The Little Church Bat raises nearly £250 for Bats in Churches pilot project

The new children's book published by Bats in Churches was a highlight at the Braunston-in-Rutland May Fayre, a traditional village fete and celebration of the church of All Saints.

Bats in Churches engagement officer Rose at the Braunston May Fayre

Bats in Churches engagement officers and authors of our brand new children’s book, Rose Riddell and Diana Spencer, headed across to Braunston-in-Rutland on Bank Holiday Monday for the Braunston May Fayre.

Held at the church of All Saints, a Bats in Churches project church, the traditional May Fayre is a staple in the Braunston calendar and a great opportunity to raise funds for the church.

On the day the team, alongside the Leicestershire and Rutland Bat Group spoke with around 500 visitors, educating them about Bats in Churches and the work of the project at All Saints.

They also raised nearly £250 for the church through sales of The Little Church Bat, the illustrated children’s book published by Bats in Churches and written by Rose and Diana. Many visitors had come to the Fayre specifically to get their hands on a copy of the book.

Image shows a person signing copies of The Little Church Bat, a children's book

Rose and Diana were inspired to write the book to help communicate the issues around bats in churches to a younger audience.

The book is based on the true story of All Saints, which saw a dramatic increase in its resident bat population when a nearby cottage chimney collapsed in 2013 and a maternity colony of around 400 soprano pipistrelles moved in.

The cleaning burden and smell created by the bats became so acute that at one point, it was feared the church would have to close. Instead it became a pilot project church for Bats in Churches.

Image shows the church of All Saints in Braunston-in-Rutland

With the help of the project, professional bat surveys were carried out and gaps in the south aisle ceiling were sealed, meaning bats could continue to roost in the roof without making a mess in the main church building.

The church now functions as intended and the bats continue to thrive.

Rose and Diana said: ‘It was a pleasure to raise nearly £250 for All Saints through sales of The Little Church Bat and it was wonderful to see so many people at the May Fayre.’

Copies of The Little Church Bat will be available for sale at upcoming Bats in Churches events including National Bat Monitoring Programme roost count training at All Saints on May 27. Profits from sales are shared between the project, local churches and local bat groups.