It has had many old names in the past include Yaffle/r, which refers to its distinctive laughing call, Green Pecker, Yarrow and curiously Rain Bird which arose from its apparent gift of foretelling the weather.
The bird is resident and usually breeds in open deciduous woodland, it can also be found in parks, orchards and farmland as well as open, grassy areas looking for food. The Green Woodpecker is active feeding on ants and other insects, although not often seen feeding on ant-hills where it finds the ants as it usually sees us long before we see it!
Ant-hills are often found in the Weald ancient meadows which is just one of the habitats which determines the character of the High Weald landscape. The Management Plan, written specially for the AONB, sets out targets (which encourage everyone) to enhance the ecological function of field and heath. Long term management of meadows – retention of unimproved and semi-improved grassland sites is needed to secure the future of ant-hills, a food source of thee Green Woodpecker.