Bats and Churches 
Churches, as well as being treasured places of worship, are part of our cultural and physical landscape contributing to the nation’s understanding of its past and present, developing a sense of place. Churches are also important for bats and some have provided safe roosting sites for many generations. 
At least 60% of pre-16th Century churches are estimated to contain bat roosts and at least 8 species are known to use churches. The last century saw a dramatic decline in bat populations, largely due to loss of habitat. As a result bats are now protected by law. 
Although bats often go unnoticed, some churches experience problems which restrict the use of the church and its maintenance. The University of Bristol has undertaken research to understand how and why bats use churches, and find solutions to these problems. 
A partnership made up of Natural England, Church of England (Cathedral and Church Buildings Division), Historic England, Bat Conservation Trust and Churches Conservation Trust are working together to use the latest research to provide innovative solutions that support churches with bats. 
All Saints Theddlethorpe J Hannah Briggs

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 report it to the free National Bat Helpline (0345 1300 228). If the helpline is closed, follow the advice on the Bat Conservation Trust website and check here for alternative contacts. 
You can see a lovely video of a mum collecting her grounded pup thanks to the work of Berkshire Bat Rescue here. 
Our ecologists are being kept incredibly busy surveying the year 1 project churches, many of which have already undergone 2 surveys in May and June, with 2 more dusk surveys lined up for July and August. 
In Autumn, once the surveys have been completed and the data crunched, the ecologists will be collaborating with the churches, architects and advisors to provide recommendations on how best to manage their bat population. 
Natterer's bat - photo by Hugh Clark
(c) Hugh Clark/ 
Bats in Churches project partner logos: Natural England, Church of England, Bat Conservation Trust, Historic England and The Churches Conservation Trust
Pipistrelle bats - Hugh Clark
more info > 
(c) Hugh Clark/ 
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