Bats and Trees

Bats and Trees – 24–25 January 2022

Two-day event
South Gloucestershire
24 & 25 January 2022

Trees are an essential part of the environment, providing a wide range of ecosystem services. Trees also provide food and shelter for wildlife. Cavities, splits and hollows, which were historically described as ‘defects’, are now known to provide habitat for numerous wildlife species. Among the wildlife species which use trees for shelter are bats, with 14 of the 17 UK bat species known to roost in trees.

Despite the high level of legal protection, recent research has highlighted the difficulties of effectively surveying trees for bats. Bats frequently move roosts making it difficult to know if a tree is used by bats. As bat roosts are protected whether bats are present or not, this has serious implications for tree management.

There is a growing number of ecologists who climb trees to look for bats and also a growing number of arborists developing an increase in ecology. Whilst some cross-discipline working is taking place, there is scope for much more. By running a two-day event on the topic of Bats and Trees we hope to encourage more ecologists and arborists to work together, sharing knowledge and experience.

Bats and Trees has two main aims:

  1. Improving the quality of surveys undertaken, which in turn will improve the conservation of tree-roosting bat species; and
  2. Improving the safety of those involved with trees surveys for bats.

The two-day event will comprise a mix of presentations and workshops from experts from both ecology and arboriculture. Whilst the speaker programme is being produced, we invite submission of papers on the central theme of surveying trees for bats to explore the following topics:

  • Bat ecology and roosting behaviour
  • Advances in survey techniques
  • Practicalities of surveying trees for bats
  • Compliance with legislation and industry best practice

Bats and Trees - Programme

Important: This programme is subject to change.

Day 1 Monday 24th January 2022

Time

Topic

Speaker

9:00

Arrival and registration

-

9:30

Welcome & introduction

Jim Mullholland (Arb Association)

Morning sessions – Bat ecology and roosting behaviour

9:50

TBC

 

10:30

Never underestimate a Potential Roost Feature

Morgan Hughes (University of Wolverhampton) and Scott Brown (Coppice Ecology)

11:00

Refreshment break

-

11:30

New approaches to surveying trees for bats

Jim Mullholland (Arb Association)

12:00

Can we create bat roosts in living trees?

Sean Shereston (Arbology)

12:30

Morning speaker Q&A

1:00

Lunch

-

Afternoon sessions – Practicalities and legalities of surveying trees for bats

2:00

Welcome

John Parker (Arb Association)

2:10

Work at Height Regulations; are you compliant? (Justification, competent/proficient, responsible person).

Katherine Gostick (Health and Safety Executive) (SPEAKER & TITLE TBC)

2:40

Two rope working and new technical guides in arboriculture; climbing and aerial rescue (TG1)

Navin Sehmi (Down to Earth Trees)

3:10

Refreshment break

-

3:40

TBC

4:00

Discussion forum – how can ecologists and arboriculturists work together to improve tree surveys for bats?

4:20

Afternoon speaker Q&A

4:45

Close

-

Day 2 Tuesday 25th January 2022

Session

Workshop

A

Tree Climbers Forum (outside, hotel grounds) – Chris Cooper-Abbs

B

Using the body language of trees to inform tree assessments - Jim Mullholland (Arb Association)

C

Bat roost creation in living trees (outside, Hawkers Grove) – Lee Gwyther (Grounded Trees) and Sean Shereston (Arbology)

D

Ash dieback and tree risk management - John Parker (Arb Association)

E

Using the Bat Tree Habitat Key data to inform survey design and effort - Louis Pearson (BTHK project) Only one or two sessions (not four).

Workshop rotation (sunrise 8am – sunset 4:43pm)

Workshop times

8:30 – 10:00

1st workshop

10:00 – 10:30

Refreshment break

10:30 – 12:00

2nd workshop

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch

1:00 – 2:30

3rd workshop

2:30 – 3:00

Refreshment break

3:00 – 4:30

4th workshop