Planning woodland management
Consideration should be given to using forest landscape design and conservation guidelines when dealing with larger woodlands and forests, and especially so in commercial forests. There is also assistance available (advisory and financial) with woodland management plans under the FCW Better Woodlands for Wales scheme designed to meet the National Assembly for Wales Strategy for Trees and Woodlands over the next 50 years. Grant aid is based upon an approved long-term management plan, which must meet the minimum standards under the UKWAS.
Targeting action for woodland birds in Wales
In parallel with many species of other habitats, many woodland birds have declined over the past 25 years. This guide is intended to provide guidance to land managers on what habitat management is required to benefit priority woodland bird species. Some of these species have limited distribution within Wales and with many, sometimes conflicting, conservation priorities it is essential that limited financial resources be focused to areas that will benefit priority species.
The Bird Conservation Targeting Project is a UK-wide initiative that identifies key areas for woodland and farmland bird species, managed in Wales by the FCW, BTO, the RSPB and the CCW with support
from Local Record Centres and county recorders. Key areas*, indicating the areas with concentrations of woodland bird species, have been identified for priority birds in Wales using data for the period 1999–2005 collected from county bird reports and other sources. This process informs the management planning process, allowing resources to be directed to where they are most likely to be most beneficial in halting declines and maintaining or increasing populations, contributing towards UKBAP targets and Welsh Assembly Government commitments. Fortunately, not all of the priority species are of such limited distribution to make this targeted approach necessary. Key area maps or distribution maps are included in the species accounts in Part 3; these should be used to identify relevant species priorities.
Providing for a species’ resource requirements
A concept that must always be borne in mind when planning management to benefit a species is that management must, in combination with resources already present, provide all the requirements – nesting habitat, summer food (for chicks and adults) and winter food (for resident species) – for that species within an appropriately sized area. There is little value in providing excellent nest site locations for a species if there is little or no foraging resource. This is provided in Part 3.
Key areas have been produced using data from a range of sources for the period 1999–2005. For species where it was not possible to create key area maps, breeding distribution maps have been produced using data supplied by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) from Gibbons et al. 1993.