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Bechstein's bat credit Barney Wilczak Fungi at Westonbirt Arboretum

Wildlife and bio-diversity

Westonbirt Arboretum has many different habitats and is a rich location for bio-diversity.

We work with volunteers, conservation groups and individuals to address our bio-diversity goals.

Open grassland

The open grassland of the Downs landscape covers the area of Westonbirt between the Old Arboretum and Silk Wood. The area is rich in wildlife and wildflowers and work is underway to restore this Grade I registered landscape and encourage the many diverse habitats that can and do live there. 

Ancient semi-natural woodland

Silk Wood is ancient semi-natural woodland and contains many of Britain’s native trees (around 40 species).

Differing habitats can also be found within the ancient semi-natural woodland areas such as Silk Wood, which are home to rare wildflowers and elusive species such as the male Bechstein's bat. 

There are 15 hectares of actively worked coppice: work which involves many volunteers and professional coppice workers in the up keep of historical woodland.

The worked areas of hazel coppice in Silk Wood are particularly rich in native wildflowers and wildlife. The long term coppice restoration project will help further develop this aspect.

Did you know...

• Westonbirt is a habitat for the European Protected Species, Dormouse.

• The Old Arboretum is home to a 2000-year-old small leaved lime Tilia cordata, possibly the oldest small leaved lime (and one of the oldest living things) in Britain.

• Westonbirt is currently home to 99 taxa on the Red List. Of these 13 are Critically Endangered, 37 Endangered and 49 Vulnerable. Take a look at the full list of Westonbirt's rare and endangered trees.

• There are 1,218 species of fungi at the arboretum, the highest single recorded site in the West of England (recorded by the Cotswold Fungus Group, 2011 and recognized by Plantlife under the British Mycological Society's Important Fungus Areas conservation rating scheme).

• 136 species of moths inhabit Westonbirt. The rare Mocha species found in Silk Wood is IUCN Red Data Book listed.

Last updated: 8th August 2016

What's of interest

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.