On the 7th of November Dr Stacey Waring attended The Bat Conservation Trust’s ‘Scottish Bat Workers Conference’ at Scottish Natural Heritage Conference Centre in Battleby, Perth. This was a long but exciting trip as whilst the Bat and Roofing Membranes research has been highlighted at many conferences in England, Wales and other European Countries; It has never before made it to a conference north of the wall (Hadrian’s to be precise).
The conference had been arranged by Anne Youngman from The Bat Conservation Trust and there were a plethora of batty talks from, using volunteers to gather large amounts of data to plying detective regarding historical recordings of locally rare bats. It was a beautiful location up near the Cairngorms National Park which was in its full autumnal colours, including a dark grey sky to add dramatic effect.
The bats and roofing membranes talk and workshop were both well received and whilst many people had heard about the research conducted, many had not fully appreciated the scale of the problem. Not only was this great opportunity to network with bat workers and people that are likely to come across these problems first-hand, but it led to talks with Scottish Natural heritage regarding their standing advice when processing European Protected Species Licences for developmental works on bat roosts. I too got to learn in more detail some of the practices used in roofing construction in Scotland which differs slightly from the practices seen south of the wall due to the standard usage of sarking boards. This will help me work with those involved in Scottish bat work to collect data on any problems experienced in Scotland where bats and modern roofing membranes meet and help develop suitable guidelines in the future.