Busy this week helping to manage a woodland on Thursday by thinning trees to let sunlight reach the woodland floor. This should mean there are lots more plants able to grow because of increased light levels and this will be good for wildlife such as insects, small mammals and birds.
On Friday we were at the other end of woodland management, planting new young trees in an area that had been clear felled including the oak sapling in the picture. 284 insect species have been found living in oaks. Jays and Squirrels, which both feed on them, spread the acorns by carrying them away and burying them in the ground. The Purple Hairstreak and Purple Emperor butterflies rely on oak. Most British bats roost in the crevices and hollows, and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Spotted Flycatchers, Nuthatches and Treecreepers find food and nest holes on oaks. Wild Primroses, Bluebells and wild garlic and wild violets all rely on the rich soil beneath oaks to thrive. Some ecologists argue individual oaks should be designated nature reserves in their own right!