Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland

What is it?

Lowland mixed deciduous woodland includes oak, birch, ash, wych elm, sycamore (not native), holly and hazel. The ground vegetation is very variable – it can be rich in flowers, very grassy or heathy. It occurs largely in enclosed lowland landscapes, and is often surrounded by intensively-managed farmland, urban and industrial habitats and may be associated with scrub, grasslands, bracken, wetlands, and rivers.

What’s special about it?

This type of woodland is home to a wide range of fungi and plants, including many ‘ancient woodland’ species, such as bluebells and wood anemone. Many species of birds and other animals depend on it. Glades and rides can be important for insects, birds and lichens on trees at the edges.

How do we benefit?

Woodlands provide timber, they also store carbon – the total stock in UK forests (including their soils) is approximately 790 metric tonnes of carbon; contribute to removal of pollutants, absorption of noise, soil protection, flood regulation; maintenance of water quality; provide a source of recreation; and contribute to some of the UK’s most treasured landscapes.

How could development affect it?

• Development including urban growth, quarrying, golf-course creation has destroyed and continues to threaten this habitat – effects are both direct and indirect where it occurs next to sites, leading to increased trampling, disturbance, pollution etc.
• Felling or thinning for development should ideally not reduce the variation in species and should aim to maintain good quantities of standing and fallen dead wood, which is an important habitat for birds, insects and other species groups
• The extent and spread of non-native trees and shrubs should be controlled.
• All native woodland retained where possible and particularly ancient woodland. Ancient and semi-natural woodland is an important and irreplaceable national resource that should be protected and enhanced, as should other native and long established woodlands with high nature conservation value.

Find out more>>

UKBAP list of priority habitats

Natural England - Standing advice for ancient woodland