Rare birds to benefit from woodland work
February 2013. Work to improve habitat and protect declining woodland birds is about to take place at two Worcestershire nature reserves.
Funded largely by a Woodland Improvement Grant, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is about to undertake thinning and ride widening works in two woodlands. Trench Wood (near Sale Green) and Monkwood (near Grimley) have both been the focus of previous forestry work and wildlife gains have been recorded.
|Lesser spotted woodpecker. |
Photo credit Pete Walkden.
James Hitchcock, conservation officer for the Trust, explained "The work we're undertaking is part of the long-term restoration of both these woodlands. Visitors to the woodlands have become used to work of this sort over the last few years. The areas we're working in and the type of work we're doing this year, however, are very much focused on trying to halt the decline of woodland birds like spotted flycatcher, marsh tit and lesser spotted woodpecker."
Marsh tit and spotted flycatcher
As we have lost woodlands and our traditional woodland management methods have faded, numbers of woodland birds have declined. Once common, birds like the marsh tit and spotted flycatcher now have red status - severe decline in numbers and whose population is globally threatened.
While there are a number of factors contributing to this decline, re-instating coppicing in woodlands can help. Coppicing involves cutting down trees almost to their base - the trees spring back to life with strong new growth, which can be cut again on a constant cycle. By managing on rotation, woodland managers can ensure there is always a range of habitat for wildlife.