Hereford & Worcester

Wellington church bids to move Natterer's bat colony outdoors

St Margaret of Antioch church, Wellington
Image caption Pews at St Margaret of Antioch church, Wellington covered to protect them from bat droppings

Roosting boxes have been fitted to the outside walls of a church so that rare bats can be persuaded to move from the inside of the building.

St Margaret of Antioch Church, in Wellington, Herefordshire, is home to a colony of Natterer's bats.

Reverend Michael Cluett said pews have to be protected with cloths to prevent them being covered in bat droppings.

He believes the bats may have moved into the church from barns in the area that have been converted into homes.

"Before the services we have to spend quite a bit of time cleaning the church to make it suitable for people who are coming here," he said.

Image caption Herefordshire Mammal Group have fixed roosting boxes outside of St Margaret of Antioch church

Natterer's bat

  • Have light buff brown and black fur, which is white underneath. They have a bare pink face
  • Wingspan: 245mm - 300mm (10 - 12 inches)
  • Weight: 7g - 12g (0.24 - 0.42 ounces)
  • Population: 70,000 in England in 1995
  • Protected species

Source: The Bat Conservation Society

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