Children and families across the Diocese of Gloucester are being invited to discover more about the fascinating world of bats while learning more about the history of local churches.
Churches have been home to bats for hundreds of years. According to Bats in Churches, a national conservation project, between 60% to 90% of historic churches now have protected bat roosts. Churches provide voids and crevices for roosting, safe flight spaces and insects to feed on in the surrounding churchyards.
The Bats in Churches project was formed in 2018, when Natural England, the Church of England, Historic England, the Bat Conservation Trust and the Churches Conservation Trust brought together cross-sector experts, church communities and volunteers to address the issues that can arise when bats and historic churches co-exist and help ensure a harmonious future for both. The project secured funding until the end of 2023 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional funding from the partners and the AllChurches Trust.
The new Bats in Churches Challenge Badge has been created to engage children and young people in the project, with participants choosing from a range of different crafts, games, outdoor fun and activities.
Cathy Wallace, Communications Officer at Bats in Churches, says, “As part of our ongoing engagement with worshipping communities, we’ve created a Challenge Badge for young people to enable them to learn more about their local church and wildlife. We’ve found the Challenge Badge is a great way to encourage young people to explore their local church. It’s also a lovely activity for groups to do together.”
The Bats in Churches Challenge badge can be completed with a local youth group, Cubs, Scouts, Brownies or Guides, Woodcraft Folk, Sunday School, nursery, or independently with friends and family.
The Bats In Churches Project is working with churches, bat workers and heritage communities to find bespoke, sustainable solutions for some of the worst affected churches in England and provide advice for any church that has resident bats.
Get involved at https://batsinchurches.org.uk/discover-local-church-bats/bats-in-churches-challenge-badge/
Have you taken part in the Bats in Churches Challenge Badge? Let us know at ku.gr1685937464o.coi1685937464dsolg1685937464@newo1685937464k1685937464