October 2013 WI meeting



Our speaker on Tuesday 8th October was not BATMAN but BATWOMAN!!  Win Quinney from Bat Rescue came along with a couple of injured rescued bats Harriet a Common Pippistrelle and Bertie a Natterers  Bat  plus her assistant Batman (her husband). It seems Win’s family including her son are all very involved in rescuing Bats.

Sadly our UK bat population has declined dramatically during the past century. Many of the roosting sites and feeding grounds have been destroyed to make way for buildings, roads etc. Pesticides have not only killed their insect prey but also some bats as well.  Now all British bats and their roosts are protected by law and it is illegal to harm or disturb bats.  She then proceeded to give us lots of information on bats, the only flying mammals. During the summer females form maternity colonies where they give birth to a single young in June or early July. For 3 or 4 weeks they are fed solely on their mother’s milk. After 4 weeks the young are able to fly and at 6 weeks they are able to forage for themselves. Sometimes, a grounded bat may just be exhausted and need a bit of time to recover with a little help. It may be in danger from passing predators so it is better to take it into captivity temporarily and get advice from the Bat Helpline or your local bat group. They are gentle creatures and seldom show aggression but they are wild animals and may be frightened and in pain. You must wear protective gloves and handle the bat as little as possible putting it in a box with a crumpled piece of cloth as the bat will feel safer if it has something to crawl into and hide.  This is when Win comes to the rescue when contacted by the Bat rescue team. She has been called to many different locations including Erlestoke Prison where an injured bat was found. She is obviously dedicated to these very interesting creatures and that certainly came across with her fascinating talk.

Some of our enterprising members had made the most of their talents by selling the fruits of their labours to help increase the amount of £5 which we were given to help with WI funds. The Soup Lunch on Wednesday 13th November 12.30 – 14.30 will be held at the Parish Hall with Soup and Pudding plus tea/coffee all for the sum of £5. There will be a raffle and sales table; this will help with our fund- raising. Hopefully we will get lots of visitors!

Various social activities were then discussed including our Christmas Meal at the local pub with friends or partners, which will then leave everyone free from having to prepare a supper at our Christmas meeting. The Federation Christmas Concert will be held this year at the Priory Church, the theme being Christmas Around the World with the guest appearance of Jo Sercome.

Next Meeting will be on 12th November when The White Horse Potter will be coming along to entertain us.                      Pam Perry.