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Five signs of a healthy woodland

Woodlands support more species than any other land-based habitats in the UK and play a key role in helping to mitigate against the effects of climate change – helping to sustain ecosystems, capture carbon and protect soils.

It’s more important than ever that we actively manage our woodlands to ensure they remain healthy and resilient, now and for the future.

Here are five key signs of a healthy woodland:

1. Range of species and age structure

A healthy woodland will have range of different tree species and trees of different ages. This helps sustain biodiversity and is essential in helping the woodland adapt to climate change and remain resilient for the long-term.

2. Light and space

Trees need light and space to grow. When there are too many trees too close together, the canopy becomes dark and overcrowded, the trees grow very spindly and don’t produce enough leaves. A healthy woodland will have a good number of trees – not too many, not too few – with good spacing between them.

3. Deadwood

A healthy woodland will have a good proportion of standing deadwood and deadwood on the floor. This supplies much needed nutrients to the soil and also acts as a habitat for up to a fifth of woodland species.

4. Open spaces and glades

A healthy woodland will have a few open spaces and/or glades which allow light to reach the woodland floor. This in turn helps native plans and wildlife-rich habitats to thrive.

5. Birdsong

A healthy wood in the Spring will be full of birdsong.


Sign up for our DofE Gold Residential

Sustainable Woodland Management and Conservation, with QNUK Level 3 Award In Emergency Outdoor First Aid (RQF) “+F”

Looking to do your Gold DofE? Want to know more about woodland management and conservation? We’d love to have you in Tangier Wood! Check out the 5-day programme and course dates here.


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