Earlier this a tree was struck by lightning at to the new Rushmere Country Park near the main entrance and there were fears it could fall across incoming cars. The Rangers did an excellent job of tethering the tree so it would have nowhere to fall.
It was then realised it was a Noctule Roost that had not been picked up by tree surveyors before the new road was built.
It was decided by The Greensand Trust that the tree be felled as a Health and Safety Hazard. We were sad about this decision as we had counted out 21 Noctules.
To fell a known roost requires an EPS licence and this was granted to the Greensand Trust. The tree was scheduled for felling on Sep 13th 2011.
On September 6th bats were seen emerging from the roost – only they were not Noctules. So what? Well an EPS licence is species specific so to fell the tree would be breaking the law. The tree has been reprieved for the time being until a new licence can be obtained.
We had a wonderful mental image of the local bats setting up an action committee to organise an interspecies sit in. Bob Cornes, using Joan Child’s original illustrations photoshopped the cartoon below. As he says it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase
” flying pickets”. This is a site we know has barbastelles. Will they join in?