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Bat’s an amazing way to mark ARU graduation!

Published: 22 October 2021 at 13:00

Katie Goldsbrough

Katie raises awareness by wearing unique dress featuring all 17 UK bat species

Bat lover Katie Goldsbrough highlighted the plight of the UK’s bat species by wearing a specially designed dress during her at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) graduation ceremony.

Katie, who graduated from the MSc in Wildlife Conservation during a ceremony at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge, hopes her graduation dress can help raise awareness of the plight of declining UK bat populations and show that bats aren’t just for Halloween.

The unique dress, designed and created by Karen Honey with the bat print created by Naomi Joy, depicts all 17 species of bat found in the UK, and wildlife enthusiast Katie hopes it will help inspire others to think of bats in a more positive light.

Katie works as a ranger for the Essex Wildlife Trust, based at Abberton reservoir near Colchester. She is also fundraising for the Bat Conservation Trust and helping to promote the Essex Bat Group, where she volunteers as a bat ambulance driver and bat carer.

Katie, who lives in St Osyth in Essex, explained how she was keen to celebrate receiving her Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) Master’s degree whilst doing something positive for wildlife conservation in the process. She said:

“I absolutely love bats - I am very passionate about educating people on British bats and inspiring others to get involved in bat conservation. 

“People don’t tend to know a lot about bats, but their populations have declined dramatically over the last century in the UK and with new developments, habitat loss and wind turbines on the rise, it has never been so important to protect this group of species. 

“I wanted to do something to celebrate graduation and also make an impact for bats, so I thought I would raise awareness of bat conservation at my graduation by wearing a statement dress to get people talking about these amazing animals.”

You can donate to Katie’s cause by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katie-goldsbrough-graduating-for-bats  Every penny raised goes to the Bat Conservation Trust.