My Week: Xavier Hamon

The Count Bat Project regional officer (south east) at the Bat Conservation Trust recounts his week

Xavier Hamon
Xavier Hamon

MONDAY - Today's a day of running round London with various bits of 'batty' kit. First, I'm off to Alexandra Park to lend the park warden bat detectors, which translate normally inaudible bat sounds into a frequency humans can hear and help us to identify the bat species. Then it's a mad dash to Homebase to pick up enough weather-proof cord to suspend bat boxes from trees in Fulham's Bishops Park, which the bats will use as summer roosts - not forgetting to wrestle a ladder into the back of the car. We film ourselves putting up the boxes so others can learn how to do it too, but the process attracts lots of interest, so the activity quickly turns into a Q&A session about bats.

TUESDAY - I take an evening workshop in Croydon on how to lead a bat walk. The training session should include lots of bat sounds, images and video to help people learn how to identify different species and find bat hotspots. This time, however, it goes a little differently because the speakers and projector don't arrive. The session has to be delivered old-school style, with me improvising the clicks and squeaks that you can hear through a bat detector. The audience then put their new found skills to the test during a walk around the local park, looking and listening for bats.

WEDNESDAY - I am in a music studio with a group of young people from Hammersmith & Fulham Action on Disability, mixing music with bat calls and recorded voices to put together a nice music clip. We end the afternoon dancing in the garden to the newly created tune.

THURSDAY - Bats are most active between May and August, so there's always a lot to pack into the season. A first for me is taking bat conservation into a prison - I am preparing for a session on using bat detectors and encouraging bats in the grounds for the women of East Sutton Park prison. I also spend some time on my work to build an online 'Big Bat Map' that will allow people to share sightings of bats and find local events. Keeping the website accessible, action-packed and simple to use is a challenge.

The Bat Conservation Trust protects bats and their habitats

Xavier Hamon is the Count Bat Project regional officer (south east) at the Bat Conservation Trust

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