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Practical action is needed to manage large bat colonies in churches

It comes as research is published today by Bristol University that reveals how lights and acoustic devices can have an effective role to play in keeping bats away from areas of churches where they cause damage.

Anne Sloman OBE, Chair of the Church Buildings Council said:
"Bats in churches are no joke for those who have to clean up the mess behind. Their presence in large numbers is making it impossible for us to open churches for a whole variety of social and community uses as well as making life miserable for worshippers, and we are seriously worried about the irreparable damage bats are causing to priceless church artifacts.

"We are grateful to DEFRA for undertaking this research and to Natural England for listening to our concerns, but the research will only be value for public money if it leads to practical solutions being implemented as soon as possible."

The Church Buildings Council and the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, have welcomed the research but have suggested that that the knowledge gained show be implemented as soon as possible to lighten the burden on parishes living with bats. Sir Tony, who is the Second Church Estates Commissioner said:
"The research has been helpful, but what we now need is action to ensure that church congregations can worship without being concerned about the impact of bat faeces and urine."

The three year programme was funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

It follows a pilot scheme by Natural England to provide "lighter touch licences" in order that churches with low conservation bat colonies can make essential repairs and renovations.

For more information about our new Bat Guidance notes, please follow this link