Letter: Bats out of the belfry with bells and smells

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The Independent Online
Sir: In response to your interesting report 'Bats overstay their welcome in the belfry' (15 June), we write as the cleaner and helper, since 1986, of the church of St Michael and all Angels, Marden in Kent, much graced with bats during living memory, and where, until recently, bat droppings have been plentiful and troublesome.

I was intrigued by a conversation with a previous vicar who informed me that bats were no problem in High Church establishments where there were plenty of bells and smells, gongs and pongs] Being a practical woman and having none of these resources to hand, I burnt joss sticks in the middle of the church while using my industrial Hoover. This continued for most of last summer.

This year the quantity of bat droppings has been modest in the extreme. Of course there is no proof of a connection, but if it works for other besieged churches too, this would seem a very simple way of encouraging bat colonies to rehouse themselves, perhaps in some of our redundant churches, to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Yours faithfully,


Claygate, Kent

17 June