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Title: Bats in churches : an objective assessment of perceived problems
Author: Hales, J. F. D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 6587
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The importance of conserving species of bats native to the British Isles is widely accepted, but for some churches the presence of large numbers of bats has resulted in the deterioration of culturally significant items such as historic monuments, wall paintings, organs, memorial brasses, pews, lecterns, rood screens and fonts. Although we should hope to ensure a sustainable future for both our cultural and natural heritage, it seems that in the case of bats and churches, success in one area sometimes comes at a cost to the other. This research focuses on problems created when large numbers of bats make use of historic churches, and presents an objective view of past, present and future initiatives related to “bats in churches”. The research is presented and discussed in relation to a broad range of factors, and with reference to the wide range of stakeholders concerned. Damage mechanisms involved when excreta from insectivorous bats come into contact with a range of materials found within historic church interiors are examined, and answers provided to the most fundamental questions relating to their deterioration. Deterioration mechanisms and pathways are identified, and supporting evidence from experimental work and scientific analysis is provided. In addition to a greater understanding of deterioration mechanisms, work relating to the urine chemistry of UK bats provides valuable new information regarding composition, pH and urine concentration. Currently recommended mitigation practices are discussed and found to be inadequate for use in churches with significant numbers of bats, while proposed future initiatives show more promise.
Supervisor: Pye, E. ; Graham, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available