Volunteers needed to survey Nottinghamshire churches for bats

The Bats in Churches project is appealing for volunteers in Nottinghamshire to come forward and help with the final year of the National Bats in Churches Survey, an ambitious citizen science project to discover more about how and why bats are using churches.

Bats have been associated with churches for centuries.

With complex structures packed full of cosy nooks and crannies, not to mention churchyards bursting with wildflowers attracting tasty insects for bats to eat, churches make great homes for these threatened animals that are so vulnerable to habitat loss.

The Bats in Churches survey began in 2019 and this year will be its last.

So far 13 species of bat have been recorded in churches including one of the rarest mammals in Britain

Last year bats were discovered in just over half of the 219 churches surveyed and a total of nine bat species, including some new to the study, were recorded.

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Claire Boothby, training and surveys officer at Bats in Churches, said: "If you have an interest in churches, bats or both I'd encourage you to get involved. The surveys are something that everyone can do, even if you are new to the world of bat surveys.

“The records will be key in telling us more about bats’ use of churches, including answering questions such as how many churches in England house bat roosts and which factors affect the likelihood of bats using these cherished buildings.

"The findings will go towards guidance documents to help churches and conserve both the buildings and the bats.”

To sign up and for more information visit www.batsinchurches.org.uk/volunteer-bat-survey/