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Nature Trail 4

English Oak, Quercus robor
4

The English Oak, Quercus robor, is Britain’s most beloved tree, by both people and wildlife! With its lobed (wavey) leaves and its super seed, the acorn, the oak is an easily identifiable tree that has been central to life in England for millennia.

A veteran tree, which is an old tree with lots of holes and dead wood, can support over 1000 other species, including other plants, insects of all varieties, birds, mammals and fungi.

The oaks found in this wood were planted to be used as pit props for the mines and ochre pits that dot this hill. They were coppiced, cut at ground level then allowed to grow again, or pollarded, where the branches are cut off the trunk and then allowed to regrow. The process of cutting makes the young oaks grow straight and quick, making them perfect for building with. The way these trees have been worked has left the old oaks here with lots of holes and exposed dead wood, meaning they are great homes for all kinds of fungi and animals.

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