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Church News

Worst bat-plagued churches in the UK see some relief

by Tola Mbakwe

Three churches deemed to have some of the worst bat problems in the country have finally got a break from the issue. 

The Bats in Churches project has helped in Braunston-in-Rutland, Tattershall and Swanton Morley.

The project works with ecologists, church architects, heritage experts and church communities to come up with solutions to help churches and their communities to thrive alongside the bats.

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."

Selous made the announcement in parliamentary answer about bats in churches last week.

He said the five-year project, which is now in its second year, is currently working with 120 churches struggling with unsustainable bat roosts across the country.

"Churches that are part of the project are continuously monitored to ensure there is no damage to the bat populations," he said. 

"Additionally, a nationwide volunteer-led four-year survey, the 'Bats in Churches Study' is to be launched this summer and will give an in-depth picture of how bats are using Church of England churches and the attitudes of churchgoers towards them."

Other projects nearing completion include St Pega's Church Peakirk, following a lead theft that has enabled bat mitigation to be combined into the re-roofing repair work.

St John the Baptist Church in Cold Overton is also incorporating bat mitigation into its repairs.

The project was made possible by £3.8m funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund that was secured in 2018.

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