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The loss of big trees

The loss of big trees

by Chris ~ 10 August, 2018 ~ 2 comments

The world's larger and older trees are dying at in unprecedented numbers, according to Professor David Lindenmayer (Australian National University). One of the first clues to this phenomenon was a Swedish study of their forestry records - dating back some 150 years.  Then an Australian study of (their) Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forest confirmed that the bigger and older trees were not only dying in forest fires, but were also dying at a higher rate (than normal) in non-fire years.

There has been a similar loss of large, old pines in the forests of (western) North America - partly through selective logging but also through very severe wild fires.    Read more...

Ancient Oak Trees in the Countryside

Ancient Oak Trees in the Countryside

by Lewis ~ 4 December, 2017 ~ 3 comments

In recent years, countryside oaks have been subject to a survey (co-ordinated by the Woodland trust - working with the Ancient Tree Forum, the Tree Register and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.   This survey has identified some 1200 previously unknown veteran oak trees. In consequence, the total number of veteran / ancient oaks in England now stands at 3400.

Approximately four fifths of these trees are estimated as being between 400 and 600 years old, and a tenth date back some 600 to 800 years - and a few may be a thousand years old.  England is ‘rich’ in terms of its ancient or veteran Oaks - the whole of continental Europe has only two thousand such trees (approximately); most of which are in Sweden. Read more...

"Action Oak" - should oak tree research be funded by DEFRA or by charity appeal?

“Action Oak” – should oak tree research be funded by DEFRA or by charity appeal?

by Angus ~ 31 October, 2017 ~ 2 comments

Oak trees are under threat through disease and climate change and it will cost serious money to research causes and solutions.  This could be paid for either through general taxation or by an appeal for charitable donations with help from high profile people such as celebrities and the Royal family.  The rate of required spending on oak disease is increasing.  It is proposed to set up an "Action Oak" charity appeal spearheaded by Woodland Heritage - an organisation based in Haslemere just 10 miles from the Forestry Commission's research arm at Alice Holt in Surrey.

Many people will wonder why the government isn't doing more directly through DEFRA Read more...

Woodland Goats 

Woodland Goats 

by Rebecca Cork ~ 24 July, 2017 ~ 3 comments

At Tortworth Arboretum we are restoring a 20-acre woodland for community use – clearing an abandoned woodland of ten years of neglect while making it accessible for people to come and learn about nature, as well as improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. We manage the woodland mostly with hand tools and an ever-evolving team of volunteers who give their time freely to the project.   The woodland is host to hundreds of exotic trees from around the world, planted from the 1850s onwards by the local Earl, as well as some stunning veteran oaks and sweet chestnut trees.

And we have goats

Woodland moths and butterflies.

Woodland moths and butterflies.

by Lewis ~ 9 September, 2016 ~ 2 comments

There are many types of woodland, which may be broadly categorised by the dominant type of tree(s) - thus there is, birch woodland, oak woodland, beech woodland etc.  The flora and fauna of these different types of woodland varies though there can be similarities.  Some species, such as brambles and ivy can live in a variety of conditions whilst other plants / animals have very specific requirements.

This is certainly true for various animal species - for example, butterflies and moths. For example, the Brimstone (a pale yellow butterfly) has larvae (caterpillars) that need to feed Read more...

Coppice and wood pasture.

Coppice and wood pasture.

by Lewis ~ 6 June, 2013 ~ comments welcome

pollardAfter the last Ice Age, plants, animals and humans moved back into the vast areas vacated by the retreating ice.  Plant, and then, animal communities became established and much of the area was covered by what has been termed ‘wildwood’ – see previous Wildwood blogs.  These areas would also have been home to human populations migrating from the hinterland of Europe and Doggerland.  Communities developed and we may suppose that areas of forest/woodland/wild wood would have been cleared - for housing, the grazing of animals, to provide firewood/timber.  Such forest / woodland would have been managed to a greater or lesser degree. Read more...

Old and Fat - The Ancient Tree Hunt

Old and Fat – The Ancient Tree Hunt

by Chris ~ 5 October, 2007 ~ 3 comments

Supported by The Woodland Trust , the  The Ancient Tree Hunt aims to create a database of Britain’s historically important trees. We know where our historic buildings are, but we have no proper record of our ancient trees, despite having the largest number of these in Northern Europe.  The Woodland Trust is asking for help from the public to record these venerable relics of Britain’s past. Read more...

The Oak

The Oak

by Chris ~ 14 November, 2006 ~ 6 comments

The oak has long been regarded as the King of the Forest and emblematic of the UK.  It is the largest of our native, broad-leaved trees.  There are two native species of oak; the sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur).  Oaks belong to the beech family, Fagaceae. Read more...

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