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Surprises in store at St Margaret’s Harwood Dale

This appeared to be confirmed when I took a quick look round with the Church warden a couple of months prior to the survey starting. Then imagine the surprise when you go to set up the recorder for the first time and, as the church is unlocked, to be told that there is actually a…

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Call for volunteers to survey the nation’s churches for bats this summer!

  For centuries, bats have been associated with churches and in some cases these historic buildings are home to national and even internationally important bat roosts. The Bats in Churches Study aims to understand how and why these protected mammals use church buildings and is appealing for volunteers to come forward to help by searching…

Claire Boothby taking part in the Bats in Churches volunteer survey.

July 2020 Update: Getting the ball rolling again

  The project is facing the challenges presented by the pandemic head on and forging ahead with our plans while adhering to guidance as lockdown is slowly lifted. Churches are cautiously beginning to re-open and we’re getting ready for the autumn season of bat mitigation works at some of our churches. A huge thank you…

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Rare bat discovered by our survey volunteers

A DNA analysis of droppings collected by one of our volunteers confirmed the presence of grey long-eared bats in the church they surveyed. These bats are one of the rarest mammals in Britain with an approximate population of just 1000 and there are few known records of them using churches. Our volunteer-led Bats in Churches…

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Re-opening guidance for churches post-lockdown

There are a lot of new rules and regulations on keeping your church building safe while re-opening it during the coronavirus pandemic. The Bats in Churches project is not an authority on this but would like to offer some helpful tips. For more information, please refer to the changing government guidance and the Church of…

Heritage Advisor Rachel Arnold leading a cleaning workshop with help from Engagement Officer Rose Riddell

February 2020 Update: Full steam ahead for the Bats in Churches project

The bats are still in hibernation, but the recent mild weather has caused some of them to become a little restless. On a church visit this week we were demonstrating how to use a bat detector and to our surprise we picked up some echolocation from a chatty bat up in the rafters, perfect timing…

The very well attended Beer & Bats night at All Saints Church, Braunston-in-Rutland

November 2019 Update: Bedtime for bats, but the team is busier than ever!

Among the drifts of falling leaves, it’s finally time to find a cool nook and bed down for the winter, if you’re a bat that is! On the other side of the roost, the Bats in Churches team are busier than ever. We’re taking advantage of the hibernation period to coordinate construction work for some…

Volunteer Bat Roost Visitors, Roger & Sylvia Jiggins

Volunteers nominated for Natural England award

Expert Volunteer Bat Roost Visitors, Roger & Sylvia Jiggins, are in for a chance to win a Green Award for Terrific Acheivers from Natural England! County Bat groups can be tremendous sources of support and expertise for church communities living alongside bats. Essex Bat Group is a shining example of a dynamic and proactive Bat…

Specialist ecologist, Dr Charlotte (Lotty) Packman, is glad that the days are now getting shorter so that she can now get home before midnight!

July 2019 Update: The bat survey season continues!

For many of our female furry friends, the sole pup of the year has been born and, while they aren’t yet flying very successfully, they’re growing stronger fed by their mother’s milk. Keep your eyes peeled near known maternity roosts for pups on the ground as they’re learning to fly and if you see one…

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Bats in Churches project takes off!

The Bats in Churches project is now officially underway with the new team on board and committed to seeing the project through over the next five years. The end of last year saw solutions successfully developed for the three pilot churches, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund confirm a grant of £3.8 million, securing the…