Churches are often used by bats and in high numbers they can cause a considerable amount of damage, as well as a heavy cleaning burden. The Bats in Churches project is already helping over 100 churches struggling with bat roosts, which is a good start. But, to better conserve the buildings and bats that rely on them, a clearer overall picture of how bats are using churches across England is needed.

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To address this, the project is launching the Bats in Churches Study in April, but they need your help. The public are being encouraged to survey their local churches for evidence of bats. Before starting the search, volunteers must get in touch with a church representative to ask permission to visit and to arrange a meeting to go through a questionnaire, taking about 30-60 minutes to complete.

The project is hopeful that church representatives from the Diocese of Truro will agree to having their churches surveyed as this will provide up-to-date information about bats and their use of churches, helping the project to give informed guidance to those caring for churches. Knowing whether bats are present in the church in advance of building and repair projects can also be beneficial. In many cases bats won’t be detected, but it’s still useful information to know for the project and the church.

The project would also be very grateful for any help spreading the word about the survey and for any volunteers that would like to get involved, no bat experience necessary!

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