Wet woodland

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A Wet Woodland in Firebeacon, Devon

Wet woodland is a biodiversity habitat in the United Kingdom.

This is a woodland that occurs on poorly drained or seasonally wet soils. They are typical of river valley, the surroundings of mires and raised bog, the transition zones between open water and drier ground, and beside small winding streams. Alder, birches and willows are the characteristic trees found in this type of habitat, as they are able to extract oxygen from the water saturated habitat. The UK contains between 50–70,000 hectares (120–172,970 acres).

Wet woodland supports many types of species. E.g. the humidity favours bryophytes (mosses). Alder, birch and willows support many invertebrates: the beetles Melanopion minimum and Rhynchaenus testaceus, the craneflies Lipsothrix errans, Lipsothrix nervosa, and mammals such as otters.

In the UK Woodland Maintenance and Restoration grants are available to protect this type of Woodland under Natural England's Environmental Stewardship Scheme.

National Vegetation Classification[edit]

Within the British National Vegetation Classification seven types of Wet Woodland are recognised as part of the Woodland and scrub communities in the British National Vegetation Classification system

Condition assessment and ideal management[edit]

  • Native species are dominant. Non-native and invasive species account for less than 10% of the vegetation cover.
  • A diverse age and height structure.
  • Free from recent damage from stock or wild mammals - there should be evidence of tree regeneration e.g. seedlings, saplings and young trees.
  • Standing and fallen dead trees of over 20 centimetres diameter are present.
  • The area is protected from damage by agricultural and other adjacent operations.

The term 'recent' in this context means less than five years.

Example Wet Woodland sites[edit]

External links[edit]