The Species we plant


The Ash (Fraxinus excelsior, fam. Oleaceae) can grow 45m high and 200 years old. It's tough and flexible and it coppices - if you hack off a branch it just grows a new one. Over the years we've used it for policemen's truncheons, hockey sticks, furniture and everything else you can think of.


Wild Cherry (Prunus avium, fam. Rosaceae) gets to 15m, lives up to 200 years and pops up in woods & hedgerows. The fruit's good for people & birds, the wood has long been used for furniture. Bird Cherry (Prunus padus, same family) is similar but with black fruit. It lives near streams and produces its nectar early - a boon for birds, bees & butterflies.

sessile oak

The Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea, fam.Fagaceae) can get to 40m and 1 000 years old! The fine quality of its multi-purpose wood is well known and of course the seeds provide fun for little boys as well as food for woodland creatures.

scots pine 2

The Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris, fam. Pinaceae) - Britain's only native pine - can reach 40metres high and (some say) 300 years old. It's tough: it can live in Siberia or Spain. The wood makes telegraph poles, flooring, turps, etc. - and the needles make that familiar piney oil we associate with colds and bathrooms.


Hazel (Corylus avellana, fam. Corylaceae) is a shrubby, hedgey tree growing 6m tall and 70 years old. Cut it back and it grows new bendy sticks (good for baskets or walking sticks) And the nuts are lovely whether you're man, squirrel or big bird.


The Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna, fam.Rosaceae) lives 250 years and reaches 15m. Its blossoms smell nice and it protects oak and other seedlings from predation. It's been used as firewood, walking sticks, and (woven into spikey hedges) for keeping the cows in.

silver birch 2

The Silver Birch (Betula pendula, fam.Betulaceae) is a much admired smallish, wart-covered tree mature at 40 years.

downy birch

The Downy Birch (Betula pubescens, same family) grows more slowly and has 'furry' twigs (but no warts). Birch is a tough, oily, hardwood with numberous uses, e.g. paper, canoes, tea, dye, plywood, skateboards and corporal punishment!


The Juniper (Juniperus communis, fam. Cupressaceae)  most famous for its gin-flavouring berries is a tough evergreen, getting to 6m tall. They're often found in people's shrubberies these days.

alder leaves

The Alder (Alnus glutinosa, fam.Betulacae) gets to 20m and 150 years. It's a soil-restoring nitrogen-fixing hardwood species that tolerates soggy soil. In the past it's been handy for clogs, charcoal, tannin and potions.

goat willow

Goat Willow (Salix caprea, fam. Salicaceae) pops up in hedgerows and woods. Otherwise known as Pussy Willow it's more ornament than use (except for conservation purposes).

crack willow

Crack Willow (Salix fragilis, same family) gets to 27m and 200 years old (some say 1 000 years!) Fond of streams it's been used to make wooden legs, kids' toys and Aspirin, amongst other things.


The Aspen (Populus tremula, fam.Salicaceae) is a 25m tall willow that inspires poets with its non-stop restless leaves, e.g.: "The aspens at the cross-roads talk together/Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top..." (Edward Thomas). Like Alder it's been used medicinally, for gunpowder, arrows, matches, ply and paper.


Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia, fam. Rosaceae) which  grows 18m high and 100 years old was used for bows in the middle ages then tool handles, wooden bowls, etc. The berries make good jelly but the birds (whose flying guts spread the seeds around) also like them. There are plenty to go around, though.

wych elm

The Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra) reaches 40m high and 500 years old. Rotproof in water it was once perfect for sea defenses and troughs as well as coffins, wheel hubs, etc. This valuable native elm was not wiped out by Dutch elm disease but with its numbers reduced we are pleased to be restoring it to the landscape.


Native shrubs & other trees: Woody shrubs which grow naturally in & around woodlands support biodiversity so we plant them too. Sometimes we might add to the site with two naturalized trees that ecologically enhance native woodland: Spruce and Larch. Healthy & hefty, both have thrived in Britain for over 150 years & are excellent CO2 eaters.