A family-run haulage firm is accused of destroying an endangered bat roost at a Highland Perthshire quarry.
It is alleged that three species of bat were impacted when a tunnel collapsed at a construction site near Dunkeld.
Mills Contractors Ltd, based at Stanley, denies the breach of strict conservation regulations.
The company will go on trial at Perth Sheriff Court next year.
It is alleged that the firm’s workers damaged or destroyed the resting site of bats at Newtyle Quarry, on the edge of Dunkeld.
The charge against the business states that work crews blocked the entrance to a tunnel containing an underground bat roost.
It is alleged the company then damaged the tunnel with machinery, causing it to collapse.
Prosecutors say the damage was caused between May 29 and July 9, 2019.
The European protected species allegedly impacted were natterer’s, daubentons and brown long-eared bats.
Representatives of the company tendered pleas of not guilty when the case called at Perth Sheriff Court on Friday.
A trial was set for March 1, with an intermediate hearing on February 10.
Quarry and haulage specialists Mills Contractors, based at Gowrie Farm, Stanley, has been running for more than four decades.
It’s moto is “God made the hills, Mills move them”.
Newtyle Quarry is amongst woodlands east of Dunkeld and was in the past a popular site for rock climbers.