1. ITV Report

Rare woodlarks return to East Devon heath after 50 years

The song birds may be returning to the region Photo: RSPB

Two rare male woodlarks have been spotted in the heaths of East Devon after an absence of fifty years.

The RSPB says they were seen at its Aylesbeare Common reserve where they've been working on habitats.

Two have now been spotten on the Aylesbeare Common reserve Credit: RSPB

We've been doing habitat work for woodlark since the early nineties, and the fact we have now got males here is evidence we've got the conditions right for them. If these males think the habitat is suitable, hopefully they will return next year and females will come along too

– Richard Brown, Reserve assistant

The number of birds has declined by two thirds since the 1970s. Now there are hopes more males will return bringing females with them. Other species are also benefiting such as nightjars.


  • the breed on heaths and their margins
  • their nests are built on bare ground out of grass, bracken, roots and moss
  • they are song birds
  • primarily vegetarian, they also eat some insects