Helen Bradshaw

Field Programme Coordinator - UK & Site Ecology

  • Qualifications BSc (Hons)
  • Focus area
    Places Populations
  • Location
    At the Zoo UK & Europe
  • Additional Information Chair - Wirral & Cheshire Badger Group
    Trustee - RECORD
    Active Member - Cheshire Bat Group

Working with UK native species means I have the added bonus of always being in the field here at Chester Zoo! I get to put into practice my background in planning and development to ensure that what we do here at the zoo not only accords with national and local laws and legislation concerning wildlife, but that we are working to prevent extinction here on our doorstep.

I hold survey licences for bats and great crested newts which is essential, as we have 3 bat maternity roosts on site as well as a huge GCN population. Having spent over 14 years conducting bat surveys you may be surprised to hear no two are the same and I still get excited at each and every survey, putting my skills into practice. With the thriving GCN population here at the zoo I also get to dig deep into my years of habitat management knowledge, and make sure we’re creating and maintaining excellent habitats for our awesome amphibious residents.

Working with my local badger group, I helped establish and deliver our 6 year badger vaccination programme in east Cheshire, which we completed in 2020. Like with bats and newts, I seem to be drawn to the nocturnal side of UK wildlife, but it also involves a lot of day time survey work too and I’ve spent hundreds of hours assessing camera trap footage to turn it into useful data/information.

I joined Chester Zoo in 2018 as Site Ecologist, but my role has now expanded, and I’m the coordinator for our UK Field Programmes work as well. We work with individuals, other NGOs and charities to deliver real gains for our native species and to prevent further decline in biodiversity.