Volunteer Bat Survey

We have updated our survey instructions with guidance on taking part while adhering to social distancing guidelines. This information will be issued to you on registration.

For more detailed information on how churches are re-opening post lockdown please read our page.

No coronavirus that is harmful to humans has ever been found in bats in the UK, but if you are concerned and would like to know more please read this summary from the Bat Conservation Trust.

Help us this summer!

Are you willing to explore a local church this summer for evidence of bats?

If so, you can help us to better understand how bats are using churches across England by taking part in one of our two surveys: Church Bat Detectives and the National Bats In Churches Study.

You can take part in the surveys whether this is your hundredth bat survey or your first!

In 2019 we piloted the National Bats in Churches Study, take a look at the results.

These surveys will allow us to:

  • Better understand how bats use churches across England
  • Predict how many churches have bat roosts, the factors influencing the use of churches by bats and explore the differences between species and regions
  • Have a more thorough picture of the perspectives of those living with bats and the issues they may be facing
  • Provide better information and support for both church communities and bat conservation

What does it involve?

For both surveys we ask you to:

  • Join the survey by clicking to register below
  • Select a church near you and make contact with the church
  • Go through a questionnaire with a church representative over the phone
  • Visit the building with permission from the church and adhering to our health and safety guidance to look for evidence of bats.
  • Provide your records to us online or via paper forms if you’d prefer

If you choose one of the churches that we randomly selected for the National Bats in Churches Study, an extra step is required so we can identify the species of bat(s) using the church, if any.

While you are able to select the church you want to survey, you will need to seek the permission of the church before carrying out any survey work and they reserve the right to decline. Our partners Church of England and Churches Conservation Trust fully support the surveys.

Take a look at the videos below to see in details how you will be surveying a church for bats and the difference between the two types of survey.

Note: These videos were created before the coronavirus outbreak. Please do not meet the church representative in person. The questionnaire will be carried out over the phone, online or via email.

We also have written instructions for the National Bats in Churches Study and Church Bat Detectives.