Churches at risk of damage from unsustainable bat roosts are benefitting from a nationwide scheme to protect their buildings that will also enable the mammals to thrive.
The Bats in Churches project is working with 120 churches in England to help monitor and control resident bats.
Three churches to have taken part so far are Braunston-in-Rutland, Tattershall and Swanton Morley.
Asked in Parliament about the work being done around bats in churches, Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP said: “These three schemes have enabled congregations and the wider community to co-exist harmoniously alongside the bats and for church heritage to be respected.”
The five-year scheme is being funded by a £3.8m award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is now in its second year.
It has brought together wildlife and heritage conservationists, and church organisations to work together on saving bats while also protecting churches.
The project was launched off the back of years of decline in Britain’s bat population. It was recognised at the time that churches have an important role to play in providing a safe habitation for bats, but that there was also a need for appropriate measures to be put in place to protect buildings from damage.
This summer, a secondary project spanning four years will be launched to assess how bats use Church of England church buildings and how churchgoers feel about them.
“Churches that are part of the project are continuously monitored to ensure there is no damage to the bat populations,” said Selous.
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