From the Jersey Bat Group
Jersey National Park is home to many of our local bats and a new awareness campaign to educate children and the general public about the importance of these protected species, The Jersey Bat Project, was launched on Monday 15th May.
Hugh the Bat is the face of the campaign. He is named after the late Hugh Forshaw, who was a long standing member of the Jersey Bat Group. You can see Hugh the Bat on video here
Every Primary School in the island was given two bat boxes to put up in their grounds as part of the launch week. These have been made by Jersey Prison and by children at Les Landes School.
A special animation of 10 important bat facts will be released on social media and this short film will be made available for schools to use as part of a lesson plan.
Jersey National Park, Jersey Bat Group, Eco active, Department of the Environment, Channel Islands Coop and the States of Jersey Prison Joinery Workshop have all contributed to The Jersey Bat Project.
Leading up to the launch a number of events have taken place:
- The Jersey Bat Group delivered an assembly at Les Landes School (located in the JNP) all about bats
- Les Landes school took part in a bat box building workshop at led by Chris Wilson, Workshop Manager at the States of Jersey Prison
- Bat box installation (made by the children) in the Jersey National Park
- Bat moonlight walk for the Scouts, at Val de la Mare, led by the Jersey Bat Group.
Jim Hopley, Honorary Chairman, Jersey National Park commented: “Jersey National Park is delighted to work with eco-active and Jersey Bat Group with fantastic support from the Co-op and significant help from the States of Jersey Prison Joinery Workshop to bring the story of Jersey’s 15 bat species to children’s attention, explaining to them how important they are to the island. If we can also ignite their imagination in respect of the opportunities for education the National Park offers them then this is a bonus”.
Dr Amy Louise Hall, Chair – Jersey Bat Group said: “We hope that this campaign will enable us to engage with all areas of the community and teach them more about bats and the wider environment in which they live. We hope to highlight the benefits bats provide to the environment, the pressures they face in an ever changing world and how people can help them thrive.”
Nina Cornish, Research Ecologist, Department of the Environment commented: “Bat species make up 40 per cent of the land mammals in Jersey, and aside from being amazing creatures which fly in the dark and find their way around with echolocation, they also provide crucial environmental services to us. For example, they eat thousands of mosquitoes every night, they help to pollinate plants and they’re an important indicator species – when their populations are healthy, we know that Jersey’s environment is also healthy – so it’s vital to conserve and protect them. That’s why we’re pleased to be supporting ‘The Jersey Bat Project’ working closely in partnership with the Jersey Bat Group and the Jersey National Park.”
Greg Yeoman, Chief Marketing Officer for The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, said: “Funding from The Channel Islands Co-operative Society came from our EcoFund initiative, which has given more than £280,000 to environmental causes across the Channel Islands. The Jersey Bat Project celebrates the importance of this protected species and it’s fantastic that islanders will have the chance to learn and understand more about them.”