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(usually created at sometime in the woodlands management or establishment). Blocking of existing drainage systems can be done quite simply in many locations by using brash, timber boarding, straw bales or specially developed metal barriers.

Management recommendations

  • Under reinstated wet conditions, well- structured wet woodland could largely be left to non-intervention management, and monitored to identify any need to intervene to maintain important features or encourage regeneration where browsing pressure might be high.

  • There are often opportunities to re-wet areas of woodland where drainage exists (drainage was usually installed at some stage in the woodland’s management or establishment). Blocking of existing drainage systems can be done quite simply in many locations by using brash, timber boarding, straw bales or specially developed metal barriers.

  • It is essential that work in wet woodland is undertaken in dry periods

    • preferably from July onwards – to reduce potential for ecological damage.

Managing woodland for birds

Wet features in woodlands

Wet features within woodlands, such as ponds and pools, provide and can increase invertebrate biomass and amphibian populations. Honey buzzards in Wales are known to include frogs in their diet and nightjars often use wetlands up to 3 km from the nest site for foraging. Woodland pools are also essential drinking habitats for hawfinches.

Creating wet features

Ponds and pools in and around the woodland should be created if none already exist, and if wet areas do exist then these should be maintained or enhanced. Points to consider in creating or enhancing woodland pools are:

  • Make sure there is an adequate water source, for example from surface run- off, groundwater or precipitation.

  • Consider the topography of a location, for example at the base of a slope to intercept surface run-off.

  • A woodland pond that is isolated from other areas of forest by roads, development or disturbances will not attract as many amphibians as one in a

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Forestry Commission Picture Library/Isobel Cameron

Plate 16 Wet woodland is very valuable but is vulnerable to land drainage.

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