A message from Chris...
Bats have always gone straight for my jugular, in a manner of speaking! They have so many attributes which tickle the naturalist's fancy. Many of them look quirky so we are fascinated by their bizarre physiology and, relative to so many other animals, they are inaccessible and this tantalises us as we struggle to know them better.
It was a great honour to be asked to become the President of the Bat Conservation Trust as bats have been a lifelong interest and a couple of my pre-eminent mentors were keen bat enthusiasts. I have enjoyed beginning to learn a lot more, have been introduced to a new species that I had not previously seen - the barbastelle - and also made a film about Britain's biggest noctule roost.
However, what I have rediscovered - had so pointedly reaffirmed for me - is quite what a precarious position this group of animals is in here in the UK.
It is clear that there is no room for any complacency in terms of our conservation efforts. Indeed, it seems imperative that we not only energise those endeavours already in place but that we expand our sphere of influence and continue to educate and inform those whose decisions will affect the future of the British bat fauna. I feel that BCT, with all its staff and volunteers amongst the bat groups, and with all of its potential expertise, is in the position to make a difference. So let's just do it!
Chris Packham is a wildlife television presenter and photographer. Chris joined BCT as President in September 2006.