What is the situation?

Bats use of churches is a long-standing human-wildlife conflict. While many congregations live harmoniously with bats, sometimes there are substantial issues that restrict the church use or affect maintenance. The Bats in Churches project seeks to safeguard the future of protected bat roosts sheltered in England's churches, whilst reducing any negative impact on these places of worship and the people who use them.

By contributing to our research you’ll help to be part of the solution to reduce conflict, to provide more detailed and targeted support for bat conservation, as well as support for those caring for churches. 

What is involved?

There are plenty of churches to explore in England, with many in Cambridgeshire. The Diocese of Ely boasts over 300 churches!

After registering you simply:

  • Select a church to survey on our online system
  • Contact the church to ask permission and agree a time to visit between June and August
  • Search inside the church during the day to look for signs of bats
  • Work with a church representative to complete a questionnaire

Photo: Holy Trinity church, Heydon in Cambridgeshire. It’s a late 15th century medieval church which is home to common pipistrelles and brown long-eared bats. 

Download your Earth Optimism survey guide here

Everyone can take part

This is a great survey for those new to monitoring bats. You don’t need previous experience, as we’ll show you what you’re looking for in the church. You simply need an interest and to be understanding of the views of your church contact. 

Enjoy the survey!

We hope you enjoy exploring and learning more about a church near you. Your records will aid an understanding of bats use of churches on a local and nationwide level. 

Photo credit: Hugh Clark & www.bats.org.uk

Register here to take part

For local information about bats in Cambridge, why not get in touch with Cambridgeshire Bat Group

If you’re not local to Cambridge you can find your local group via the Bat Conservation Trust website which also has lots of batty information. 

Bats in Churches

Bats in Churches is a unique project, bringing together partners across the heritage and conservation sectors. The project runs until 2023 and we hope that the discoveries made will help churches and historic buildings confronted with similar challenges, to live happily alongside their bats.

Natural England, the Church of England, Historic England, the Bat Conservation Trust and the Churches Conservation Trust have come together as the Bats in Churches project. This unique partnership brings together cross-sector experts, church communities and volunteers to address the issues that can arise when bats and historic churches co-exist and help to ensure a harmonious future for both.

The project secured funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional funding from the partners and the AllChurches Trust. The project runs until 2023. The project team is working with over 100 churches across England to trial ways to manage the impacts of bats in churches as to solve conflicts where they have arisen.

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