|The Friends of Harebreaks Wood
Fascinating facts about ancient woodland:
Ancient woodland is land that has been continuously wooded since at least 1600AD.
Ancient woodland is the last remaining link with the original wooded landscape, which covered the UK after the last Ice Age.
Ancient woodland now accounts for only around 2 per cent of the UK’s land use.
Our version of the ‘rainforest’, ancient woodland is home to more threatened species than any other UK habitat and is irreplaceable.
Nearly 50 per cent of the ancient woodland that still remained in the 1930s, has since been either lost to agriculture and development, or damaged, mainly by conifer plantation.
Of the remaining ancient woodland in the UK, 85 per cent has no legal designation.
Ancient woodland is fragmented; eight out of 10 woods are less than 20 hectares (50 acres) in size and nearly 50 per cent of ancient woods are less than five hectares.
Fascinating facts about UK woodland:
The UK is one of the least wooded places in Europe. Only 12 per cent of the UK is woodland, compared to an average of 44 per cent in other parts of Europe.
We have around 50 species of native trees and shrubs, including three conifers, in the UK.
In the last 100 years, 46 broadleaved woodland species have become extinct in the UK.
In 1980, native species accounted for only five per cent of trees planted in the UK. Thanks, in part, to the efforts of conservation organisations like the Woodland Trust, by 2000, this figure had risen to over 40 per cent
(From The Woodland Trust web site)