September 14, 2008
Birds Given Nest Egg
AN ambitious new grant scheme - the first of its kind in England - has been launched to help declining woodland bird species in the North East of England.
The scheme was launched yesterday by the Forestry Commission in partnership with the RSPB.
It offers financial support to landowners and managers to improve the habitat for 14 vulnerable species, including the Redstart, Tree Pipit, Spotted Flycatcher and Marsh Tit.
The UK's woodland bird population has fallen by 20 per cent in the last 25 years. Some species populations, such as the Lesser Redpoll and Willow Tit, have crashed by more than 50 per cent since the late 1960s.
The decline is blamed partly on changes in our woodlands.
The scheme may fund measures such as the preservation of dead trees to provide natural nest sites, and creating glades and scrubby areas favoured by many species.
Colin Grayson, of the Forestry Commission, said: "Woodland birds are an evocative part of our wildlife and we must do all we can to tackle the chief factors behind such a worrying decline in numbers.
"These include the under-management of many of our woods in the North East."
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