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Figure 16 Glades created at ride intersections provide valuable open and scrub habitat with little loss of woodland cover – a section through a glade showing features in relation to shade.

Nigel Symes (The RSPB)

Woodland management for birds: Birds and woodlands in Wales

  • Scallop the grass-scrub edge, increasing shelter, foliage area, and in turn, invertebrate biomass.

  • Maintain grass element by periodic mowing.

  • Maintain open ground by periodic mowing or grazing, or by soil Disturbance to perpetuate ruderal plants.

  • Creating meandering rides to reduce wind funnelling with scalloped edges to encourage greater diversity of plant species and structure.

Glades, clearings and open space; creation and maintenance

Glades bring benefits similar to those of rides, but depending upon size and shape can be attractive to a different range of birds, eg nightjars will use clearings of 2 ha or more.

A number of general principles need to be adopted to ensure that glades and open space provide maximum opportunities for wildlife:

  • Glades, including enlarged ride junctions, can be any size, ranging from just three or four trees felled or ring barked together to clearings of several hectares, eg clearfells.

  • Irregular-shaped, eg scalloped, edges offer a longer foliated edge and therefore more foraging opportunities and, if the scallops are deep enough, shelter from wind and weather.

  • Clearfells produce open space, but these are normally only temporary in nature if conifers are replanted or allowed to regenerate naturally. Depending on rate of growth (>15 years), maturation of the restocks closes the gaps between the trees and the resulting shade and

North

South

Retain standards to cast minimal shade

Extensive unshaded herb- rich grassland

Track

Large area of scrub

Plate 9 Narrow rides are heavily shaded and lack diversity.

Plate 10 Thinning ride-edge trees encourages good scrub development.

36

Nigel Symes (The RSPB)

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