Nesting season for these birds commences in April and will run until September. Skylarks are ground-nesting birds and are easily disturbed by dogs during the nesting period. To help support this bird to thrive on the site please keep dogs under close control, refrain from throwing balls in the grassland and stick to the main paths.
Why is the Skylark important to the Surrey Hills?
The condition of skylark habitat and successful breeding is threatened by:
- The move away from spring-sown crops
- Intensive grazing of suitable nesting areas
- Disturbance of nesting sites
- Frequent grass cutting regimes
What habitat does the Skylark like?
Permanent pasture and rough grazing (hills, heath and moorland) accounts for about 58% of the total utilised agricultural area in England of 17.36 million hectares. This rises to nearly 65% if temporary grassland (under 5 years old) is included. This figure will include specific grassland types such as chalk grassland, dry acid grassland and floodplain grazing marsh but the majority will be agriculturally improved pastures that support the livestock sector.
In common with all ground-nesting birds, it prefers open, extensively managed sites and will nest in grassland and spring-sown arable crops but avoids hedgerows and any other cover that might help predators locate their nest.