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Action Plan:  Species
Woodlark (Lullula arborea)
UK Lead Organisation:
County Lead Organisation:
  • To increase the present breeding population on Cannock Chase.
  • To maintain the rate of increase on Cannock Chase and establish breeding populations on at least two other sites in the county.
  • Ensure all appropriate Forest Design Plans take into account the habitat requirements of woodlarks and specific targets for the enhancement of the existing woodlark population is included within the Plan for Cannock Chase. (FE) 
  • Maintain and enhance support for countywide heathland projects through the Heathland Partnership. (SWMHP)
  • Take full account of woodlark requirements in considering felling and restocking proposals. (FE)
  • The woodlark is fully protected at all times under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • Most large remaining heathland sites are designated as SSSIs, with a third of the current population breeding within a heathland SSSI.
Management, Monitoring, Research and Survey
  • Reinstate grazing on heathland, in order to maintain a sustainable vegetation structure and increase the available invertebrate prey through dunging. (SWMHP)
  • Through Forest Management Plans, seek to increase the area and distribution of both clear fell and young forestry plantations under ten years of age. Felling programmes should ensure a succession of recently felled / restocked areas are available for colonisation once other sites become unsuitable. (FE)
  • Encourage management of young plantations to benefit woodlarks. Shallow, inter-row ploughing of plantations to maintain open and bare ground between the crop can increase the suitability of plantations and extend the period over which they may be used for nesting. (FE)
  • Seek to promote the Environmental Stewardship (heathland recreation / restoration) within areas of former or degraded heathland. (DEFRA, FWAG)
  • Promote the use of set-aside and the Environmental Stewardship to deliver winter stubbles in the vicinity of known breeding areas. (DEFRA, FWAG, RSPB)
  • Consider the most appropriate replanting techniques to encourage woodlarks. De-stumping and ploughing when planting create more suitable conditions than planting through harvested brash. (FE)
  • Seek to restore heathland at appropriate mineral sites. Ensure all operations in the Cannock area are targeted as priorities. (Mineral Companies)
  • Increase species awareness for the public and landowners through education, promotion and events. (SBAP Partnership)
  • Disseminate information on management for woodlarks to advisors, FE, LA land managers and private landowners. (RSPB, WMBC)
Further Information
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