Importance of ancient woodlands
Ancient woodlands are important for a variety of reasons. They provide homes (a habitat), for many of our loved species.
And, also provide feeding places for many animals, including; birds, deers, and squirrels.
They are important for invertebrates, insects, and butterfly’s too! The dead wood, in ancient woodlands,
provides a home for such animals, and a feeding place.
Also, ancient woodlands provide us with many of the plant, and tree species, without the woodland, we would be deprived of many of our plant, and animal species.
Woodlands are important for people too, as they provide us with oxygen, and clean air.
Structure of woodlands
1. Ground layer
2. Field Layer
The ground layer is covered in things like fungi, and mosses.
The field layer, will consist of flowering plants, and grasses.
With the under story section, you will have shrubs, and shorter trees.
The canopy is exactly as you would expect – the top of the woodlands!
Some species of plants and animals can exist in more than one habitat, this type of species, is called a ‘generalist species’ – they can live in woodlands, and in gardens for example. An example of a generalist species animals, would be both the hedgehog, and the foxes.
Some species which are habitants of the woodland, are there for only short term. For example, Chaffinchs migrate to the woodland for summer.
You will find all types of species in woodlands, including; insects, mammals, invertebrates, and birds. This is what makes the woodland habitats unique from other habitats.
Our woodlands are crucial for the survival of some types of species. For instance, bats are a perfect example of this; bats will either live in woodland, or near woodland, this makes it important that we preserve the woodlands for species such as the bat, who solely rely on such habitat.
Plants can tell us if woodlands been here for a long time. Plants can be the indicator of the woodland, considering that woodland plants are solely specific to the woodland.
We can also tell how old the woodlands are with how people have cultivated the woodland.
Primary woodland – is woodland which has lasted since the last glacier period.
Secondary woodland – is land which has left to be woodland, through letting old agricultural land, regain as woodland.
Planations – are man made woodland, woodland which has been deliberate manufactured by man.
Today, we have destroyed so much of our woodlands, that there is only 2% of woodlands remaining. Stop for a minute and think about that – two percent!
Our ancient woodlands are still under threat though. Even though there is so little of them left. The main reason, is destroying them deliberately, to either use the land for agriculture, or build on that land. Isn’t it time that we protected the last remaining woodland, and try and restore some of the woodland that we have already destroyed?!
In the 20th century, 29% of the United Kingdoms woodlands were cleared, and replaced with coniferous plantations.
Our trees are important for us all; animals and humans alike. Not only are they important, but, they are a beautiful habitat which is unique to the UK, and once destroyed, there can be no turning back. Let’s cherish, and protect our woodlands!