We are now in the restricted period since March 1st, which runs until August 31st, during which there is a restriction on the destruction of vegetation on uncultivated land. This prohibits the grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation which includes the felling of trees and removal of hedges. There are exemptions to this restriction; Clearance of vegetation in the course of road or other construction sites or in the development or preparation of sites on which building or other structures is intended to be provided and on safety grounds.
As bats are a protected species it is important that any trees which are potential resting places are checked before they are felled in accordance with the exemptions. It should also be noted that bats are active after the 31st of August and all felling and pruning after that date should be mindful of their potential presence in the tree. For more details on Bats and trees see the Arboricultural Association’s guidance note 1- Bats in the context of tree work operations.