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Nature Trail 16

Holly, Ilex aquifolius

Holly is a beautiful and interesting evergreen, broadleaved shrub. It forms an important species in our woodlands, providing year-round cover and food. Its wood is very pale, almost white and has been used traditionally to make a shepherd’s crook, the curved stick that shepherds use to catch their sheep!

Hollies have a male tree and a female tree, so you may notice that some trees do not ever have berries on, and this is because only female trees produce berries.

The fact it retains its leaves all winter means that it creates areas of dry, even in the wettest times, and the tough dried leaves provide great hibernation spaces for many insects, hedgehogs and dormice.

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