Museum is going batty to beat moth ‘explosion’
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