Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Post-15 BAP. Updated to 2023




Woodland Birds. The drumming of the woodpecker, the flycatcher darting from a branch to catch its insect prey, the calls and songs of birds in spring: Woodland, particularly broadleaved, shelters a range of birds feeding on the insects and other invertebrates they find there, as well as seeds and berries during the winter months.

Local Priority
Woodland Bird Species

(included in woodland indicator)

S41, Red Listed

Hawfinch, S41, Red

Greenfinch, Red (2021)

Redpoll (lesser), S41, Red

Lesser spotted
Woodpecker, S41 Red

Spotted flycatcher, S41, Red

Tree pipit, S41, Red

Willow Tit, S41, Red

Wood Warbler, S41, Red

S41, Amber Listed

Bullfinch, S41, Amber

Dunnock, S41, Amber

Song Thrush, S41, Amber

Red listed (not S41)

Mistle Thrush

Pied Flycatcher


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Other birds:included in Woodland Bird Indicator

Specialist woodland birds



Coal Tit

Garden Warbler


Great Spotted Woodpecker,

Green Woodpecker,







Generalist birds in woodlands

Blue Tit



Great Tit

Lesser Whitethroat

Long-tailed Tit


Tawny Owl


In common with the rest of the country, birds heavily reliant on woodland for food, breeding and roosting, such as Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher and Willow Tit, have severely declined in numbers, as have Lesser Redpoll and Woodcock.

Very small numbers of the migratory Tree Pipit and Wood Warbler still breed in the upland fringe woodlands and Pied and Spotted Flycatcher are becoming increasingly scarce. Hawfinch may no longer breed here.

More adaptable species such as Long-tailed Tit, Blackcap and Nuthatch, able to use a wider range of habitats, including wooded farmland and gardens, have increased in numbers. Great Spotted Woodpecker occurs in all types of woodlands and is capable of extracting seeds from pine cones, insect larvae from inside trees, and eggs and chicks of other birds from their nests - as well as peanuts from feeders. No surprise it has increased in numbers.

Deciduous woodland, conifer plantations, wet woodland and scrub can support important populations of seed-eating and invertebrate-eating birds. Woodland birds need a safe nesting habitat with ample food for their young. Breeding success is directly related to lack of predation and availability of food.

Changes in woodland habitat are the most likely driver of woodland bird declines - increases in woodland age, reduction in active management, and changes in woodland structure and understorey vegetation. These result in turn in the loss of breeding and year round foraging habitats, with less seed and invertebrate food, meaning that many woodland birds have fewer places to nest, raise fewer young, and are less able to survive the winter.

In the BAP we  have highlighted 14 local priority bird species that breed in woodland in Barnsley for which habitats should be maintained and enhanced.  

Although woodland birds benefit from good generic habitat management,  some woodland bird species benefit from particular habitat features. Information on these is given in the section on individual priority woodland bird species - see links on the right.

Woodland birds

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Pied Flycatcher Willow Tit