Veteran and street trees

Veteran trees are the most long lived plants in our countryside. Some, such as oaks may have stood since the middle ages. Other, short lived trees like birch may only be a hundred years old but can still support a wealth of wildlife.

As trees age they tend to rot, split and form deeply fissured bark. All of these are attractive places for wildlife, whether its a woodpecker making home in a dead branch, or a beetle that consumes dead wood. In fact the more dead or unhealthy a tree may appear, the more wildlife it will sustain. Many invertebrates and fungi require these veteran trees, while the physical space on a large tree can support thousands of insects. This abundance of small animals draws in birds such as Treecreepers and Long Tailed Tits, who scour the trees for food.

Street trees appear in almost every town in the UK. Our tree lined roads are thanks to town planners more than 100 year ago, who first realised their value. They provide shade from the summer heat and shelter from the winter winds. They absorb noise and pollution, while breaking up the rigid lines of brick and concrete into more pleasing shapes.

For more information on Veteran and Ancient Trees see the Ancient Tree Forum website.

For information on planning and trees in the National Park click here.

Use the navigation panel on the left to explore different urban habitats.