Monks, students and housemasters are not the only residents of Glenstal, as our five-hundred acres of forests, fields, farmlands, lakes and streams are home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Students of the Abbey School recently had the opportunity to learn more about the different bat species that inhabit Glenstal, particularly the rare lesser horseshoe bat which has recently been detected here.
Dr Kate McAney of the Vincent Wildlife Trust – a charity concerned with mammal conservation in Britain and Ireland – visited students and gave a presentation in the monastery library on the types of bats which might be found and the spaces which they inhabit.
After supper, the students went for a walk in the twilight in order to detect bats with Dr McAney, who has loaned to the School bat monitors for walks next Spring and bat detectors which will allow us to carry out long-term monitoring throughout the coming months for bats, particularly of the lesser horseshoe variety.
It is hoped these activities will help students to have a greater appreciation of and sensitivity towards their surroundings, and to help them recognise the contribution that each element of life makes towards the wider ecosystem at Glenstal.
“Because all creature are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on each other.”
-Pope Francis, Laudato si’ 43