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 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

Ecology – Tales from the Field, podcast Episode 2: Helen Bradshaw & Jane Cullen

Fleur and I met up with Helen and Jane who are the records officer and chair of the WCBG back in 2019. We talked about the history and work of the group, their roles in it, the group’s ongoing badger TB vaccination programme and just badgers and badger conservation generally.
Thanks so much to Helen and Jane for their time and the sheer amount of information they impart in the interview it’s such good value!

thumbnail_IMG_5535

thumbnail_in the trough

Thanks to the badger group for these photos.

Ecology – Tales from the Field, podcast Episode 1: Noell Leather

Long time no blog 🙂

I’ve made a podcast called ‘Ecology – Tales from the Field’. You can find it on the usual podcast apps and directories. Basically it’s me and my mate Fleur chatting to interesting people in the field of ecology and conservation. If you’re ‘into nature’ you should check it out. I think there’s something in this first series for everyone.

Episode 1 is out now. I’ll be adding a new episode every week for the next 6 weeks…

Epidode 1: Noell Leather, Volunteer Reserve Manager at Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Summerseat Nature Reserve.

Fleur and I met up with Noell who took on the management of Summerseat Nature Reserve over 40 years ago. The conversation covers what the Wildlife Trust was like back then and the joys and challenges of having your own nature reserve to manage.

Huge thank you to Noell for being our first interviewee. As you can probably tell we’re good friends and it was a pleasure getting together and finding our more about her life in conservation.

 

NL