Bats have been found roosting in variety of places and require different kinds of roosts throughout the year to meet their various needs. One of the most popular roost sites is in trees.
Native broad-leaf tree species, such as oak, beech and ash, are particularly suitable for bats, but nearly all woodlands and trees have the potential for bat roosts. The older the tree, the better!
Bats cannot dig or bore into trees meaning they use naturally occurring holes and crevices in the tree’s structure. Our native bats evolved to roost in trees however, due to the decline in trees of a suitable age, bats now prefer roosting in built structures.
According to Bat Conservation Trust guidelines, when carrying out any tree work you will need to consider if the tree in question has any bat roost features such as: cracks and splits in the bark, a hollow trunk, loose bark, cavities in the trunk, or dense ivy on the trunk. If the tree does possess one of these qualities, it is likely to have ‘bat potential’. Advice will need to be sought from an ecologist who can establish any impacts the works are likely to have. The ecologist should also be able to help with any European Protected Species licences that maybe required.