Churches are important roosting sites for bats and some have provided a safe haven from habitat loss for many generations.

In small numbers bats often go unnoticed, but when a large roost is present they can create an unmanageable cleaning burden, reduce the functionality of the church, and cause damage to heritage items of high cultural value.

The Bats in Churches project is a unique partnership between Natural England, the Church of England, the Bat Conservation Trust, the Churches Conservation Trust, and Historic England that was created to address the issues that bats can cause in churches while continuing to protect their roosts.

Funded by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project endeavours to empower church communities to live alongside and appreciate their resident bats by helping to alleviate some of the pressures that they can cause.

Historic churches are attractive to bats because of their many entry and exit points,
nooks and crannies to roost in, and are often surrounded by a species-rich churchyard

Our projects

We have 0ver 100 projects across the UK aiming to protect bats and the amazing heritage buildings they call home.

All
  • All
  • East Anglia
  • Midlands and the North West
  • South and Central
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Bromfield, St Mary the Virgin

Formerly a Benedictine Priory Church built in c. 1155, a striking and significant feature of St Mary the Virgin is the chancel ceiling depicting the Shield of Trinity surrounded by cherubs and texts.

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Bruera, St Mary the Virgin

A Norman church with a South Chapel added in the C15th and a quirky timber belfry, St Mary’s was completely restored in the late C19th. It has been home to a colony of brown long-eared bats for many years.

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Chacewater, St Paul

More information on our work with this church coming soon. Please contact us if you would like to find out more.

Netherseal Bat 2

Chignal Smealy, St Nicholas

More information on our work with this church coming soon. Please contact us if you would like to find out more.

Netherseal Bat 2

Chrishall, Holy Trinity

More information on our work with this church coming soon. Please contact us if you would like to find out more.

Netherseal Bat 2

Christchurch, The Priory Church of the Holy Trinity

More information on our work with this church coming soon. Please contact us if you would like to find out more.

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Cley, St Margaret of Antioch

A spectacular church on the north Norfolk coast with carved stonework and dramatic window tracery.

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Clothall, St Mary the Virgin

St Mary’s is home to a splendid stained glass window depicting birds of the English countryside as well as more exotic species. It shelters a large number of bats which have a significant impact on the church furnishings and fittings.

Netherseal Bat 2

Coggeshall, St Peter ad Vincula

More information on our work with this church coming soon. Please contact us if you would like to find out more.

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Cold Overton, St John the Baptist

This Grade I listed church is adorned with rare C13th pre-Reformation wall paintings on two of its lime-plastered walls. Bat boxes in the nave roof provide new roosting spaces for a maternity colony of soprano pipistrelles.

Help us find out how bats are using churches across England

By surveying your local churches for bats

Need help or info about bats?

Call the Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228

Churches in England are eligible for free bat advice provided by Natural England. This can include a free visit by a trained volunteer and can be obtained when:

  • Bats are causing a nuisance inside the church
  • Renovation or small scale building work is planned
  • Grounded bats are found
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Need help or info about bats?

Call the Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228

Churches in England are eligible for free bat advice provided by Natural England. This can include a free visit by a trained volunteer and can be obtained when:

  • Bats are causing a nuisance inside the church
  • Renovation or small scale building work is planned
  • Grounded bats are found