In January 2016 the Bat Conservation Trust released its third update of Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists: Good Practice Guidelines; this being the essential guidance for professional bat ecologists. The updated document includes a number of new sections and chapters, one of which is ‘Bat roost inspection surveys for trees’. Bat surveys of trees are necessary where development proposals include tree felling or lopping where bats or their roosts could be directly impacted, if present. Surveys may also be needed in circumstances where an indirect impact is possible (e.g. through lighting).
The survey method is a staged process starting with a preliminary ground level roost inspection, which may be followed by a Potential Roost Feature inspection, presence/likely absence and/or roost characterisation surveys.
In 2015 members of the BiOME team completed the City & Guilds NPTC course Level 2 award in Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue. This qualification, along with the team members relevant bat survey/disturbance licences, allowed BiOME to complete bat roost surveys of trees at a number of sites for clients across the UK.