South Hill Bat Project - helping bats and humans share their space.
The South Hill Bat Project involves conservation, habitat improvement and education at a regionally important site for Natterer’s bats. The project includes work to mitigate the effects of building conservation and development work on a breeding colony of regionally rare Natterer’s bats.
The project will support the conservation, enhancement and awareness of the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage by actively conserving and protecting two existing maternal bat roosts. At the same time, it will acknowledge the importance of a regionally important building and its surrounding unspoilt grounds, as a perfect habitat for bats.
Dr Honor Gay, Bats in Churches Project agrees: ‘churches are crucial sanctuaries for Natterer’s bat’s and I applaud the church community at St Sampson’s for living alongside their important maternity roost’.
The above work is part of our St Sampson’s Unlocked project to restore and improve the medieval Grade 1 church of St Sampson, South Hill.
Bats are fascinating and endearing creatures and an important part of our ecosystem. They only have one baby a year and can live for up to 30 years. They eat mainly insects and are more closely related to humans than they are to mice. Amazingly they are the only true flying mammals in the world. We are privileged to have them in our building, but sharing our space isn’t always easy. Their habitats are protected by law, but it generally falls upon volunteers and donations to fund their conservation and enable them to thrive. We, like many churches who share our space with bats, find that it comes at a cost!
According to Dr Coldrick of Pan ecology, “Natterer’s bats are found throughout most of the British Isles but generally it is a scarce and poorly known species (BCT, 2008) although current data suggests that the UK population increased from 1999-2016 (BCT, 2017). In Cornwall, Natterer’s bats are widespread but infrequent and the most recent data indicate that the Cornish population are not following the positive national trend but are declining in the county. Natterer’s bats are listed as declining within the red data book for Cornwall (Williams, 2009)” Our bat project will provide a habitat for Natterer’s bats, a declining species regionally, and of international interest. The site will be registered as a protected species habitat. To find out more about Natterers bats natterers 11.02.13.indd (bats.org.uk) and pipistrelle commonpipistrelle 11.02.13.indd (bats.org.uk)
Our aims - Avoidance of harm or injury to bats,
Installation of ‘bat slates’ in roofs and creation of weather protected ‘bat tunnels’ at other access points.
Avoidance of disturbance during the sensitive breeding and hibernation period.
Ecological oversight for roof works. Educating professional advisers and contractors about the dangers to bats and ways to avoid the dangers.
Repair of roof & ceiling without causing harm to bats or their habitat.
Purchase bat boxes and Community bat box construction workshop day.
Installation of bat boxes around the outside of the church and in the churchyard to increase the numbers of bats.
Improvement of the habitat of the churchyard for wildlife. Promoting public understanding and enjoyment. The churchyard is managed to be wildlife friendly by leaving large areas of grass uncut until the autumn; allowing wild flowers and insect life to thrive ensuring the bats have a good foraging space.
Bat talks, bat watching events. Educating people about the importance of bats within the wider eco system and encouraging people to take action for their conservation.
Creation of information boards to inform, educate and encourage the general public to learn about bats, their habits and habitats and why they need protection.
Ongoing ecological monitoring.
You can donate on our Just Giving page South Hill Bat Project -helping bats and humans share their space. - JustGiving] then send an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your certificate or, by sending a cheque made out to ‘The Rector and Church Wardens of South Hill - to Judith Ayers, Southview Barn, 83 Launceston Road, Callington, Cornwall PL17 8DS.
For further details of South Hill Bat Project, helping bats and humans share their space.
contact Judith Ayers email@example.com or St Sampsons Unlocked | Facebook or St Sampson's, South Hill - A Church Near You
When our roof works, under licence commences, any photos will be published on our St Sampson’s Unlocked Face book page. St Sampsons Unlocked | Facebook