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Ancient Woodland

Over 32,000 sq km of woodland exists in the UK, but only 2.5% of that is ancient woodland.

Ancient woodlands have persisted since 1600, however, they now cover just 2.5% of the UK forest, making them rare and endangered habitats with unique and complex communities of plants, fungi, insects, and other microorganisms. 

We can define Ancient woodland by examining historical maps and current records, and by surveying the plants within the woodland. They often have plants that spread slowly, such as Wood anemone, Wood sorrel, and Ransoms (wild garlic), as well as plants whose seeds fall close to the parent, like the Wild service tree. 

Many of our ancient woodlands have been damaged or destroyed over the last hundred years, largely by conversion to conifer plantations or clearance for agriculture and it remains threatened.

Image link to SBIS AWI updates
Habitat features link header
Link image for AWI indicator species page
Link image for AWI plant communities page
Ancient Woodland tree identifiaction link
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