DISAPPEARING bats are the subject of a survey being undertaken at Durham Cathedral this week .

Working with the Cathedral’s Woodlands and Riverbanks Team, more than 30 volunteers from the Durham Bat Group will undertake three different surveys through the night on Friday (July 4).

Member, Chris Brown, said: “There are around 700 bats roosting in the Cathedral Cloister, but they are only there at certain times of the year and it’s a mystery where they go in between times.

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“We know the Cathedral is not used as a mating area or maternity roost, the mother bats only bring the juveniles there once they are about six weeks old. So what we want to try to learn is where they come from and where they go to when they are not in the Cathedral and this survey will help us with that.”

The Durham Bat Group is made up of specialists and enthusiasts and the team will be doing a dusk survey along the riverbanks, a swarming survey within the Cathedral Cloister later at night and finally a dawn survey back along the riverbanks.

Survey teams will use specialist equipment that allows them to hear the echo-location emitted by the bats and this also allows them to identify which species are living in the area.

Pam Stewart, from the Cathedral Woodlands and Riverbanks team, said: “Bats are a protected species and the Cathedral is an important roosting site for hundreds of bats so we are always looking to do what we can to protect them and promote their wellbeing.”

The Durham Cathedral Woodlands and Riverbanks team runs regular events along the riverbanks including night-time bat walks. To keep up to date with current events, please visit www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/whatson