Ecology – Tales from the Field, podcast Episode 6: Clare Sefton & Steve Parker

Episode 6: Clare Sefton & Steve Parker – South Lancs Bat Group

I met up with Clare & Steve at Clare’s house back in December 2019. We talked about what got them into bat conservation and how bats can completely change your life. How that first encounter with a bat can have you hooked, literally in minutes.
We also discuss the bat group/bat groups and the interesting work they do, but the main thing I wanted to hear about was the bat care network.
Did you know that there is a network of volunteer bat workers across the country who care for injured bats? It’s a fascinating world full of dedicated conservationists finding themselves in some often down right weird situations.

bat pic

*Photo courtesy of Andy Harmer

Ecology – Tales from the Field, podcast Episode 5: Andy Harmer & Roy Leigh

Episode 5: Andy Harmer & Roy Leigh – Cheshire Mustelidae

I met up with Andy & Roy at Andy’s girlfriends house back in November 2019. We talked about their careers in ecology as well as their extensive extracurricular ecological exploits including Andy and Rachel Hacking’s now legendary Cheshire Active Naturalists (CAN) group. But the main thing I wanted to talk to them about was their current project, Cheshire Mustelidae: Coordinating the recording of mustelids in Cheshire, and sharing sightings, photos etc.

 

They say trying to see a stoat or weasel is like going out to find a rainbow, virtually impossible. So this project means cunning, stealth and ingenuity. To find the stoat you must become the stoat! So how do they do it?

stoat*Photo courtesy of Paul Quigley (@iggyquiggy)

Ecology – Tales from the Field, podcast Episode 4: Rachel Giles

Episode 4: Rachel Giles, Evidence and Planning Manager – Cheshire Wildlife Trust

I met up with Rachel at her home back in July 2019. We talked about Rachel’s career, her interest in and work to conserve Cheshire’s Local Wildlife Sites, and the sometimes daunting, but pressingly important subject of Net Gain.
As we face an unprecedented global crisis for biodiversity, how can the government mandated net gain for biodiversity from development be successfully and measurably achieved? And what can we learn from some of the old giants of ecology as we go about making sense of it?
CWT

Ecology – Tales from the Field, podcast Episode 3: Rachel Webster

Episode 3: Rachel Webster, curator of botany at Manchester Museum

I met up with Rachel in the Museum’s herbarium, way up in the roof of the neo-gothic, Hogwartian land mark of the Manchester Uni campus back in May 2019.

We talked about the collection and the people who contributed to it as well as Rachel’s role, her predecessors and other interesting characters from the herbarium, museum and science in general’s history.

Whether or not you think you’re into botany, I think you’ll like this one. And the corridor of boxes of plant specimens we recorded the interview in had surprisingly good acoustics!

Thanks so much to Rachel for her time. It isn’t the first time she’s walked me through the herbarium’s history and now I’ll be trying come up with a new project to give me an excuse to go back.

It’s such an interesting place. From the specimens to some of the old bespoke furniture they’re stored in, to the winding stair case that leads you up to the rafters of the museum to see it all, to the stories of the many people who’ve passed through it over the years, it’s like peaking behind the scenes at of the museum.

herbarium