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Caledonian forests .....

Caledonian forests …..

by Chris ~ 9 August, 2013 ~ 3 comments

At the end of the last Ice Age, the recolonisation of the British Isles began.  Plant and animal species moved across the 'land bridge' that connected us with continental Europe.   Trees and other plants began to colonise and forest formed in many places.  As it took some time for the climate to warm, the first forests were probably coniferous – resembling the Caledonian Forests that can still be seen in Scotland today.   These early forests and woods would be characterised by pine, birch, aspen, rowan, juniper and perhaps oak.   At one stage, it is thought that such forest / woodlands covered some 15,000 km2 – a vast area.   Now, only a few remnants of this once enormous ecosystem survive in Scotland.

The Caledonian forest / woodlands represent a unique ecosystem in the British Isles – they are remnants of the vast wilderness that once existed here; and across on the Continent – as  boreal coniferous forest. These forests and woodlands are populated particularly by the Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris).  One of the larger tracts of this native pine forest is Read more...

Greenridge - my wood.

Greenridge – my wood.

by Graham H ~ 17 May, 2012 ~ 6 comments

Having been born and brought up in rural Devon and then subsequently spending a career of 50 years at sea, the prospect of retirement with all its encumbrance of zimmer frames and wheel chairs was not sitting too comfortably on my shoulders. A year into this experience, at about the time the wife stopped talking to me, and with the feeling of guilt experienced every morning of really not doing very much constructive with my life, except walk the two Springers the obligatory six miles a day along the coast outside my home - it really felt as if the rot was well and truly starting to set in. That is until one day, whilst exploring a quiet part of Northumberland,  I espied a Woodlands.co.uk for sale sign. Read more...

National Tree Week 2011 - 26th November to 4th December

National Tree Week 2011 – 26th November to 4th December

by Richard ~ 27 November, 2011 ~ Comments Off on National Tree Week 2011 – 26th November to 4th December

The Tree Council’s annual tree weeks have been an undoubted success, emanating from the 1973  “Plant a tree in ’73” campaign (some rather cynical individuals chanted “cut it down in ’74”) and must have resulted in not only in promoting the whole idea of trees but in planting many thousands across the country in parks, gardens, roadsides, corners of farmland and development sites to name but a few.  The Tree Coucil ( http://www.treecouncil.org.uk) is our foremost campaigner and umbrella body for UK organisations involved in tree planting, care and conservation.

Forestry and woodlands are a long-term business but those of us planting in ’73 can see the fruits of our labours: we stand back and look up at the hornbeam, hazel, hawthorn and fieldmaple spreading wide and high;  the oak, ash, beech and birch are trees, a miraculous metamorphosis from those tiny whips planted during the cold winter months – it seems like yesterday.  We plant for the next generation but once established trees grow quickly so we can all enjoy watching them develop. Read more...

The national vegetation classification

The national vegetation classification

by Lewis ~ 21 July, 2011 ~ 4 comments

The Nature Conservancy Council commissioned the National Vegetation Classification in 1975.  Its aim was to provide a clear and systematic catalogue / description of the many plant communities of the United Kingdom.  After many years of work, a five volume account of the Classification of the National Vegetation was produced by Cambridge University Press.

  • Woodlands and scrub
  • Mires and heaths
  • Grassland and montane vegetation
  • Aquatic swamps and tall herb fens
  • Maritime communities and vegetation of open habitats.

Details of the methodology and sampling techniques can be found here Read more...

Woody tissues : bark

Woody tissues : bark

by Chris ~ 28 April, 2011 ~ 2 comments

Wood is such a familiar material that we tend to take it for granted.  In general, it is a long lasting, fibrous material that is found within the roots, stems and branches of trees and shrubs.  It is mainly composed of xylem – a tissue that brings water and minerals up from the roots and distributes the minerals and water to the leaves and growing tissues of the stem.


Wet Woodland - Carr

Wet Woodland – Carr

by catherine ~ 17 October, 2008 ~ 2 comments

No-one likes getting their feet damp, but wet woodland has its place and is certainly valuable from the perspective of diversifying habitat. Read more...

The Wildwood

The Wildwood

by Chris ~ 13 September, 2007 ~ 4 comments

In geological terms, our woodlands, forests, indeed most of our landscapes, are very recent. Our present countryside began to form some twelve to thirteen thousand years ago when the last Ice Age (The Devensian) came to an end. This ice age, like all the others that had preceded it, locked up massive quantities of water in ice sheets and glaciers and these covered much of Britain. Read more...

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