LIFE+ Horseshoe Towers is an international project. Once a year, the teams implementing activities in each country meet live to discuss the progress of the project, exchange experiences and work together on the continuation of activities and dissemination of the applied methods during additional workshops.

This time the meeting was hosted by ČESON, a bat conservation organisation in the Czech Republic. The meeting was organised and coordinated by Jana Vandrovcová, project coordinator on the part of ČESON. It took place on 17-20 October in Horka nad Moravou near Olomouc. It brought together representatives from all countries, and an online option was organised for participants who could not attend in person. The indoor activities took place in the Dům přírody Sluňákov (Sluňákov Nature House), which operates in the Litovelské Pomoraví Protected Landscape Area.

At the team meeting we discussed the progress, but also the problems encountered during the project. There were conversations and discussions about undertaken and future activities, tasks and achieved and planned results. We debated about indicators and how to measure and report them. We worked in a small team and friendly atmosphere, and thanks to the knowledge and factual attitude of the trainers, we dispelled fears and doubts encountered during the project.

The field visit took place primarily at Chateau Čechy pod Kosířem, home to a breeding colony of the Lesser horseshoe bat. ČESON looks after the colony and, to ensure its sustainability, installs platforms to protect the building from the effects of guano and bat urine. In this way, the bats will not lose the affection they have so far enjoyed from the castle manager.

We also visited the Javoříčské jeskyně cave. with the largest hibernation site of the Lesser horseshoe bat in the Czech Republic and its magnificent dripstone decoration.

In Olomouc’s parks, we have seen a number of activities carried out for bats, including special boxes, made from part of a trunk with a hollow, which are hung on trees as a replacement shelter after a fallen or felled hollow tree.

Workshop sessions covered creative methods of bat promotion as well as the creation of new ventures and principles of project development and implementation.

Many thanks go to the organisers of the event for their commitment and hospitality. The meeting of the partners of the LIFE+ Podkowiec Towers project can be briefly summarised as inspiring and interesting, substantive and motivating. Such an exchange of experience
and cooperation is an important part of what we do.

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