The NPPF defines aged or veteran trees as: “A tree which, because of its great age, size or condition is of exceptional value for wildlife, in the landscape, or culturally”
Trees can support bats in a number of ways. Potential Roost Features (PRF’s) refer to features such as lifted bark or split branches which provide small crevices where a bat could roost. Bats also rely on tree lines during commuting and foraging. An ecologist can conduct a survey to assess the value of the trees on a site and determine the impact on bat species if that tree were to be lost. Here at Acorn Ecology we can carry out ground level surveys of trees, but we also have the in house expertise to do aerial surveys, with qualified climbers.
Trees provide important food sources and nesting habitat for dormice, with hazel being a particularly favoured species. Treelines also provide connectivity between habitats which allow dormice to move through the landscape. Dormouse surveys can provide information on whether or not dormice are using habitat on site and the constraints this may have on your project.
All nesting birds – from pigeons to barn owls – are protected by UK law. All clearance works must be done out of the nesting period (April to August inclusive) but please be aware that some birds nest outside of this period. It may be that you need a nesting bird survey or an ecologist to be present during works, but rest assured Acorn Ecology can guide you through the process and work towards achieving your goals.