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  • Writer's pictureWRC Trees

Planting New Hedgerows for Rare Bats

This planting season, WRC Trees were delighted to work with Wiltshire Council to establish new hedgerows for rare bats around Trowbridge, part of a wider project to plant and maintain 11km of new hedgerow and 6ha of new woodland around the town – The Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy.

The landscape surrounding Trowbridge is an important habitat for bats, supporting at least 14 of the 18 UK bat species. This includes rare species such as the greater and lesser horseshoe bat, and one of the rarest bat species in the UK, Bechstein’s bat. The woodlands and trees to the south and east of Trowbridge are particularly valuable sites for Bechstein’s bat, supporting one of the largest known populations of breeding females in the country. Hedges are important ecological features for these rare species - in the summer, the bats forage around woodland and hedgerows for food, and in late summer and autumn, hedges and rivers provide routes and protection for the bats as they fly to underground sites to mate, and to hibernate over the winter (in the limestone caves and quarries around Bath, Corsham, and Winsley). The aim of the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy is to “create a landscape criss-crossed by unbroken tall, wide, bushy and diverse hedgerows with large standard hedgerow trees to support the local population of rare Bechstein’s and horseshoe bats.”

WRC Trees were contracted to plant new native hedgerows close to the Green Lane and Picket and Clanger woodlands, as part of the first phase of this project. The new hedges comprise a diverse mix of native shrubs with a standard hedgerow tree every 50m. Wiltshire Council has more hedgerow, parkland, and woodland planting planned for the autumn and winter.

Many thanks to Sam Davis, Wiltshire Council’s Bat Mitigation Project Officer, for coordinating the project and working with us to achieve these great results.

Photos: Bat habitat creation - new native hedgerows planted by WRC Trees this winter as part of the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy.


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