friends of Mel Houston

in Mel's name

Fundraising for Bat Conservation Trust
In memory of Mel Houston
Bat Conservation Trust

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RCN 1012361
We work to preserve vulnerable bat species


Mel Houston died, aged 55, on 1 January 2023.  Following a tragic accident Mel was airlifted to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh where, despite the very best efforts of all involved, she did not survive.

Mel once described herself as having had various 'working lives', all of which were in Scotland.  Firstly as a lab technician following a BSc in Biochemistry from Heriot Watt University; secondly as a photographer, having graduated with a First Class BA Hons in Photography from Napier University; thirdly, as a Preventive Conservator after graduating in 2008 with Northumbria University's MA in Preventive Conservation.

Mel's achievements in her third 'working life' as a Preventive Conservator are characterised by her capacity for hard work, the depth of her evidence-based technical knowledge, her skill at explaining the complex in simple terms and -- throughout -- her ability to continually surprise with her wit and dry sense of humour.

One responsibility of a Preventive Conservator is to minimise risk from pests - insects, rodents, birds or mammals - which can cause harm to historic artefacts and structures.   Mel developed an exceptional expertise in Integrated Pest Management where her enthusiasm unfailingly motivated others whether identifying and recording data, embracing new technology or sharing her sense of wonder at those species of flea jumping 150 times their own height.

Mel's knowledge of, and curiosity in, the natural world found further expression in the garden she created with her partner Kath - alongside their resident geese, cats, chickens and ducks.  And bats.   Professionally, and possibly uniquely amongst conservators, Mel held a Bat Roost Visitor Licence (awarded 2012).  

Mel is -- and always will be -- so highly regarded and dearly missed.

About the charity

Bat Conservation Trust

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1012361
We are the leading NGO solely devoted to the conservation of bats. Bats play a vital role in our environment but during the last century have suffered severe declines. We are working to secure the future of bats by tackling threats such as persecution, loss of roosts and changing land use.

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