Last updated: Sat 6 Jul 2013

Appeal for funds to move Nunney Church bats

Nunney Church of All Saints has appealed for financial support to find a new home for a group of lesser horseshoe bats living in the church roof.

Nunney Church of All Saints

Nunney Church around 1900

Since 2008, Friends of Nunney Church has been raising cash to replace the church’s unsightly temporary ceiling panels.

Current estimates are that around £200,000 is needed to recreate a barrel-vaulted ceiling and two windows similar to the timber one that rotted and was demolished in 1957. Around £135,000 has already been raised.

An extra £50,000 is needed to install toilets and a visitor and eduction centre in the church. The Grade I listed church was built in the 12th century, with additions and alterations in the 13th and 18th centuries. The medieval and Tudor effigies of previous owners of Nunney Castle are on display in the church, as is a medieval mural of St George.

Smallest bats

Before work on the ceiling can begin, a small colony of protected lesser horseshoe bats living in the roof must be rehomed. The estimated costs for moving the Nunney Church bats are £6,000-£10,000 plus £775 for a licence. There are currently thought to remain only six bats of a previously much larger colony.

Smallest bats: Lesser horseshoe batThe lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) gets its name from its distinctive horseshoe-shaped nose. It is one of the world’s smallest bats, weighing only 5 to 9 grams, with a wingspan of 192-254 mm and a body length of 35-45 mm.

The species is in decline due to a number of factors, including the disturbance or destruction of roosts, changes in agricultural practices (such as the increased use of insecticides, which reduce prey availability) and the loss of suitable foraging habitats.

Contact details
Ken Lloyd
Friends of Nunney Church
The Coach House
Horn Street
Nunney
Somerset BA11 4NP
Telephone 01373 836 079
Email lken@btinternet.com

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