bat research, training and Conservation
B.A.T. Ecological believes that good consultant ecologists come from wildlife enthusiasts, and that voluntary nature conservation and research projects provide the foundation for best professional practice. Matt Cook, Principal Ecologist and Proprietor of B.A.T. Ecological, has been actively involved in biodiversity conservation since 2007. Voluntary conservation and research work that Matt leads or has been integral to includes the following:
The ‘Nottinghamshire Barbastelle Project’ - Natural England Science, Education and Conservation (bat research) project – technical lead, coordinator and licence holder - March 2015 to date (https://insideecology.com/2018/01/22/the-nottinghamshire-barbastelle-project/).
‘Optimising Acoustic Lures for Bats’ - Natural England Science, Education and Conservation (bat research) project testing the efficacy of the Sussex Autobat and specific bat social calls in surveying for woodland bats (with Dr David Hill) – May 2018 to date.
‘Roost Finding in Nottinghamshire’ - Natural England Science, Education and Conservation (bat research) project – technical lead and licence holder - April 2017 to date.
The Bat Conservation Trust National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project – technical lead, coordinator and accredited licence holder for Nottinghamshire Bat Group - February 2014 to August 2018.
Nottinghamshire Bat Group - The Bats of Nottinghamshire Book - June 2015 to November 2018.
Leicestershire & Rutland Bat Group ‘The Barbastelle in Leicestershire’ Natural England Science, Education and Conservation (bat research) project, accredited licence holder - 2014.
Advanced Bat Survey Techniques Training and Research courses (led by Daniel Whitby and Daniel Hargreaves of BatCRU) - Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire (May 2014) and Slindon Estate, West Sussex (2013-15).
‘The Warwickshire Barbastelle Project’ (led by Dr Jon Russ and Lois Browne) – April 2012 to October 2013.
Barn owl radio-tracking (led by David Ramsden MBE of The Barn Owl Trust, Devon and Dr Akos Klein of the Barn Owl Foundation, Hungary) - 2009-10 - see Barn Owl Conservation Handbook (Ramsden et al., 2012).
South Notts Ringing Group – Barn Owl Nest Box Monitoring (Jim Lennon) – 2014 to date.
In addition to the above Matt is also one of only a handful of people in the Midlands region licensed by Natural England to train Volunteer Bat Roost Visitors (VBRVs). Natural England VBRVs visit bat roosts in homes, churches and other public buildings to provide free advice on timing and methods for undertaking certain building maintenance work, to reassure and educate people regarding bats, and to reduce the possibility of bats being excluded from their roosts. As such, VBRVs and their trainers play a critical role in the conservation of bat species - you can read more about the role of a VBRV here.
As part of the above voluntary conservation work Matt has also trained and mentored lots of volunteer bat workers in East Midlands bat conservation groups (including most of the current Nottinghamshire Bat Group committee) on bat ecology, identification and how to survey for bats, and he has also trained several colleagues and peers professionally. Following on from this Matt is currently providing professional training on ‘Surveying for Bats’ on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management - please click here to book your place on the next course, on 25 and 26 April 2019 at the beautiful National Trust Clumber Park.