DALS WILDLIFE SITE { WILDLIFE OF NORTHERN ENGLAND}

WILDLIFE OF NORTHERN ENGLAND

The Woodland Trust.

Give me the land of boughs in leaf,

a land of trees that stand.

Where trees have fallen, there is grief;

I love no leafless land.

                                     from a poem by A.E. Houseman.

The above words by A.E. Houseman will resonate with many people. None more so than members of the Woodland Trust, a charitable organisation who aim to see a country rich in native woodland and trees enjoyed and valued by everyone.

There aim is to work with others to plant more native trees by setting up many different schemes to help people to plant trees. They have already inspired nearly 2 million children to plant more than 7 million trees.

To protect native woods, trees and their wildlife for the future.

They also campaign to protect woodland and trees under threat. If you are concerned about a threat to a wood near to you there is a link on their web site where you can get help and expert advise.

There are many articles such as how to spot ancient trees in your area along with advise about how to protect them. The trust with the help of volunteers and members have located over 41,000 ancient trees.

There are many pages that encourage children's activities, there are games for them to enjoy and the offer of free days out for them.  

 

woodlands in autumn are enchanting places

Photograph by Dal

Projects.

Since the Trust was founded in 1972 they have been actively acquiring and protecting woods and now have more than 1,000 woodland sites within their care. They have also developed a range of projects to help support this work.

For example ---Wood watch, a campaign to enable and enpower local communities to take effective action and save ancient woods in their neighbourhoods.

Trees for All---a campaign that is aimed to engage 2 million children in planting 12 million trees to help create new native woods.

Nature's Calender--  a project involving thousands of people across the UK, recording seasonal events, a science called Phenology.

All these and many more can be found on the Woodland Trust website, by clicking on Projects.There are also pages keeping people aware of current events concerning woodlands.These pages are updated regularly.  

Trees are important to many creatures for security , shelter and food.

Woods owned by the Trust

On the website you will also find a page listing the woods owned by the trust. by clicking on the name of the wood the reader can get a detailed review of the wood concerned. here on this site I have chosen two wood owned by the Trust as examples. They both occur in the north of England. Beech hill wood in the Lake District and Burgh wood in south Lancashire. 

                                        BEECH HILL WOOD.

This woodland is situated in the Parish of Cartmel in the Lake District National Park, and was purchased by the Woodland Tryst in 1995. The wood is 7.9 miles south of Windermere off the A592 , which connects Windermere, to Newby Bridge in the south. This is a popular tourist route as well as a busy access road.

Beech Hill Wood {4.79ha} is part of a larger block of woodland both to the east and south, known as Moor Crag Plantation. Beech hill is designated as ancient semi-natural and overlooks Lake Windermere to the west. The terrain rises in a series of rocky outcrops and small plateaus from 70m in the north-western corner to 160m in the south east. A number of small streams and springs cross the site and create wet flushes with associated flora.

The tree canopy is dominated by Sessile oak with some pendunculate oak and a mixture of ash, beech and birch with alder dominant in the wet flushes. Mature trees of approximately 100 years old are present with a small number of much older Beech and Yew. The under storey is predominantly holly with pockets of yew, hazel and whitebeam with little regeneration of ash, rowan, beech, oak and alder. Throughout the woodland there is standing and fallen deadwood at varying stages of decay.

The ground flora and sparse shrub layer is typical of the acid soils in the region. Species present are varied and include bilberry, wavy hair grass, lesser celandine, wood sorrel, bluebells, lords and ladies, bracken, ferns and honeysuckle. The wood is a good site for the liverworts and mosses some quite notable species have been identified including wood rust and transparent fork moss. 

Lesser celandine is a feature of the wood in spring

Photgraph by Dal

Visitors

Visitors to the Beech Hill Hotel, opposite the wood, use the wood regularly. From the entrance on the roadside, in the middle of the western boundary, a permissive path of 220m extends north east to the top most corner of the wood where there is a bench and a view point with views out to Lake Windermere and the Grizedale fells. Other less well used paths can be followed through the wood. The rock outcrops, the grassy plateaus, the spectacular trees and species mix create a varied and extremely attractive, internal landscape. Adjacent to the hotel is a National Park car park. There are public facilities here and a small picnic area. This is where the information board for Beech Hill Wood is situated.

 

Burgh Wood--south Lancashire

Burgh Wood can be found in south Lancashire, close to the town of Chorley. The site was part of a package of several sites given to the Woodland Trust by the Commission for New Towns in {CNT} 1996. part of a larger mature mixed broadleaved woodland on a south west facing slope of the Yarrow valley. 

Burgh Wood itself covers the steep sides of a small incised valley at the north eastern end of the larger site and is dominated by mature mixed broadleaved trees including beech, sycamore,ash,pendunculate oak, horse chestnut, alder and birch.

There is an under storey of hawthorn, elder, hazel and rowan.

The ground flora is indicative of Ancient semi-Natural woodland and includes such species as bluebell, dogs mercury, wood speedwell, red campion, herb robert, touch me not balsam { a nationally rare plant listed in the Provisional Lancashire Red data List of vascular plants} also occurs here. Unfortunately, some of the ground flora has become impoverished by rhododendron ponticum which was dominant in the under storey. 

Burgh wood continued.

The site contains no formal rights of way, and the footpath network around the actual wood is poorly defined due to the steeply sloping nature of the woodland. Management and vehicular access to the site is equally poor for the same reasons.

However, one of the sites key features is the fact that it is open for informal access to the general public, it is hoped that the footpath network will be improved in time, without compromising the sites status and importance as a Ancient Semi-Natural woodland.  The sites second key feature is its designation as an Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland. This means that the woodland at this site has been in continuous existence since before AD 1600. Clearly such habitats are both locally and nationally rare due to deforestation practices linked to the intensification of agriculture and development pressure. Burgh Wood contributes to Woodland Trusts main corporate objective " Ensuring there is no further loss of Ancient Woodland."

The Woodland Trust will aim to work in partnership with local people and organisations to deliver this management plan. 

CLICK ON LINKS BANNER --to access the site of the Woodland Trust

Woodland Trust campaign--October 2014

Help the Woodland Trust to give trees VIP status. Very Important Trees. The Trust is currently running an online petition they need us to fill in a registration form which will be sent to the relevant authorities. Visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/campaigning/campaign/vitrees/england/

Or visit the Woodland Trust Website via the Links banner at the top of this page. Scroll down to relevant box, click this is a direct link to the website homepage.

Reuse of images.

The name of the relevant author must be attributed along with any accompanying license.