Greetings fellow travellers!
My name is James and I am taking temporary charge of blogging duties whilst Carol fulfils a lifelong ambition to wrestle alligators, spit tobacco juice into a plastic bottle and exhort passing strangers to say ‘Hello!’ to her little friend.
Over the past four months I have been given the rare opportunity of working with Carol as part of a work experience/internship which is a requirement of my studies, so I hope that the change of tone isn’t too violent a gear change?
Regular visitors to the blog will already know that the tree management programme for the Kent Stour IDB has commanded much of our attention over the past few months. It offers both Carol and the IDB the opportunity to analyse the benefits and threats posed by arboreal proximity to the drainage channels and, fantastically for me, a chance to experience the complexity of balancing a conservationist passion with the practicality of working rural life.
Recent positive reports from the Bat Conservation Trust have shown how crucial this work is as they are cautiously optimistic in reporting that of the 18 resident species of the U.K., ‘most are reported stable or growing’.
This is hugely encouraging news and whilst we should be mindful that we are working from a very low baseline compared to populations recorded in the 20th century, there is an indication that a conservationist influence on the development of urban and rural housing has protected one of our most important mammals.
And bat lovers who have been starved of sightings over the winter months only have a few short weeks to go until bat populations stir from their hibernation roosts and start to fatten up in preparation for the early summer mating season.