J. G. Graves Woodland Discovery Centre, Ecclesall Woods, Abbey Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S7 2QZ.

Willow tits and lesser spotted woodpeckers

Willow tits and lesser spotted woodpeckers are currently both BAP red-letter species in England. Both bird populations are struggling and need help from land owners to help increase their numbers. At Ecclesall Woods we are trying to improve the habitat by making it suitable for them to feed and breed.

Willow tits need woodland that includes lots of dead wood – for nesting – and high bramble – for cover. The woodland also needs to be alongside wet grassland, which provides the insects that willow tits feed on, with areas of high bramble for cover.

Lesser spotted woodpeckers need dead wood, preferring thin branches rather than the standing dead tree trunks (aka snags) required by the great spotted woodpecker.  Lesser spotted woodpeckers also benefit from open areas within the woodland.

We have started clearing some of the holly in Wood 1 and Wood 3 to create open glades. We are also in the process of making some natural nest boxes that we will put up in the willow tit area to encourage them to breed.

 

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