Knighton’s staff are all fully qualified and part of their tree surgery training includes understanding that bats are protected species. They gain a basic understanding of how to identify potential roosting sites and what to do should they find evidence of bats. Our staff are qualified to carry out Bat Surveys, including endoscopic surveys, in line with British Standard 8596: Surveying for Bats in Trees and Woodland.There are 17 breeding species of bat in the UK, all of which are protected by law because their numbers have decreased so dramatically. Bats roost in a variety of places, and this is determined both by the particular species, and by the time of year. Bat surveys need to be undertaken on any trees to be felled or needing tree surgery if there is any possibility of bats using them as roosts.
Discovering bats on a site can alter or slow down a project, but having a large multi skilled workforce gives Knighton the facility to work around short notice licensing issues. We understand that things change very quickly sometimes, and we are able to redeploy staff to make changes work for you.
Each colony and species of bat may roost slightly differently but generally each will have both a hibernation and a maternity roosting site. These may be in trees, barns or roofs, and we are able to carry out bat and bird surveys of any potential roosting or nesting sites using our own team of NPTC qualified climbers, and our 27m reach cherry picker.
Often, the generations of bats will return to the same roosts year after year. At other times, bats may roost where they end each day, in their foraging habitat. They need a source of water, and safe routes to travel between their habitats. Because of this, in cases of possible disturbance appropriate mitigation measures are required.
Bats travel between locations using linear features such as hedgerows, woodland edges and rivers to guide them. They do this at night using their echolocation abilities. Roads and construction sites can damage these landscape features, making it difficult for bats to find their way to food sources and breeding areas. There are a number of different techniques that can be employed to mitigate the effect of construction on Bat populations.
Bats and Arboriculture
In the very rare event that it is necessary to work on a tree that is a known roosting site, we are able to use techniques advised by supervising ecologists. These include sectional felling, leaving the roost in situ, or ‘soft’ felling, where sections are felled in way that minimises impact. The felled sections are then left for a period of time, usually overnight, to allow any roosting bats to leave safely. We undertake all types of tree work from felling to de-limbing and we are very happy to work under the supervision of ecologists when required.
With 25 years’ experience in planting trees, Knighton Countryside Management Ltd can supply and plant a wide variety of habitats to encourage commuting. This can include planting mature trees or hedges if mitigation needs to be in place for a tight timescale.
In situations where any development work has the potential to remove suitable roosting locations we can install bat boxes, either on existing trees or buildings, or on their own poles. We have installed a variety of types from large heated bat boxes to individual Schwegler units which are highly durable, air-permeable and made from SCHWEGLER wood-concrete.