A conservation charity working in Devon is launching a series of fun family events with a ‘batty’ theme this half-term.
The Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity protecting historic churches at risk, is using a Devon church to launch Bats in the Belfry, a series of events for children over 5 and their families that bring wildlife conservation into the nation’s unused churches.
The activities kick off at Holy Trinity Church in Torbryan near Newton Abbot, with a free ‘bat trail’ running every day from Saturday, May 25 to Sunday, June 2 between 11am and 5pm. Participating children will be given clues to solve to find the toy bats hidden around the church and there will be a prize at the end for completing the trail.
The week culminates in a special Bat Chat conservation talk on Saturday, June 1 at 11am, when local bat expert Lizzie Platt will be on hand to demonstrate bat boxes and detectors, share bat facts and interesting artefacts and introduce curious guests to a rescue bat currently in her care. Bat Chat tickets cost £2.50 on the door. Refreshments and parking will be available at the Old Church House Inn, next door to the church.
Lizzie Platt said: “With natural roosting spots for bats declining in recent decades, churches are really popular places for bats to ‘hang’ about. As these native nocturnal creatures often make churches their home the buildings make a great place to learn more about them.”
Colin Shearer at the Churches Conservation Trust said: “These ‘batty’ events will be great fun for the half-term holidays. We’re thrilled to be launching new activities in churches that have been part of the local community for hundreds of years, to be able to offer free entertainment to families, and to support England’s native wildlife.”
Full details of the events can be found at www.visitchurches.org.uk