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All bat species in the UK are protected from killing, injury and roost disturbance by both national and international law, in the form of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) as amended.  In Scotland, bats receive protection under the Conservation (Habitats &c) Regulations 1994. If a development is likely to affect a bat or their roost, then bat activity surveys must be carried out. We have significant experience in every stage of the process. From the initial preliminary building appraisal to the bat activity surveys, to writing the species protection plan and mitigation report. We are able to assist with license applications and provide Ecological Clerk of Works services on a wide range of developments and properties. Preliminary building appraisals can be carried out at any time, but bat activity surveys must be carried out from May – September.

We are also able to carry out tree climbing surveys for bats (also known as aerial inspections). Our ecologists are qualified tree climbers (LANTRA Aerial Ropes and Rescue) and licenced bat ecologists and have experience of carrying out such surveys in parks, woodland and cities. Usually when surveying trees for bats the ecologist will carry out a Ground Level Tree Assessment (GLTA), however, surveying trees in any environment can be difficult. Branches can cast shadows on potential bat access points, not all points are clearly visible from the ground level and too much foliage can result in reduced visibility. Carrying out a tree climbing survey can limit these issues and even remove the need of a GLTA. Aerial assessments are an excellent way of confirming whether a potential access point seen from the ground is in fact suitable for roosting bats. Should evidence of bats be found this survey can also advise the necessary further survey effort and, in most circumstances, reduce the amount which is needed. Survey styles, requirements and timings are much easier to modify with the information provided through doing an aerial inspection.

Advantages of tree climbing surveys:

  • Surveys can be undertaken at any time of year
  • Potential roost features seen from the ground can be actively inspected for evidence of roosting bats
  • Features can be ruled in or out of further survey with more certainty
  • Significant cost savings as surveys can be effectively tailored and, in many cases, reduced.


Provided surveys in new planting areas, harvest sites, farm buildings & advised on building works.  Very helpful!

Protected Species Surveys - Eskdalemuir Forestry
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