Plate 17 Nestboxes are beneficial where targeted at declining species in woodland lacking in natural nestholes.
Woodland management for birds: Birds and woodlands in Wales
forested landscape with limited disturbance.
Consider developing a cluster or complex of ponds instead of just a single pond.
In coniferous forests create a buffer zone of rough grassland and native broadleaved trees and shrubs to minimise acidification of the water.
Create variable depths and hydro- period (length of time water is present during the year) and include shallow, sinuous edges.
Add organic matter such as leaf litter and sticks for hiding places and food for invertebrates. Retain rocks, roots, stumps and logs around the edge for hiding places for amphibians.
Add plants to newly created ponds to stabilise the soil, attract insect food and provide cover and an additional source of organic material.
Allow livestock some access to pond margins to create areas of poached ground and bare mud that are important for invertebrates such as craneflies.
Any overhanging vegetation should be on the northern margin and no more than 25% of the pond should be shaded.
Some woodlands may have existing drainage systems, these can be blocked by using brash, timber boarding, straw bales or specially developed metal barriers to allow flooding or re-wetting of selective areas.
Forestry Commission (1994) The Management of seminatural woodlands: 8. wet woodlands. Forestry Commission Practice Guide. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
In mature, semi-natural woodland with a good structure, nest sites for hole-nesting birds are usually plentiful so nestboxes have little benefit except where a particular niche may be lacking. However, in immature or poorly-structured woodland natural holes are scarce, and nestboxes would benefit several hole-nesting species.
Many of the western sessile oak woods were historically heavily managed leaving
Nigel Symes (The RSPB)