Green woodpeckers are most common in old parkland but will live happily in any habitat that offers a mixture of large old trees and areas of close cropped grass. In the trees they excavate nest holes in soft wood with their powerful beaks.


Green Woodpeckers and Humans

There are around 52,000 pairs of green woodpeckers in the UK at the moment. There used to be many more but the destruction of woodland and changes in farming methods have led to a widespread decline in numbers. In the past, pasture was left unploughed for many years and this allowed large ant colonies to become established. Sometimes you can see the large nests of the yellow meadow ant in old fields. Today, pasture is ploughed regularly, re-seeded and fertilised to produce richer grazing for livestock. This practice destroys the ants' nests and the ants do not like living in the cool moist conditions produced by the tall grass. Despite the reduction in their habitat and food supply, the green woodpecker manages to remain fairly widespread in the lowlands of Britain.

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