PARTNERSHIP work to erect bat boxes in woodland near Loch Faskally in Perth and Kinross has been a huge success, Forestry and Land Scotland says.

A total of 30 boxes were funded by the Enchanted Forest Community Trust and installed in September 2017 by Tayside Bat Group volunteers in Woodlands near Loch Faskally.

Forestry and Land Scotland, which provided support funding, has been monitoring the boxes and has found them to be home to 44 soprano pipistrelle bats.

Ian Sim, Chairman of the Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said: “The Enchanted Forest is a huge annual event that goes from success to success and we are always looking to reinvest in the local community as a thank you for its continued support through the years.

“Funding the bat boxes was a great idea that we thought would help encourage and develop the forest’s wild ecosystem.

“We are really pleased that they have proved to be so popular!”

The mix of hand-made wooden, and ready-made woodcrete boxes are located in good habitat, close to Loch Faskally and well away from where the Enchanted Forest is held.

Gareth Ventress, for the FLS environment team in the area, add: “The boxes have increased the potential roosting sites for protected species within a working forest and our survey in September this year has revealed how successful they’ve been.

“Almost all of the bats have now been sexed, weighed and measured and some of them are nearing the upper end of the scale for their species, weighing in at 7.2g when their upper limit is around the 8g mark.

“That’s a really good sign that they thriving!”