Ecological enhancements in your woodlandAndrew Staib2020-10-06T15:58:57+01:00
Ecological enhancements in your woodland
These are a perfect shelter for all kinds of woodland wildlife from hedgehogs to toads, solitary bees, ladybirds and woodlice. Bug hotels are ideal for glades within your woodland or on the edge of rides. Glorious Woodlands can make you a bug hotel out of almost any natural material such as straw, grass, plant stems and so on. It is best the bug hotel is on level and firm ground. We normally use wooden pallets for the base of the hotel. Gaps of the pallet are filled to create tunnels and nooks for insects by using bricks, tiles, plant pots, cardboard, moss, bark and almost any natural materials! Glorious Woodlands makes the roof out of felt, tiles or planks and then surrounds your bug hotel with nectar-rich flowers to encourage butterflies, bees and other pollinators to your hotel. Making a fun sign for your hotel is great fun for children.
Water for birds
Drinking water and bathing water are equally important for birds. It’s important to keep a birdbath clean to prevent birds from catching diseases. Summer is a critical time for birdbaths as water can be scarce. Glorious Woodlands will create bird baths that are safe for birds to use, away from the watchful eyes of cats and foxes.
Birds, bats and insects can make a home out of deadwood in your woodland. Dead branches make beautiful song display perches for woodland birds. Ring-barking unwanted plants is a great way to provide deadwood for wildlife. Similarly, leaving old tree stumps to decay naturally provides a home for woodland wildlife. Leave deadwood in piles to maintain humidity, make sure they are in direct contact with the ground and amongst dappled shade. Deadwood in dense shade is good for fungi. A stack of logs laid on their side and prevented from rolling is a perfect spot for essential wildlife.
If Glorious Woodlands is making your woodland from an empty field, we will bring in logs to start up this process.
Woodlands are loved by birds so having bird boxes encourages them to nest and make your woodland their home. Having a camera inside your birdbox will allow you to see you woodland birds without disturbing them. Glorious Woodlands will ensure the camera will be linked to a receiver which is plugged into your TV or computer and when a bird decides to make a nest in your box you will have the joy of watching the chicks.
Boxes should face between north and east to avoid strong sunlight and wet winds. Tilting the box forward slightly means rain hitting the roof should drain off. Using different boxes will attract more species. Glorious Woodlands will put generally put up nest boxes in the autumn as birds enter boxes during autumn and winter seasons when looking for a suitable place to roost or feed. Often birds use the same boxes for nesting in the spring.
Bird boxes for big birds
Boxes for bigger woodland birds such as owls and kestrels should involve using a robust timber that weathers well. Larger boxes tend to be heavy so thinner timber (9-12mm) is a good idea. Owls and Kestrels do not build their own nests inside a box so Glorious Woodlands will place a 2-3cm layer of wood chips or similar material in the box, but not straw and we will install them in November – to give the best chance of success the following year. They only need to be placed between 3-5m high although they can be placed higher it might make maintenance more difficult. Maintenance is required to clear out debris periodically and you should take great care when doing so. Boxes for owls and kestrels should be placed on isolated trees or at the edge of your woodland, overlooking open land. Tawny owls prefer boxes located within your woodland. All species need good visibility from the nest and a clear flight path. Preferably, the box will face south-east but it must face away from prevailing winds. A woodpecker box should be filled with a block of balsa wood, rotting log, wood chips or similar because woodpeckers like to create their own nesting cavities. (RSPB)
Bird boxes for small birds
Small woodland birds need an entrance hold of at least 125mm from the floor of the nestbox. If it’s less than this size, young birds may fall out. In order for young birds to climb out of the box, below the entrance hole on the inside should be rough. Glorious Woodlands will drill drainage holes in the base of the box and use galvanised screws to assemble. For blue, coal and marsh tits the entrance should be 25mm. For great tits, tree sparrows and pied flycatchers it should be 28mm. For house sparrows and nuthatches it should be 32mm. For starling the hole should be 45mm. (RSPB)