Frequently Asked Questions

If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, please get in contact with us at churches@bats.org.uk

Unfortunately, it doesn’t. The Bats in Churches Project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is a partnership project between Church of England, Natural England, Historic England, Churches Conservation Trust and Bat Conservation Trust. The study is limited to England, within the remit of all of the partner organisations.

However, understanding how bats use churches is important in the rest of the UK too, and we will really appreciate you taking up the BCT’s National Bat Monitoring Roost Count and recording the church roosts that you are aware of. Over time the project will post resources, such as expert cleaning advice, to aid churches and help them live side by side with their bats. These documents will be applicable to churches outside of England as well.

Many Church of England churches are old, most are pre-sixteenth century, and will be perfect locations for bat roosts. While many roosts will go unnoticed, some churches, particularly those with larger roosts can experience issues with their bats. The National Bat Helpline get regular calls from representatives from Church of England churches, whilst the Helpline does not receive many calls from other denominations.

To help alleviate the issues around bats in churches, Church of England and Churches Conservation Trust have partnered with Natural England, Historic England and Bat Conservation Trust to help both the conservation of bats and the historic environment.

Please leave the detector out for two nights in the Chancel of the church. Please find out the opening times of the church. If the church is open during the day please ask whether the bat detector could be kept safe during the day, if possible, and put back in position that evening before locking up. If the church is open all of the time, ask whether they’ve ever had thefts or whether it is a busy area. If it is a quiet area, with little risk of theft, continue to leave the detector in the church. If you are in doubt as to what to do, please get in contact with us at churches@bats.org.uk.

If you are unable to collect the bat detector on the second morning, that’s fine. The battery will have run down but the data will be there. Please do however get it back to us as soon as you are able, so others can use the equipment.

You can record on paper. Please contact Claire Boothby at churches@bats.org.uk if you would prefer this option. Part of the survey requires a camera and therefore we ask that you print the images when sending in your paper forms. If you do not have a camera,or a phone with a camera that you can use, please get in touch.

Many church representatives have a number of commitments and therefore may not get back to you straight away. If after a week or two you haven’t heard back, send a follow up email or call. If you still hear nothing contact us at churches@bats.org.uk.

If you hear back from the church representative and they do not want to take part, that is OK. We do need to know this information and you can tell us this by ticking the check box under Church Details in the My Churches page.

Yes please! If you find bats using the church, you can sign up to the ongoing Roost Count. It’s easy to do. All you need is to count the bats out of the roost on at least two evenings in June. It will allow us to understand more about bats and how they are faring in the UK.

When you provide the records for your church you’ll see a link to join the NBMP Roost Count appear on your My Churches page. This will automatically allocate the church as your chosen site.

No, to keep consistency please do not include any modern additions to the building when looking for bats and taking photographs of the building.

This particular study focuses on bats roosting in the church and particularly bats using the interior of the church, where they are most likely to come into conflict with people.

For the National Bats in Churches Study we need everyone to use the same equipment and on the same settings, so please do book the equipment through us.