Others

There are several other localised but distinct types of woodland. They include:

Floodplain Woodlands

Before the advent of drainage systems, embankments and flood control measures, many river valleys flooded each year and were clothed in woodland. Rather than a single channel, the course of the river would have changed constantly meandering to form islands, marshes, oxbow lakes and feeder streams. Only remnants of the former floodplain woodland remain in the UK, notably in the New Forest and along the River Spey in Scotland. In the distant past, wet woodland with white and crack willow, ash, oak, alder and black poplar would have flourished. Black poplar is our tallest native tree. Once common on floodplains, this is now an endangered species here and efforts are being made to conserve it. There may be as few as 3,000 scattered specimens left in the UK in areas such as the Vale of Aylesbury and the Somerset Levels. In medieval times, black poplar timber was prized as it was shockproof and used to make the floors of wagons, stable partitions and clogs. However DNA evidence suggests black poplars may have been introduced from France or Ireland too and propagated through cuttings to provide wood on floodplain farms. A small block of black poplar has been planted in the

RFS Battram Wood

as part of the Biological Action Plan for the National Forest.

Wet Woodlands

Small, discrete native woodlands can be found on very wet areas such as lowland bogs or alongside water bodies like the Broads. Alder is the characteristic species and can form pure woods or “carrs”.

Coppice

Often recognised as a distinct type of man-made woodland, pure coppice or coppice-with-standards is treated in more detail under specialised systems.