Rich from Wiltshire Council’s Countryside Team, along with the help of Rick and Sam from Wessex Rural Crafts, Ecology and Arboriculture, a Warminster-based tree surgery company, undertook aerial surveys of a number of the country park’s old oaks in search of signs or evidence of bats.
Using endoscopes and tree climbing kit, Rick, Wessex Rural Crafts’ managing director, who is a keen ecologist, and Sam a member of his team, helped Rich climb ten of our oaks that have features associated with use by bats. Three of the trees were known to have historic roosts and seven other trees presented features such as cavities, old woodpecker holes, large splits, cracks and hazard beams that provide roosting habitat for bats.
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Unfortunately no bats were recorded roosting in the trees during the survey but the guys did record a lot of bird nesting activity. Especially a recently vacated woodpecker’s nest which was inside a veteran oak down near the allotments.
We will be back next month to survey the trees again.
Words and pictures by Rich M.
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