Charity promotes simple ways to pollinator-friendly woodlands

Thoughtful woodland management can greatly increase their habitat value to pollinators, according to a new publication from conservation charity Buglife.

Image: Sarah G (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Sarah G (CC BY 2.0)

"Tree communities can often be managed to better serve pollinators without substantially damaging the ecological, historical or economic value of a woodland," the new guide says.

It explains how to maximise the habitat value of woodland edges, rides and clearings, which can yield greater habitat diversity though varied mowing regimes. Public access can provide a justification for such work and can even help in maintaining bare patches and low sward through trampling, it adds.

Dead wood and even invasive species such as sycamore can benefit pollinator populations, but while rhododendron flowers are liked by bumblebees, they "have a pronounced impact on the ground flora and can eventually displace other spring flowers and shrubs", it says.

Native pine woodland in particular "is a fantastically rich habitat for pollinators", and continuous cover forestry management here "helps to provide a range of conditions and habitats which supports diverse pollinator communities", it says.

Managing Woodland for Pollinators can be downloaded for free from Buglife's website.

Buglife says can provide further detailed advice on supporting some rare woodland pollinators including specialist bees, butterflies, hoverflies and beetles.

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