Agriculture and forestry

Among other topics, we respond to consultations about agriculture and trees and woodland where they are relevant to bats. You can read more about our agricultural work here and our forestry work here.


In 2023, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in England consulted on proposals regarding regulation on hedgerows on agricultural land. You can read more about the consultation here, though please note the consultation is closed.

Hedgerows can be a very important landscape feature for bat species and can form part of commuting routes between roosts and foraging grounds as well as providing foraging opportunities themselves. Because of their importance for bat species, we responded to the consultation.

Our focus was generally on the retention of established hedgerows and extended no-cutting periods. This is because between March and October bats are particularly vulnerable to the disturbance and loss of foraging opportunity that hedge-cutting can cause. We hope that our suggestions to extend the current no-cutting periods will be taken forward by Defra in any upcoming changes they make, to benefit bats and other wildlife too. You can read our response here.