Step into our ancient woodlands

Step into our ancient woodlands


Posted 3rd Nov 2017


Image courtesy of UK Garden Photos

Our woodlands will range in age from the long-standing forests which our ancestors would have hunted in, to modern-day plantations, which provide materials for building and paper

'Ancient woodlands' have been under continuous tree cover for hundreds of years, and will often contain plants that will be rarely found elsewhere - this includes the unassuming herb-Paris.

Different trees will characterise our woodland too - for instance, broadleaved woods are composed of deciduous trees, which are mixed woods of deciduous and coniferous trees, while pine woods are non-native trees, planted for timber.

Our woodlands will come alive at dawn - tawny owls hoot to each other, while wrens, blackcaps and warblers fill the air with song. Other sights include Great spotted woodpeckers, treecreepers and jays who visit broadleaved and mixed woods, while there are goldcrests and rare crossbills flitting between the trees of conifer forests.

During the day, there will be small herds of roe and fallow deer roaming around, between tree trunks of our mixed woods, while red squirrels bustle around the treetops of our pine woods and butterflies alight on flowers at the forest floor. As night descends, mammals such as foxes, bats, badgers and dormice come out to forage and hunt.

It's the dead and rotting wood which plays a crucial part for fungi and insects, like the impressively horned stag beetle. However, it's the flowers that our forests are famous for. Carpets of bluebells will herald the arrival of spring, while hoards of white ramsons fill the air with exciting scents of garlic and pretty wood anemones line the paths.

Typical woodland wildlife

Wildlife to look out for includes:

Tawny owl, sparrowhawk, great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper, nuthatch, jay, blackcap, garden warbler, nightingale, goldcrest, coal tit, crossbill, firecrest, roe deer, red deer, badger, fox, grey squirrel, red squirrel, wood mouse, dormouse, bluebell, wood sorrel, early-purple orchid, wood anemone, dog’s mercury, primrose, herb-Paris, red campion, oak, ash, beech, field maple, hornbeam, birch, Scots pine, lesser stag beetle.

Text and information courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts





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