NATURE'S NOTES

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Shadows of a forest

Broadleaved woodland has been the dominant vegetation cover over much of the British Isles since the last great glaciers retreated 20,000 years ago. As the forest spread, so did many associated species of mammals, birds and insects. Of all the bird species that regularly breed in Britain, almost half are associated with woodland. Thus, woodland is a very important wildlife habitat, and birds an important indicator as to their health and fragility. Many of the insect-eating woodland birds are migrants, arriving in spring to cash-in on the abundance of insect life and to breed. In May, the woods are alive with activity – birds feed, sing, establish territories and build their nests. At this ti

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