When bats are present in small numbers they often go unnoticed, but some churches hosting large roosts can experience issues that restrict the use of the church and its maintenance.
The Bats in Churches project is working with church and conservation communities to find bespoke, sustainable solutions for 102 of the worst affected churches across England.
Bats in Churches is a unique project, bringing together partners across the heritage and conservation sectors. The project runs until 2023 and we hope that the discoveries made will help churches and historic buildings confronted with similar challenges, to live happily alongside their bats.
The project seeks to safeguard the future of protected bat roosts sheltered in England's churches, whilst reducing the negative impact on the fabric of these historic buildings and the people who use them.
To do this, we are bringing together experts and volunteers from across the natural and cultural conservation realms to investigate and put in place practical solutions to the problems caused by bats in historic churches and to help church communities to live alongside their bat populations.
As part of the project, we are running the Bats in Churches Volunteer Survey which everyone can get involved in. The findings from this unique study will help us to understand how and why bats are using churches across the country. Click below for more info on how to get involved.
The five year project will work with some of the most severely affected churches to support them to serve their communities without restriction and we will help them to protect their historic spaces without harming bat habitats.
The partnership will recruit hundreds of volunteers to help care for their historic churches and the bats who live in them, while thousands more will be able to get involved in an exciting Volunteer Survey, education programmes and community-led bat and church events.
Natural England, the Church of England, Historic England, the Bat Conservation Trust and the Churches Conservation Trust have come together as the Bats in Churches project. This unique partnership brings together cross-sector experts, church communities and volunteers to address the issues that can arise when bats and historic churches co-exist and help to ensure a harmonious future for both.
The project secured funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional funding from the partners and the AllChurches Trust. The project runs until 2023. The project team is working with over 100 churches across England to trial ways to manage the impacts of bats in churches as to solve conflicts where they have arisen.