No-one likes to remove the top of an old tree. Wherever possible, and if safe to do so, we leave standing deadwood as it's a great place for wildlife.

However, the very large Scot's pine on the path to the hide had just too many risk factors - too many rotten and broken bits to it - to leave it as it was.

Following checks for bats by experts, the top sections were carefully removed by contractors today, above any batty features. No bats were seen, and now the pruned, safe trunk and remaining limbs will hopefully decay slowly and continue to stand and provide a home to bugs and beetles, fungi and woodpeckers... and one day maybe bats.