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NEWS RELEASE No: 1589925 MARCH 2013

Look to the skies this Easter with the Forestry Commission.

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Female osprey in flight and returning to nest

With Spring nearly here, Forestry Commission woodlands across England are starting to fill up with a variety of birds eager to settle down and lay their eggs. From the once extinct Osprey to the small but noisy Woodcock, they’ll be plenty to see and hear – all you have to do is look up!

Easter is a good time to go for a woodland walk and enjoy the soothing sound of birdsong, but Forestry Commission woodlands can offer something even quirkier.

From early Spring into mid Summer, male Woodcocks will start ‘roding’ – flying around the territory where they nest whilst making peculiar sounds. Experts liken these sounds to high pitched ‘twizzicks’ and low pitched ‘gobbles’, although the descriptions vary. So next time you visit a Forestry Commission woodland, be sure to listen out for the Woodcocks unusual calls.

Ospreys, which were previously extinct in Britain for over 150 years, can now be seen flying around Forestry Commission woodlands such as Kielder and Rempston. At this time of year, Ospreys will be hunting for places to nest and both Kielder Forest and Rempston Forest have installed special breeding platforms for these iconic creatures to use. Splattered with white paint to mimic droppings, the platforms are placed in the canopy of the trees for the birds to see as they fly over the forest. Male Ospreys are likely to turn up at the nesting platforms by the end of March, with the females following soon after for a romantic Easter reunion. It’s hoped that the work done by the Forestry Commission, RSPB and Natural England will help the Osprey population increase over the next few years.

The Goshawk is another rare bird of prey increasing in number on Forestry Commission land. There are around 25 pairs of Goshawks in the New Forest alone and they will have just finished building their nests, which can range from three to four feet wide. They will be laying eggs in the next few weeks, so the rangers at the New Forest have set up a ‘nestcam’ which will enable those looking through it to witness nature at its best.

Woodlarks, Crossbills, Siskins and Woodpeckers are also busy preparing themselves for the warmer weather throughout the New Forest, so keep your eyes peeled for them too if you visit in the next few weeks.

Jonathan Spencer, Forestry Commission

“Our woodlands are a haven for birds. Every year we get different species flying in from all over the world to nest in the trees – or in some cases on our purpose built nesting platforms. They’re an important part of the forest eco-system and its great watching their behaviour change with the seasons.”

So whether you’re strolling in search of birdsong or hoping for a wildlife sighting, you’ll find plenty that catches your eye this Easter. From birds and beetles to squirrels and snakes, there’s always lots of exciting things to learn about. So visit your nearest Forestry Commission woodland this Easter to see why so many animals call out woodlands home.

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Notes to Editors:

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.

Media contact: Sara Chan,; 0117 372 5107