On Saturday 20th September Sir Alan visited All Saints Church in Braunston-in-Rutland to survey the damage caused by an enormous infestation of bats.
A small bat colony has lived within All Saints for many years, but earlier this year the Church was overwhelmed with over 500 more following the collapse of their previous home in a nearby chimney. The presence of such an enormous colony poses a threat to the health of both the building and of worshipers, with members facing a constant battle to clear up droppings and make the Church usable.
Bats are a protected species and EU directives mean it can prove extremely difficult to secure a licence to move them from buildings they occupy. On seeing the impact of the bats on the Church, though, Alan promised to raise the matter with the Church Commissioner in Parliament Sir Tony Baldry MP.
Sir Alan said: ‘This situation is absolutely intolerable- I have never seen such a mess. Bats might be a protected species, but they are clearly not facing extinction in Braunston any time soon. It should be up to us, not the EU, to decide how to handle these problems, and I will raise All Saints’ case directly with the Church Commissioner in Parliament.’