According to estimates, up to 6,400 parish churches in England may be used by bats. All bats are protected species and Natural England, the Government's statutory wildlife adviser, needs to be consulted in advance of any work that might affect bats or their resting sites (roosts). Click here to go to their website. In most cases careful planning will allow work to be undertaken without causing delay to the project or disturbance to the bats. Click here to access our advice on how to deal with bats and their roosts.
However in some cases large roosts can cause major problems. The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division has been working closely with Natural England to find a way forward.
Following a sucessful Heritage Lottery bid a development stage grant has been awarded to the Bats in Churches project which is a partnership between Natural England, Church of England, Historic England, Churches Conservation Trust and Bats Conservation Trust. The project aims to provide solutions and support to church congregations struggling with large bat roosts. You can keep up to date with the project through the website Bats and Churches.