Lowland woodpasture and parkland developed when animals were grazed in medieval forests and, later, parks and commons. In wood-pastures, trees were ‘pollarded’ or cut for timber at a suitable height above ground level to prevent browsing animals eating the re-growth. This prolonged the tree’s life and gave it a very distinctive shape, producing characteristic old or ‘veteran’ trees. Such veteran trees provide important habitats for roosting bats and birds and often have a lot of dead and decaying wood providing homes for a large number of fungi, lichens and insects.
Why not visit:
Brocton Coppice – former woodpasture, now 85 hectares of oak and birch woodland with around 600 veteran sessile oak trees, between 200 to 600 years old.