Mu­seum is go­ing batty to beat moth ‘ex­plo­sion’

Rochdale Observer - - LOOKING BACK - Da­mon.wilkin­son@men­ @Da­monWilkin­son6

ROCHDALE’S Pioneers Mu­seum has gone batty in its fight against a moth epi­demic.

The Toad Lane mu­seum is hop­ing to at­tract a colony of bats to eat the in­sects which are dam­ag­ing its tex­tiles col­lec­tion.

Bosses at the mu­seum, which cel­e­brates the his­tory of the co-op­er­a­tive move­ment, say they have seen an ‘ex­plo­sion in the num­bers of tex­tile at­tack­ing moths’ in re­cent months.

And now they have bought 20 bat boxes dubbed B.O.B. ‘bird or bat’ boxes - which will be put up around the area in a bid to en­cour­age bats to move in - and then eat the moths.

The boxes have been bought from in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment char­ity CAFOD and money raised by the boxes goes to sup­port the char­ity’s work with poor peo­ple in over 40 coun­tries.

Liz McIvor, man­ager of the Co-op­er­a­tive Her­itage Trust, which runs Rochdale Pioneers Mu­seum, said: “The ex­plo­sion of moth pop­u­la­tions has had a detri­men­tal ef­fect on the her­itage in­dus­try re­cently. The B.O.B. box is a great idea, and it’s bril­liant to be us­ing it to help our en­vi­ron­ment in a con­ser­va­tion area, our col­lec­tions and CAFOD’s work at the same time.

“While our col­lec­tions aren’t pri­mar­ily tex­tile based, it’s still im­por­tant to pro­tect the tex­tiles we do have, par­tic­u­larly so­cial and po­lit­i­cal tex­tiles such as cam­paign ban­ners which moths just love.”

Steve Bur­rowes, a CAFOD rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Rochdale, said: “The B.O.B. box pilot has been amaz­ing, with so many vol­un­teers get­ting their own com­mu­ni­ties in­volved.

“We’re al­ways look­ing for more peo­ple to help and get in­volved in the work CAFOD does, as vol­un­teers are truly at the heart of what we do.”

CAFOD launched its B.O.B. box scheme in June, with a ser­vice at­tended by the Bishop of Sal­ford. Parishes in the lo­cal area do­nate to re­ceive the boxes from CAFOD, and then work to­gether to as­sem­ble the flat pack boxes ready for use in gar­dens and lo­cal parks.

The launch of B.O.B. boxes within the mu­seum co­in­cides with a spe­cial bat-themed event dur­ing Rochdale Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val where vis­i­tors can have a go at build­ing a box them­selves. ●●Clare Hirst (left) and Liz McIvor from the Rochdale Pioneers Mu­seum with one of 20 bat boxes they have bought to try and com­bat an ex­plo­sion in moths eating tex­tile col­lec­tions

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