Tree Surgery – Why do you need a tree climbing bat inspection?

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Tree Surgery – Why do you need a tree climbing bat inspection?

At Oliver Brown, we offer a vast range of tree works and clearing services. Our arboricultural team are highly trained and skilled, and experts in their field. One of the more specialised services we offer is tree climbing bat inspections. We have specialists who hold Natural England bat licences that permit them to climb trees and inspect them for potential roost features (PRFs) for bats. It is important to hold this licence as bats are legally protected under both domestic and European legislation and it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb them in their place of rest. Roost features can range from a woodpecker hole, splits or fissures to droppings or scratch marks, as well as a host of more subtle features that are only visible to a trained eye. Traditionally, surveying trees for bats was conducted by observing when bats would leave and re-enter their habitat at dawn and dusk, however we believe that climbing tree inspections have multiple benefits. If you’re considering any major tree work, here are the main reasons why you should consider getting a professional climbing bat inspection survey.


Trees vary greatly in size and complexity, and one large mature oak can take a long time to inspect. By climbing the tree, our team can survey and gather evidence far more effectively and faster than by standing on the ground. For example, a survey of 16 trees would take two inspectors on the ground a week to gather enough accurate information from which a judgement could be drawn. Two tree climbers, by contrast, can accurately inspect 8-10 trees in one day. 


Inspectors can fully examine all PRFs when they are in front of them. From the ground, surveyors must often give tree features the benefit of the doubt and assume, if it is not already, that it could be a PRF. However, from an aerial point of view, 50% or more of PRFs are ruled as unsuitable for bats. On the other hand, a PRF from the ground may not appear unsuitable, but prove to be the opposite on closer examination.


Climbers can be sure not only that bats are in residence from their physical appearance, but whether they have been their recently and regularly from features such as scratch marks or droppings. This kind of conclusive evidence is simply not possible to attain from the ground, where inspectors can only observe if a bat is present on that occasion.


Our climbers who have inspected hundreds of trees in detail from an aerial view point have far better knowledge of what they’re looking for than inspectors who have only observed from the ground. Climbing trees is a great way for our inspectors to hone their skills and assumptions, and use their knowledge to provide you with an expert ground and aerial conclusive and accurate report, saving you both time and money.

Tree Surgery – Why do you need a tree climbing bat inspection?

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