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Woodland management for birds: Priority species

Conservation issues

Causes of the decline are not well understood, but the following factors may impact on food availability and nest sites:

  • a reduction in woodland wetness, due to climate change and land drainage (Siriwardena 2004)

  • degradation of the shrub layer caused by increasing grazing pressure, the impact of shading, or woodland management operations which remove dying and rotting stumps.

Management advice

General

  • Target management to suitable woodland in key areas.

  • Increase soil water content by restricting water flow through woodland or planting alder and willow in wet conditions.

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  • Coppice management may benefit this species, particularly in the medium–old stages of the rotation.

Increase the extent or improve the quality of nest sites

  • Increase the amount of suitable deadwood by ring-barking or injecting herbicides into younger trees.

  • Provide nestboxes where natural sites may be lacking (see Nestboxes).

Increase the extent or improve the quality of foraging habitat

  • Encourage a dense shrub layer through stock manipulation, planting and/or protecting suppressed plants. Some creation of canopy gaps may be required, but care is needed not to significantly affect humidity levels within the wood.

  • Retain alder and willow scrub in young conifer plantations.

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