Bats in Trees

Bat Surveying in Trees

The upcoming British Standard for ‘Surveying for bats in trees and woodland’ has now been closed for comment; hopefully we will see the completed document later this year.

Bats are essential to our ecosystems, but they are threatened by habitat loss due to the renovation or demolition of old buildings, and the loss of old trees and woodlands.  It is estimated that UK Pipistrelles alone will catch 7.5 million insects each night!  Midges in rural Scotland are a nightmare as it is, but if there were millions more of them, life could be unbearable outside of the cities in the summer months.

Bats are protected by several pieces of legislation, but most notably by European Law.  It is a criminal offence to disturb a bat or a bat roost; a fine of £5000 per bat and/or a jail sentence can be handed down.  It is vital, then, that you have your tree surveyed for bats and bat habitation prior to any tree work being carried out.  Usually this is a very simple process – trees with no cracks or holes (especially young trees) will most likely be bat-free.  If a tree does have bat-habitat features, it may need to be climbed in order to assess the habitat-likelihood.

For lots more information on bats, please visit the Bat Conservation Trust:

“The decrease in bat numbers mirrors the ever-changing countryside. Natural habitats such as hedgerows, woodlands and ponds have been declining and fragmenting. It is important that we create new suitable habitats and manage and enhance existing habitats to help bats recover and survive.

Loss of habitat, the use of pesticides and intensive farming practices have lead to a reduction in the abundance of insects which the bats rely on as their only food source. For example the change from hay making to silage, has meant that many insects do not reach adulthood so there are less flying adults available. Changes in climate may also influence insect life cycles and so this may affect when bats can feed.”

Mike Charkow has been certified to inspect trees for bats.  Please contact us to arrange a bat survey.