EASA Electronic Evenings: Bats in Churches: September 2021

Thursday 23rd September 2021 5:00PM

Bats found in churches are a common issue when building conservation and repairwork is proposed. Help and support is often found through support from Natural England and other such ecological bodies, amongst whom is the “Bats in Churches Project”. To develop our knowledge further we will be running a seminar on the subject, which will take place at 5.00 p.m. on Thursday, 23rd September 2021. This meeting will follow our usual format for such events and will run for about an hour and a half, concluding with a Question and Answer session at the end.

The “Bats in Churches” project is a five year initiative that aims to help churches live more harmoniously with their bats and this seminar will give us all a chance to see what the project has been doing to assist churches from the larger bat mitigation projects down to the small scale and focused protection of particular heritage assets. Members of the project will join us to talk about their aims for the future and how these may be useful to the wider world of church architectural conservation.

After a brief introduction to the evening by Anna Joynt, the EASA Hon. President, Rachel Arnold, Bats in Churches Heritage Advisor for the Churches Conservation Trust, will introduce the project and its work. She will also outline the processes and timing issues involved with conservation projects where bats are present and look at the roles of the Ecologist and the Architect involved in these works. She will then touch on Class Licenses and the project’s future plans.

In order to illustrate the work carried out so far there will then be a presentation by EASA members of some case studies where repairworks and mitigation measures have been worked out with the Bats in Churches project. After which Rachel Arnold will look at examples of other mitigation measures introduced during the early phases of the project and she will then explain the different approaches adopted and provide further information on mitigation successes.

Claire Boothby, the Bats in Churches Training and Survey Officer, will talk about the bat species likely to be found in churches and their typical maternal and paternal roosting locations. She will also explain what to look out for and expect when carrying out bat surveys.

The seminar will conclude with a panel discussion responding to your questions, raised either by the talks, or your own encounters with bats around the country. This will be chaired by Anna Joynt, who will field your questions as they are sent in via the chat line system. The panel will include Rachel Arnold and Claire Boothby who will be joined by Honor Gay, the Bats in Churches Engagement Officer, along with the architects presenting the case studies.