Language: Bilingual in English and Welsh
Woodland management for birds: a guide to managing woodland for priority birds in Wales incorporates the latest information about how aspects of woodland management affect birds and other wildlife.
The guide deals, in particular, with management issues relating to the woodland bird species that are considered priorities for conservation in Wales, for example, the wood warbler, pied flycatcher and black grouse.
Aimed at woodland managers, the full-colour guide gives information relating to the methods of managing broadleaved, mixed or coniferous woodland to improve habitats for birds.
Examples of beneficial management highlighted in the guide include thinning trees to let in more light and encourage lower-level vegetation to flourish; not removing deadwood; and reinstating open spaces within the forest. These actions help to produce a more varied vegetation structure, increasing the number of insects on which birds feed and creating more nest sites.
The guide also signposts sources of information about other aspects of woodland management, such as woodland grant requirements and Forestry Commission guidance. Guidance on legal aspects relating to protected species likely to be influenced by woodland management is also included.
Wild bird populations are considered to be a good indicator of the health of the wider environment. The Wild Bird Indicator is used by the Welsh Assembly Government as a measure of the health of the Welsh environment.
This indicator shows woodland bird populations fluctuating over the last three years with increases of some species balanced by the declines of others.
Chris Tucker, Biodiversity Policy Manager at Forestry Commission Wales, said, "The guide is a useful tool to help woodland managers include the requirements of birds species within their own woodland management objectives such as timber production.
"The woodland management techniques will not only benefit birds but also the many other animals and plants that make Welsh woodlands such a diverse resource."