the BiC Project as well.

Her interest in bats was first sparked by a bat walk with the Birmingham and Black Country Bat Group in 2008. This is Lisa’s second career having worked in the IT industry for 13 years. After completing a BSc in Ecology & Conservation (Hons) at Coventry University, Lisa worked as an ecologist and as the coordinator for the Warwickshire, Coventry & Solihull Local Biodiversity Action Plan Partnership. Lisa has been a Natural England Volunteer Bat Roost Visitor since 2011. She completed an MSc in Biological Recording with the University of Birmingham in 2012.

Lisa has some interesting additional aspects to her role including, with Becky Wilson, being one of the primary contacts at BCT for bats and diseases. Lisa enjoys giving talks and running workshops (she was delighted to be asked back as a tutor for the bats module on her old MSc Programme!). In her role Lisa is always looking for new ways to support and champion bat groups, as well as identify potential projects to work with Partner Groups on. So please don't hesitate to get in touch with any queries, requests or ideas.

Email Lisa: lworledge@bats.org.uk

Colin Morris, Bat Groups Officer

Colin Morris, Bat Groups Officer

Colin joined BCT in April 2019, stepping into the shoes of Lisa who had undertaken the job so well since 2011. Many of you will know him from his work with the Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT), managing some of the most important bats roosts in the UK and Europe but, but it all started a long time before this. Living in a tiny village, surrounded by fields, woodlands streams and rivers, he found he had a natural curiosity for the wildlife that surrounded him, particularly the bats. This was cemented when he found a tiny grounded bat on the garden path - it was probably a pipistrelle. It was hung on a wall and it was gone the following morning – his first bit of bat conservation. Although he didn’t know it at the time this interest in bats was to become a passion that he’s delighted to say, he still has today. As a roof tiler, working in the west- country and in mainly rural locations, he discovered many of the buildings he was working on had bats in, and he was regularly calling the Nature Conservancy Council (now Natural England) for advice.

In the early 1980s he joined the Dorset Bat Group and trained for his first bat licence. As a volunteer he helped Bob Stebbings excavate the ‘World’s first cave in solid rock for hibernating bats’ (1989). Towards the end of 1991 Colin joined the VWT and undertook a variety of projects, from ‘Developing a method to determine the population of small mustelids in the UK’, initiating a programme of bat box schemes to enable the study the rarer woodland bats (barbastelle and Bechstein’s) and undertook several radio-tracking projects on both species of horseshoe bats and two projects on Bechstein’s bats, but his main role was managing the trust’s portfolio of nature reserves.

In 2014 he was thrilled to be awarded the Pete Guest Award for his contribution to bat conservation in the UK.

You can reach Colin by email cmorris@bats.org.uk or calling 020 7820 7193.

Elisabeth Ferrell, Scotland Officer

Elisabeth Ferrell, Scotland Officer

Elisabeth is our Scottish Officer who joined the team in July 2017. She had previously undertaken an internship the year before assisting with the National Bat Monitoring Programme.

Elisabeth has had an interest in all kinds of wildlife from a young age, but her fascination with bats started after seeing a large roost emergence during a family holiday in Wales.

Deciding to pursue a career in bat conservation she became involved in various projects both in the UK and abroad, learning from bat conservationists and enthusiasts alike. Her degree in Zoology from Glasgow University gave her the opportunity to undertake research expeditions to Trinidad with the help and support of Trinibats.

Elisabeth’s experience lies in community engagement and protected species surveying having worked for The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Direct Ecology, an ecological consultancy firm based in Scotland.

Working as the Scottish Bat Officer combines Elisabeth’s love of research and community engagement. She works with bat groups up and down the country as well as always looking to engage new audiences in conservation and surveying.

Elisabeth aims to support and encourage other bat enthusiasts, conservationists and researchers so please do get in touch.

Email Liz: eferrell@bats.org.uk

Steve Lucas, Wales Officer and Species Legislation & Policy Specialist

Steve Lucas, Wales Officer and Species Legislation & Policy Specialist

For Steve, nature conservation is a second career having originally started out as medical laboratory scientist for 14 years before going to University to study Environmental Biology at Swansea. After a successful degree, he went to work with the local Wildlife Trust working his way from reserve management to conservation officer before moving to the Countryside Council for Wales in 2001. Whilst at CCW as a Regional Species Officer, Steve was seconded to the Welsh Assembly Government for two years as a biodiversity officer overseeing species licensing as well as general biodiversity projects. During this he gained a post graduate diploma from Trinity College at Carmarthen.

Steve has always had a passion for natural history - probably his upbringing in East Africa for 7 years! Apart from bats, he has a long standing interest in terrestrial invertebrate ecology so leps/bees/ants/wasps and even those eight-legged friends the spiders! Now he works with several bat groups in south Wales doing both summer / winter surveys and monitoring, and has also involved in the Bechsteins project.

Email Steve: slucas@bats.org.uk

Naomi Webster, Training & Conferences Manager

Naomi Webster, Training & Conferences Manager

Naomi joined BCT in 2017. As Training & Conferences Manager, she is responsible for all the in-house and commissioned training as well as overseeing the organisation of various conferences each year. Prior to joining BCT, Naomi worked in education for the Wellcome Trust and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. During her 10 years in Jersey with Durrell, she gave more fruit bat talks than she cares to remember and always managed to mention their smaller local cousins as well.

Email Naomi: nwebster@bats.org.uk

Claire Boothby, Training & Survey Officer, Bats in Churches Project

Claire joined BCT in January 2019 as the Training and Survey Officer for the Bats in Churches Project; a partnership made possible by Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF). She found her love of bats whilst on her first bat walk, held at National Trust’s Polesden Lacey, which inspired her to learn more and to later take part in the Waterway and the Sunset/Sunrise Surveys.

Claire is passionate about helping to reduce conflict between people and the conservation of wildlife, and gained her MSc qualification in Ecological Applications at Imperial College London in 2016. Since then Claire has worked with citizen scientists across UK to monitor British wildlife. Claire previously worked for British Trust for Ornithology as the Development Officer for BTO Garden BirdWatch and as the Organiser of the Tawny Owl Calling Survey.

Email Claire: cboothby@bats.org.uk

National Bat Helpline

Hannah Van Hesteren, Helpline Manager

Hannah Van Hesteren, Helpline Manager

Hannah has been working with bats since 2013 when she began volunteering in nature reserves and on surveys around London after graduating with a BSc. Hannah started as one of two Helpline Managers in August 2018, but has worked in the Helpline team since May 2015 when she started as a Seasonal Helpline Officer. She is an active member of the London Bat Group where she performs the role of Joint-Chair, Trustee & Enquiries Officer. Hannah also has a keen interest in conservation communication; she is currently studying for an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London and spends much of her time communicating to the public about the wonderful world of bats.

Email Hannah: hvanhesteren@bats.org.uk

Becky Wilson, Helpline Manager

Becky Wilson, Helpline Manager

Becky joined BCT in May 2014 as a Seasonal Helpline officer and later that year moved to a permanent role in the NBMP team as Survey Coordinator. She returned to the Helpline team as a Manager in August 2018.

Becky has a degree in Biology from the University of Southampton and has always been passionate about wildlife conservation. In 2013 she interned at the Botanic Gardens Conservation International, where she took part in completing a Red List of the tree family Betulaceae as part of the Global Trees Campaign.

Becky fell in love with bats whilst carrying out her dissertation on the effects of LED lighting on bat foraging behaviour. She is a member of the London Bat group and enjoys taking part in bat surveys, especially NBMP Hibernation Surveys. Her favourite moment of working with bats was getting to see both greater horseshoe and lesser horseshoe bats while helping out with Hibernation counts in Dorset.

Email Becky: bwilson@bats.org.uk

Jennifer Pope, Bat Advice Officer

Jennifer Pope, Bat Advice Officer

Jen has worked on the helpline at BCT since 2007, starting as a Seasonal Helpline Officer.

Jen graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Plymouth in 2005 and carried on at Plymouth to obtain an MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology. She decided on a career in conservation after travelling to Madagascar in her gap year, where she studied for a BTEC in Tropical Habitat Conservation.

Jen works part-time mainly writing Natural England advice letters. Her hobbies aside from bats include her young family, hiking the Cornish coast path, diving and hen keeping.

Email Jen: jpope@bats.org.uk

Laura Brown, Bat Advice Officer and Bat Care Network Coordinator

Laura Brown, Bat Advice Officer and Bat Care Network Coordinator

Laura Brown spent two years as a seasonal member, before becoming a permanent addition of the team in November 2015. She’s originally from West Virginia in the United States and has a degree in Political Science from Alderson Broaddus University. She moved to London in 2000.

Laura spent a decade in financial services before pursuing a career change and obtaining a diploma in Animal Management from Capel Manor College. When not with BCT, she’s worked for veterinary practices in London, including the Royal Veterinary College’s Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital. In her spare time, she writes poetry, fiction and animal-related nonfiction, which have appeared in several print and electronic publications.

Email Laura: lbrown@bats.org.uk

Grace Johnson, Bat Advice Officer and Out of Hours Project Coordinator

Grace Johnson, Bat Advice Officer and Out of Hours Project Coordinator

Grace studied Zoology at the University of Leeds, where several bat modules and a ringing project on a field trip first sparked an interest in bats.

She then worked in Australia for over 2 years and travelled around Asia, New Zealand and the South Pacific (with a trip to South America planned for later this year!). Whilst travelling she undertook various volunteer conservation projects in Borneo and Australia and has seen rare and unusual animals in the wild including orangutans, pygmy elephants and manta rays.

She has recently moved to London from Newcastle to pursue a career in conservation, and enjoys running, cooking and David Attenborough documentaries.

Email Grace: gjohnson@bats.org.uk

Ele Johnstone, Helpline Officer

Ele Johnstone, Helpline Officer

Before joining the Helpline, Ele gained an integrated Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Sheffield. Ele is originally from Dorset and has volunteered for a range of conservation organisations including Dorset Wildlife Trust and is currently a member of Dorset Bat Group, London Bat Group and the London Natural History Society. Outside of work she enjoys writing and blogging about conservation and nature, wildlife photography and running.

Email Eleanor: ejohnstone@bats.org.uk

Tristan Evans, Helpline Officer

Tristan Evans, Helpline Officer

Tristan studied Film at the University of West London and, before joining BCT as a Seasonal Helpline Officer, had various different jobs in the film industry. Outside of work Tristan is a keen artist, fencer and enjoys walking in search of nature. Tristan has previously taken on the Three Peaks Challenge and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

Email Tristan: tevans@bats.org.uk

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