5 years ago
A landscape supervisor from Glendale Civic Trees has been recognised for his outstanding practical contribution to bat conservation by the Bat Conservation Trust.
James Shipman, based in Watford, received the Pete Guest Award at the National Bat Conference, the biggest event in the bat calendar, for his dedication, innovation and enthusiasm in making a difference to bats.
The Pete Guest Award is given in memory of Pete Guest, an influential figure in bat conservation for more than 20 years.
James has been involved in bat conservation since 2010, he comments: “I have had the pleasure of being involved with a variety of projects over the years. These include catching and ringing bats in Bath as part of a research project, helping out in Slovakia, both conserving and learning about their local bats, chairing the Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire bat group and running a variety of training programmes around Newbury in Berkshire.”
James also established and continues to coordinate a project in Gibraltar, Gib-Bats, which aims to educate the public and local government about the country’s bat population and discover new species.
James continues: “I enjoy working in bat conservation because I want to learn more about these fascinating creatures. My main goal each year is to inspire and instil passion into at least one other person so that they will continue the work we do with bats.
“I was shocked to have been nominated for the award, let alone win it! I think this award is extremely important because it stresses how essential bat conservation is, and also rewards those volunteers who put so much of their own time into bat conservation and research. Without all of the people nominated this year we would know a lot less about bats, and also have a lot fewer bats around.”
The biggest threats to the UK’s bat population are cats followed by development work such as barn conversions and even the introduction of wind farms. But there is a lot that can be done to conserve and protect them and James advises the best place to start is by contacting local bat or conservation groups for volunteer and training opportunities.
“Bats are amazing creatures”, he continues, “did you know that a Pipistrelle bat, which is about the size of your thumb, can eat 3,000 mosquito-sized insects in one night? That’s the equivalent of us eating about 300 chicken nuggets!”
As landscape supervisor for the tree supply, plant and relocation arm of the green service provider, Glendale, James is responsible for managing and growing the company’s landscaping activities, supporting the sales team and leading teams onsite to ensure project targets are achieved.
He was formally presented with the Pete Guest Award on Saturday 3rd September.
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