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Wildlife and Environment

Salcey Forest is a magnificent ancient woodland which is a remnant of the THE MILKING OAK IN SALCEY FOREST. NORTHANTS FDmedieval royal hunting forest. It has many miles of ancient wood banks, building remains and ancient trees. The 'druids', or veteran oaks in Salcey are rare and amazing wildlife habitats, and some of the old oaks are over 600 years old.

This beautiful habitat is managed to promote biodiversity, and to preserve the 500 or so hectares of ancient woodland. There are several key ways in which the woodland is managed, the first being removal of plantation conifers. These conifers are competing with native tree species like ash and oak. By removing or thinning out the conifers we are encouraging natural regeneration of these native trees.

The second aspect of woodland management is thinning the native broadleaved trees. By selectively removing trees we can open the canopy and allow the remaining trees to develop without competition. This also boosts biodiversity, because it means that all of the trees are not the same age.

The third aim is to recreate the ancient woodland landscape of 'coppice with Recently cut mixed broadleaved coppice with standardsstandards'. This means picking oak and ash trees to keep as 'standards', and cutting down all smaller trees and shrubs - or 'coppicing' them. This old method of woodland management is very good for increasing biodiversity, and the coppice can be used to make fences, hurdles and thatching spars.
Thanks to these management techniques, Salcey Forest is home to over half the species of butterfly found in England, as well as all three species of woodpecker, jay, nightingale, and many other bird species. The pond areas are managed for dragonfly, damselfly and newt, and the open spaces are home to slow worm, grass snake and lizard.

Climate change mitigationThermometer temperature 47 degrees C 116 degrees F

Trees, wood and forests can provide part of the solution to limiting climate change, and to helping society to adapt to the changes we all face.

As long as woodlands are managed in a sustainable way, there can be a multitude of benefits: for climate, for people and for wildlife.

Trees can help us adapt to climate change. They provide shade, alleviate flooding and creating valuable wildlife habitat. They also provide us with timber, a renewable source that can replace other materials that require much larger fossil fuel input into their production. Wood can also replace fossil fuels directly in the form of renewable energy, or woodfuel.

All Forestry Commission woodlands are Forest Stewardship Council® certified. This means that they are independently certified as being sustainable.Hilary Benn Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. National Assessment of UK Forestry and Climate Change conference London 25 November 2009

Our forests are changing due to climate change and we need to plan ahead to help them adapt.

See our national pages on woodfuel and climate change for more information

Last updated: 21st December 2017

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