As the bells ring out - consider any Bats in the belfry!
If you're planning on visiting one of the Christmas services in your local church over Xmas, or you're outside enjoying the sound of the bells ringing, you may like to consider the nature living within. Did you know that over 60% of pre-16th century churches may contain bat roosts?
The last century saw a dramatic decline in bat populations, largely due to loss of habitat and as a result bats are now protected by law. So far 8 different species have been recorded in churches by the National Bat Monitoring Programme roost count. You could help by taking part in the National 'Bats in Churches' citizens survey of 1000 churches between 2019-2023, or, if there aren't any study sites nearby, you can get involved in 'Church Bat Detectives' (no experience needed) launching in the spring/summer of 2020 which could help gather records in up to 16,000 churches.