Aerial survey of old oaks

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.

Click on any picture to enlarge it:


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.


Click  for more trees:

cromwells oak   ring bark DKG 1

2 thoughts on “Aerial survey of old oaks

  1. Will this prolonged dry period affect our trees or will their roots still be able to find moisture?

    1. We are afraid we may already have lost one of the new sapling oaks; it has been watered regularly but it doesn’t look good. The mature oaks will be fine; they have survived much worse than this in the centuries they have been alive. If they feel threatened, they will discard their leaves, shut down and sacrifice the season’s growth.

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