Conservation of Willow Tit habitats at Sale Water Park

1 March 2021

The willow tit is one of the UK’s most threatened bird species and has seen a 94% population decline since the 1970s. The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and City of Trees are carrying out important works to improve habitats for Willow Tits at Sale Water Park. 

Willow Tit habitats

Sale Water Park and areas along Trafford’s Mersey Valley support a local population of willow tits and so it is important conservation efforts help this threatened species. Willow Tits have a red UK conservation status and are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Willow tits use young, damp woodlands, so the woodland areas are managed to maintain soil moisture and prevent woodland maturation. TCV have been busy attaching deadwood to trees at Sale Water Park to provide suitable nesting opportunities for willow tits who excavate nest holes using their beak. A series of ponds will also be created in an area of woodland at Sale Water Park to provide a habitat for invertebrates, a source of food for willow tits. 

‘’The work at Sale Water Park is vital to securing nesting and feeding habitats for this small but charismatic bird, as its currently is on the Red List for UK conservation, so our work will help to ensure its survival in the Northwest’’

Greater Manchester Ecology Unit is training local volunteers to carry out willow tit surveys which will help establish and monitor the number of pairs present along the Mersey Valley in Trafford. TCV will also be supporting people with learning disabilities to engage in the conservation of the woodland habitats at Sale Water Park. To find out more about how to get involved please follow TCV Manchester on social media or contact manchester@tcv.org.uk.