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Woodland management for birds: Birds and woodlands in Wales

The condition of beech woodlands is generally good where structures have become mature. Damage by deer can significantly restrict regeneration and is an increasing problem, and bark stripping by grey squirrels can be a major concern.

Priority bird species associated with mature beech woodland include marsh tit and spotted flycatcher.

Lowland mixed broadleaved woodland Lowland mixed broadleaved woodland occurs on soils ranging from alkaline to acidic and encompasses a wide floristic and structural diversity. Principal communities are:

  • ash, field maple and dog’s mercury

  • pedunculate oak, bracken and bramble

  • oak and birch.

It occurs throughout Wales and comprises an estimated 15% of the total semi-natural woodland cover. It is most common in the southern half of Wales and along the English border. It is rare throughout central and north-western Wales, although many Anglesey woodlands conform to this type.

Priority bird species include hawfinch, woodcock, spotted flycatcher and lesser spotted woodpecker.

Lowland wood-pasture and parkland Wood-pasture and parkland describes a group of habitats defined more by structural attributes than species composition. A canopy cover of less than 30% is used to separate these habitats from semi-natural woodland. The wooded elements are closely associated with other habitats, such as grassland, bracken or more rarely heathland. These habitats encompass a variety of land uses where trees co-exist with grazing animals, and where both timber and animals have had at one time an economic value.

The woodland cover typically consists of large, mature or over-mature trees at varying densities. Pollarding may also be a feature of some sites. The presence of dead and rotting wood is an important feature and together with the continuity of tree cover and the longevity of many individual trees, this factor helps explain the importance of lowland wood-pasture and parkland for many rare invertebrates and epiphytic lichens.

Figure 7 Distribution of records for lowland beech and yew woodland summarised from Phase II Surveys of Welsh woodlands (CCW 2003).

Figure 8 Distribution of records for lowland wood pasture and parkland summarised from Phase II Surveys of Welsh woodlands (CCW 2003).


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