Landscapes contain a mosaic of habitats all of which have varying degrees of interconnectedness we aim to explore these habitats and reveal the species that are associated with them.
Britain has a diverse woodland assemblage which represents the remnants of a much greater woodland heritage we explore the remaining woodlands and discover some of the species associated with them.
Broadleaved and mixed woodland
There are many types of woodland in the UK and some, but not all, are described below.
Wood pasture and Parkland – two specific habitat types containing a range of specialist species from fungi to birds and mammals. Wood Pasture and Parkland provide good links and indications of landscapes from centuries ago and therefore also elements of where we may want to take our landscapes in the future.
Broadleaved woodlands of the lowlands are varied with different species dominating depending on soils and geographic location.
A specialist woodland type which has been massively reduced due to development and draining of wetland areas over the centuries. Wet woodlands are a significant element of landscape scale ecosystems providing a transition between different habitat mosaics.
This woodland type is found down the west side of the UK and provides a glimpse of the temperate rainforest that used to be much more extensive in Britain. The Atlantic oak and hazel woods are an amazing sight and form a landscape and ecosystem specific to our islands on the west coast of Europe.
Soils can have a significant impact on the type of plants and trees that dominate in an area and the limestone areas, for example in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, are favoured by ash. Upland ash woodlands in our karst (limestone) landscapes are special places to explore whether it is on the side of a hill or growing across limestone pavements.
Birch is often referred to as a ‘pioneer’ species because of its ability to colonise new areas. Birch is a comparatively short lived tree and is an important element of dynamic landscapes and ecosystems. In the uplands birch woodlands provide a range of habitat functions and are a particularly beautiful woodland type.
There is so much more to our woodlands than can be described here and these descriptions can only give you a flavour of the woodland diversity in the UK.
These woodlands have a poor reputation for landscape and wildlife value which is on the whole well deserved but in the last 25 years there has been a significant change in the approach to the management of many commercial plantations. The Forestry Commission has been leading the way on forest design and integrating recreation and wildlife needs in to commercial plantations and there is now much to explore and discover.
Native pine woodlands
Our native pine woodlands are very special places which are home to enigmatic wildlife species. Pine woods are specialist habitats and a great deal of work is taking place in Scotland to expand these amazing woodlands.
View Available Woodland Guided Tours