Changes to National Bat Conference and Nominations for 2020 Pete Guest Award – 10June20

Hope you all are keeping well, and it you have been able to do any NBMP roost surveys, then please do post any results up on our Facebook group.

Quick interim email this week, with two updates from the BCT below.


“Dear bat group member,

We are contacting you separately to the usual monthly BCT Bat Group Bulletins with some important news about changes to plans for this year’s National Bat Conference; as well as letting you know that we are now taking nominations for the 2020 Pete Guest Award. Please read on…

National Bat Conference 2020

Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, we have decided not to hold the National Bat Conference 2020 in person. In these difficult times the health and well-being of our staff, volunteers and everyone we work with is our priority. Although the Government has not yet issued guidance specifically relating to September, we believe that a proportion of conference delegates will not be able to attend for various reasons, including the need to continue shielding themselves or vulnerable dependants.

Instead, following the success of the ‘Big Bat Skills Event – Online’ in May, and drawing on inspiration from other events that have transferred online, we are developing ideas for an alternative virtual event to replace the National Bat Conference this year. More details to follow (so keep an eye on the monthly Bat Group Bulletins).

If you have any suggestions for our alternative event (things that have worked well at other online gatherings or potential topics, speakers, workshops or new activities that you’d like to see included), please get in touch with our Training and Conferences Manager, Naomi Webster, via email to: nwebster@bats.org.uk

We are also planning to hold the BCT AGM and the Bat Worker’s Forum online this year as well, although these may take place independently. We will share further details with members and bat groups in due course.

If you have already booked into this year’s conference, we will contact you separately to ask if you want to transfer your booking to the online event, transfer it to next year, or get a full refund.

Next year, we plan to gather in person for the National Bat Conference 2021 and hope you will be able to join us. Thank you for your understanding and ongoing support

Pete Guest Award Nominations 2020

We are delighted to let you know that nominations are now being taken for the Pete Guest Award 2020. 

The Pete Guest Award is presented annually to individuals who have made an outstanding practical contribution to bat conservation. The award is presented in memory of Pete Guest, who was an inspirational figure in bat conservation for more than 20 years. Details of the award are on the BCT website at: https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/awards/pete-guest-award

The criteria for the award includes: dedication, innovation, enthusiasm and inspiration in making a difference, both to bats and to people, and helping make BCT’s vision become a reality.  Gail Armstrong won the award in 2019. Fiona & Steve Parker, Donna & Graham Street, James Shipman, Arthur Rivett, Colin Morris, Maggie Brown, Daniel Hargreaves, Peter & Maggie Andrews, Roger Ransome, Sue Swift, Tom McOwat, Phil Birkinshaw, John Haddow, Phil Richardson and Tony Hutson are all former winners (Shirley Thompson and Jenny Clark won the previous award for ‘outstanding voluntary contribution to bat conservation’).

  • How to nominate someone for the 2020 award: If you would like to nominate a fellow bat worker for the 2020 award, please send their name and a statement of support to Colin Morris at cmorris@bats.org.uk

Please note: Nominations will not be accepted without a statement on why you think the person deserves the award (relating back to the criteria stated above). This should be at least 250 words. Please include your name and your bat group or organisation. Details of previous years’ nominations (including nomination statements) can be found on the Pete Guest Award web pages (https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/awards/pete-guest-award/past-nominees). If you have any questions about what such a statement should include please get in touch.

  • Deadline for nominations: By 9am on Monday 13th July 2020.
  • Voting: A list of nominees and supporting statements will be circulated to all bat groups and posted on the BCT website by Monday 20th July.  You will then have the opportunity to vote for your preferred nominee (once) via email or post. Voting will close at 5.30pm on Monday 24th August.
  • Announcement of Winner: The award winner will be formally announced at the Bat Workers Forum later in the year (details for this event, which will move online for 2020, are to be confirmed).

If you have any questions about the nomination or voting process please do get in touch (email: cmorris@bats.org.uk or phone: 020 7820 7193).”