Why is ancient woodland important?

Updated: 3 days ago

Home to myth and legend, where folk tales began. It fuelled our ancestors and still houses thousands. Ancient woodland has grown and adapted with wildlife, yet there’s just 2.4% land area left. The Woodland Trust


  • Ancient woods are areas of woodland that have persisted for over 400 years - most have been undisturbed since the last ice-age

  • Ancient Woodland stores as much carbon in the soil as rain forest and deserves the same outcry when destroyed.The carbon is released to the atmosphere when the woodland soil is disturbed

  • It takes over 100 years to recreate the complex soil that supports the very special communities of plants, fungi, insects and other microorganisms

  • Ancient woods are our richest and most complex terrestrial habitat in the UK and they are home to more threatened species than any other

  • Centuries of undisturbed soils and accumulated decaying wood have created the perfect place for communities of fungi and invertebrates

Ancient woods are irreplaceable. We can’t replace the complex biodiversity of ancient woods which has accumulated over hundreds of years. Many species that thrive in ancient woodland are slow to colonise new areas. All ancient woodlands are unique, and are distinctive of their locality. Once what little we have left is gone, it’s gone for good.


We need to bring back the wildwoods of Britain to fight climate change Isabella Tree


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