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. 

COME ALONG TO AN EVENT NEAR YOU 

6th - 8th September: 
 
National Bat Conference, Nottingham: A weekend full of exciting bat-related talks & workshops. The conference is an opportunity to learn about the new discoveries in the world of bat conservation, catch up with old friends and meet new ones. 
 
Saturday 14th September: 
 
Parsons Drove Community Open Day: As part of Heritage Open Days 2019, this medieval Fenland church is seeking vistors. St John the Baptist, Parsons Drove, Wisbech is filled with light and numerous carved faces peering out of the stonework. Why not see for yourself between 10am - 6pm. 
 
Saturday 14th September: 
 
Bat and Moth Walk at St Peter’s Church, Little Rissington, Cheltenham from 6.30-9.30pm. Led by an expert from the Gloucestershire Bat Group, find out all about the bats in and around St Peter’s Church and the insects they like to eat! Have fun spotting bats with bat detectors and see what turns up in the moth trap! This is a free event for all the family, supported by the Bats in Churches project. 

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 
 
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