The church at Tattershall is a large 15th Century building retaining much of its original structure, including medieval roofs, the north, west and south doors in the nave and the chancel doors. The fabric is of high archaeological, architectural, historical and artistic significance, including six striking monumental brasses from the 17th and 18th Centuries, thought to be the finest and most important in Lincolnshire.
It is an important place for bats, with no other site in Lincolnshire known to support as many species, including breeding populations of soprano pipistrelles and Daubenton’s bat. The church has been part of the National Bat Monitoring programme (NBMP) for many years, with bat counts dating back to the 1980s.
Tattershall is an outstanding example of harmonious co-existence with an extremely rich population of up to seven different bat species. The church community have built an excellent partnership with the local bat workers and enthusiasts that make up Lincolnshire Bat Group and they use bats as a unique selling point to engage visitors. The congregation hold bat-themed events throughout the season and have even created merchandise featuring their ‘Tatty Bat’ mascot, however, cleaning has been a constant challenge.
Supported by the Bats in Churches project and with input from the church community, a specially licenced ecologist and church architect, the church is altering the way that the bats use the church. This is to prevent them from roosting in certain areas and flying through the building, reducing their impact on the fabric and community use. Existing access points are being blocked and replaced by an access point that will confine their impact to a less used and more manageable area. The effect on the main visitor area will also be reduced by blocking the roost directly above it.
Thanks a successful bid for Tesco’s ‘Bags for Help’ scheme the church has also been able to purchase a monitor that will live stream footage from their bat box in the roof and enhance the visitor experience.