Sunday, 30 November 2014

Dead Wood--no, not the series!

To some people trunks and decaying logs covered in fungi suggest disease and neglect rather than part of sensitive woodland management. Far from being undesirable, deadwood provides essential habitat for birds, the insects and beetles they feed on, and a vast array of fungi. Referring to British woodlands, a study by WWF says 1/5th of our invertebrates reliant on dead or decaying wood are now in the International Red Data Book of those threatened with extinction.
            this old tree bole is teaming with small wildlife

a beautiful natural sculpture!
Cutting back rhododendron is  manual work
British practices of coppicing and pollarding which encourages regrowth, opens up the tree canopy allowing in light that is needed for wildflower glades and insects such as butterflies. Lack of light has a negative impact on biodiversity. Our rhodedendron patches need to be destroyed by continual cutting away at new growth, and in it's place native trees which benefit our wildlife.
Healthy woodland with dappled sunlight encouraging wild flowers
 In ancient times, fallen trees would have created rotting wood for wildlife and allowed sunlight to come through to the ground but now it has to be done by a carefully managed plan which means leaving fallen timber. Roeburndale woods have been managed for centuries and long may they do so.