A first-hand opportunity to see bats in churches across Norfolk starts near Norwich on Friday, July 19.
And two churches will be taking part in the annual “Bats Nights” events for the first time later this month at Bawburgh, near Norwich, and also at Calthorpe, near Aylsham.
Philip Parker, of the Norfolk Bats in Churches project, has been running events for eight or nine years with ever-growing success.
The latest season starts at St Peter’s Church, Spixworth, on Friday, July 19, 7.15pm. It has a large roost of soprano pipistrelle bats with an estimated population of about 650.
There will be activities, which are specifically designed to appeal to children too.
Mr Parker, who will talk about how bats can co-exist in the churches, will be using some of the latest infra-red cameras to relay images to visitors.
One of the longest-running events has been taking place at St Margaret’s, Cley, which started some eight years ago and usually attracts about 140 visitors. This will be held on Wednesday, July 24, 7.30pm.
There is no entry charge but donations are invited for the host churches, said Mr Parker, who explained that it was a way of generating income from the resident bat populations and a mean of defraying some of the expenses incurred.
The Bat Nights programme is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and also Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
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Friday, July 19 – Spixworth, St Peter, 7.15pm
Wednesday, July 24 – Cley, St Margaret, 7.30pm.
Friday, July 26 – Bawburgh, St Mary & St Walstan, 7.30pm.
Saturday, July 27 – Calthorpe, Our Lady St Margaret, 7.30pm.
Friday, August 2 – Yaxham, St Peter, 7.15pm.
Saturday, August 3 – Gayton Thorpe, St Mary, 7.15pm.
Friday, August 9 – Deopham, St Andrew, 7pm.
Saturday, August 10 – Thornham, All Saints, 7pm.
Saturday, August 17 – Harpley, St Lawrence, 6.45pm.