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  Going bats Wednesday 26 December 2001  
It's not surprising that people are frightened of bats - they've had a bad press. They add atmosphere to scary movies, they can get stuck in your hair, and they look like mice with wings.

But if you discover a bat in your home, then count yourself lucky it's not a bird. They don't damage property and they won't make a mess trying to nest. All they want to do is find somewhere to hang without being disturbed.
However, if you're still not convinced, it's not going to be easy to get rid of them. They're an endangered species protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act. If you're found to have recklessly killed a bat or damaged a roost you can be liable for a fine of up to £5000.
Anne Best is one of the few woman in the country with a "roost visitor's licence" from English Nature. This allows her to give advice to people who discover they are harbouring bats.
Lesley Hilton follows Anne to Leeds to watch her at work.
We're on our Christmas holidays, so sorry but audio will not be available for individual items. Don't forget you can still hear the full programme by going to the Woman's Hour homepage or by going to the Listen Again page.

BBC Nature


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