Statement – Ground Nesting Birds Car Park Closures 2019PUBLISHED ON: 28 FEBRUARY 2019
From Forestry Commission South Forest District, Queens House, Lyndhurst. Tel: 0300 067 4601
Over the coming weeks the ground nesting bird season will begin, a time when several rare species of birds including the Nightjar, Curlew, Woodlark and Dartford Warbler, start their breeding cycle. Unlike most birds they choose the rather risky tactic of building their nests on the ground rather than in the trees making them extremely vulnerable. If disturbed, they may flee their nests and expose their eggs and chicks to predators.
The New Forest is a favourite spot to nest for these birds, one of the reasons that much of the Forest is a Special Protection Area for birds. This is why each year we close a small number of car parks in areas that provide important habitats for these birds. The car parks affected are Crockford, Crockford Clump, Hincheslea Moor and Clay Hill in Burley.
This year we have also added Yew Tree Heath Car Park following a detailed survey of the area that revealed it to be one of the best sites for breeding waders. The numbers of these birds are in decline so it is particularly important to find ways to improve their breeding success rate.
Closing the car park here will help us to create a quiet zone around this very sensitive site offering the birds greater protection which we hope will make it more likely that they will be able to breed successfully.
We will continue to monitor and assess the birds at this site to help us understand how best to help halt the decline of these species.
Please help us protect these threatened birds. There are a number of other places to visit not far away from Yew Tree Heath which offer good alternative walks and areas to visit. Alternative car parks to use during the time include Beaulieu Road, Pig Bush, Marchwood and Kings Hat.
For further information read The Forest Diary – Time to nest blog written by Zoe Cox, Community Manager, Forestry Commission South Forest District