Tree Pipits (Anthus trivialis) return to the UK after spending the winter in Africa and stay for the summer months. They breed on heathlands and other open areas where they can often be seen 'parachuting' from the top of pine trees to lower branches with their legs dangling.
Historical confusion over the identity of pipits meant that at one time, rock, tree and meadow pipits were all referred to as 'titlarks' which literally means 'small lark'.
Tree Pipits have evolved to exploit open areas of heath for both food and to breed. Lowland heath 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 heathland – maintaining large open areas is needed to secure the future of specialist heathland species such as the Tree Pipit.
They can be found at various places in the High Weald such as Old Lodge nature reserve on Ashdown Forest where the woodland has been recently cleared and there is mixed woodland and open heath.