Bat champing and bat watching event in Cambridgeshire

Are you batty about bats? To mark International Bat Weekend, wildlife enthusiasts, children, families and daredevils are invited to spend the night with a colony of Natterer’s bats.

  • Introducing Bat Champing - Inspired by the latest trend for champing (camping in a church)
  • Celebrates International Bat Weekend
  • Bat Champing Packages from £45 (£25 for under 16s)  including  breakfast, bat talks, bat detectors and bed in an aisle of a stunning 13th century church
  • Bat Watching Evening tickets also available for £5 (£2 for children)

The event will take place on Friday 28 August at The Church of St John the Baptist in Parson’s Drove, Cambridgeshire, a stunning Grade II* church which has been in our care since 1974. A long-time favourite for both bats and architecture enthusiasts, the church dates from the 13th century.

Local expert bat-handler, Phil Parker will kick off the evening with a presentation about the fascinating creatures and visitors, young and old, will have a chance to try out the bat detectors. After sunset, the bats will appear from under the church roof and guests can help count them as they emerge for a night of feasting.

Launched to help educate people about the fascinating, and often unfairly maligned creatures, the unique break is inspired by our hugely successful “champing” (church camping) holiday breaks, which give people the chance to stay overnight in some of the UK’s most beautiful churches.

Camp beds for the night will be provided in the aisles of the church and guest can enjoy the unique “champing” experience before rising at 4.30am to enjoy the spectacle of the bats swarming as they re-enter the church.  A hearty breakfast will be provided.

A must for all wildlife enthusiasts, the bat survey will be crucial in helping ecologists on site understand more about these mysterious creatures. This event is suitable for children over 8.

Families with younger children are welcome to join in without champing; for more information about the evening-only event. Tea, coffee and squash included in the ticket price. All children receive a free bat toy!

Five Fun Facts About Natterer’s Bats

  • A young Natterer is called a 'pup'. A Natterer group is called a ‘colony’ or ‘cloud’ 
  • It’s rather pinkish limbs give rise to its old name of ‘red-armed bat’
  • The calls of the Natterer’s bat are very quiet (frequency range 35 - 80kHz). On a bat detector the calls are heard as irregular rapid clicks, with a sound similar to cellophane being crumpled
  • The Natterer's bat was first decribed in 1817 and was named after the 19th century naturalist Johann Natterer, although evidence has been found in Neolithic stone (10,000 – 5,000 years BC)
  • It is distinguished by a fringe of very stiff bristles along it’s tail and it’s pink, dog-like face