IMPORTANT NOTE - All Future Meetings Cancelled - Update October 2020
As you are all aware, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, and we are going to be faced with restrictions for a lengthy period, likely into 2021. At the moment no more than 6 of us can meet indoors and outdoors and therefore, it is very unlikely that we will be able to hold any meetings until 2021 at the earliest. If and when we are allowed to safely meet up again, we will issue a revised programme. Until then keep safe and healthy and we will all meet up eventually.
Bats - Facts v Fiction
It is fair to say that bats have come under huge scrutiny since the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe in March 2020 and yet it doesn't seem like they're out of the woods, yet.
According to Google search there are still over 5,000 active monthly searches about bats and coronavirus since March. Typical questions the UK public are searching for on Google include:
However, scientists have still not identified the animal “host” from which the virus passed on to humans. Many implicated the suspect to be bats although this is still undetermined...
While the source remains unclear, Ben Gardner, Director at Ecology by Design - a leading independent ecology consultancy - has been keen to ‘debunk’ the ‘facts and fiction’ surrounding the divisive creatures:
“Bats are an important part of our biodiversity within the UK and worldwide. If everyone has a greater understanding about bats and the role they play, it’s hoped they’ll be less unwelcomed. With greater knowledge about bats in the UK and worldwide we hope that people will be more excited to spot a bat and less fearful to live alongside them. Landowners and homeowners can do an awful lot to help bats. From creating a pond or wildflower area to attract more insects (that bats feed off), to installing a bat box or reducing the amount of lighting. They’re very slow breeders and long-lived therefore every little step to improve conditions for bats can have a cumulative impact on their populations and ecosystems as a whole.”
Ben Gardner and his team of ecologists have created an interactive quiz to
engage more of the British population with bats, aid their conservation, and to
most importantly provide the answers to the questions the UK public are still
Please find the link to the quiz here:
Images of the quiz can be found in this link here:
If any you need any further information, Ben and his team are more than happyanswer any questions you might have. Contact them via the Ecology by Design website above.
Local Wildlife News - October 2020
Well that was a sudden end to summer wasn't it? One day we were in the garden sunbathing and watching butterflies, the next day we were shivering indoors with the heating on. Autumn is here with a bang and we should soon be seeing some winter visitors in the area. Redwings and Fieldfares are on their way and there are reports of Waxwings in Scotland. In our garden, the odd butterfly is still flying - I saw a Red Admiral this week - and dragonflies can still be seen but such sightings will become more rare as October progresses. Further afield, there are plenty of waders at coastal sites and both Hanningfield and Abberton Reservoirs, and plenty of Great Egrets, especially at Abberton where up to 15 can be seen. Cattle Egrets can be seen regularly at Wat Tyler with 7 being reported one day - it is only a few years ago that you had to go to Africa to see these!! We saw a butterfly this week that we had not seen for ages - Wall Brown - these were seen at Tilbury along the sea wall and present in good numbers.
Please let me have a note of your wildlife sightings and I will add them to this page.
For all events please see our WWS Programme 2020 page above.
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