Get Involved 

The Bats in Churches Study 

Together we want to survey at least 700 churches between 2019 – 2022! 
 
You can help us to better understand bats in churches across England by taking part in the National Bats in Churches Study. We have 1000 randomly selected churches for this study. We need your help to survey as many as possible over the next four years (2019-2022). 
 

Taking part is easy! 

You don’t need any prior bat monitoring experience, just a keen interest and enthusiasm. After you join as a volunteer, you’ll be asked to select a church. Each church survey is a one-off survey, conducted in June or July, taking approximately 2-3 hours. 
 
Both surveys consist of two separate parts: a questionnaire and a daytime bat evidence survey. You’ll collect any droppings found for DNA analysis and place a static bat detector in the church to be left for two nights. 

Why we need you 

There are 16,000 CofE churches in England, and while there is currently no accurate data, unofficial research suggests that up to 60% of pre-sixteenth century churches may contain roosts. Some churches house large, nationally important maternity roosts and so far eight species of bats have been recorded in churches within the National Bat Monitoring Programme roost count. 
 
However, it’s also clear that living with bats is not always easy. Without management, large bat populations can damage artefacts, placing a substantial burden on volunteers who fund, clean and care for these buildings. In some cases church volunteers have had to cancel events in church and some have even been forced to close their doors. 
 
These surveys will allow us to: 
 
Better understand how bats use churches across England. 
 
We'll be able to 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. 
Child and bat misericord at Dundblane (photo by Anne Youngman)
Further info: 
 
If you're involved in a project church and haven't heard from us yet please email Bats.Churches@naturalengland.org.uk 
 
For churches looking for advice on their bat population, the Bat Conservation Trust helpline is free to use on 0345 1300 228 
 
If you would like to receive all future news and updates emails, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter  
Designed and created by it'seeze
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. ACCEPT COOKIES MANAGE SETTINGS