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The WoodlandsFuelling a Revolution
WOODLAND WORDS

Although every attempt has been made to ensure that the texts on this website can be read by those with limited background knowledge of trees and woodlands, it has been necessary to use some 'specialist' vocabulary for which definitions are provided below.

The National Literacy Strategy requires pupils to use texts from a wide range of different sources, including digital forms such as Internet websites. Use this website to provide non-fiction texts for use within Literacy Hours, in order to provide pupils with opportunities to use organisational features to find information, and to identify and research the meaning of specialist vocabulary.

You can download a WORDSEARCH featuring the words in this section.

ancient woodland
A woodland known from documentary or other evidence to have been in existence since at least 1600 and frequently much older than this.

biodiversity
The variety of plant and animal species found in a specified area.

canopy
The uppermost layer of a woodland, formed from the crowns of mature trees.

carr
An area of wet woodland, usually dominated by Alder and/or Willow.

compartment
An area within a woodland, usually defined for the purposes of management, and with a generally uniform structure and species composition.

coppice
A form of woodland management in which deciduous trees are cut back to just above their base to form coppice stools. These then sprout quickly, forming numerous poles of value in construction and as a fuel. The process can be repeated again and again, usually at about 15 to 20 year intervals.

coppice-with-standards
A coppiced area in which selected trees have been allowed to grow to maturity.

deadwood
Wood from dead or dying trees. Standing deadwood consists of dead trees or parts of trees left standing to decay naturally. Fallen deadwood lies on the woodland floor and has either fallen naturally or been left deliberately after felling or other woodland management operations.

environmental art
Art, often though not always three-dimensional, which is inspired by nature and generally installed in a natural setting and constructed using natural materials.

flushes
Nutrient rich areas, often associated with springs and other areas of seeping water. Flushes are often particularly rich in plant species.

glade
An open area within a woodland which may be either natural or the result of woodland management operations, in particular group felling.

ground flora
The lowest layer of plants in a woodland, containing typical woodland wildflowers such as Bluebell, along with other plant species such as grasses and ferns. Also known as the field layer.

group felling
A method of woodland management in which a small area of trees is selected and felled. This creates a temporary glade in which the ground flora can develop and regeneration of new trees take place.

hagg
Dense Holly thickets formerly used as sources of winter feed for cattle.

Heritage Woodlands
The 35 woodlands in the Fuelling a Revolution programme which are found throughout the South Yorkshire Forest. The woodlands are of ancient origin and are all in the ownership of local authorities and open to the public.

high forest
Any woodland that is not coppiced. Much high forest in South Yorkshire has developed following the cessation of coppicing in the late 19th century and is often at least partly the result of planting.

indicator species
Plant and animal species typically associated with ancient woodlands but which are rarely found in more recently established woodlands. Plant indicator species tend to be those that spread slowly by vegetative means.

interpretation
The practice of communicating information about woodlands (in this case) to local communities and other visitors.

invertebrates
Animals without backbones.

management
Artificial intervention in natural areas such as woodlands designed to enhance the value of the site for wildlife, recreation and/or timber production.

non-native
A species not naturally present in an area but brought in artificially. Some tree species, such as Beech, though native in parts of southern England, are introduced species in South Yorkshire.

monitoring
The collection of information or data over a period of time in order to detect changes in an environment or to evaluate the effect of management work.

over-mature
Trees that have passed maturity and which have started to decline.

plantation
An area artificially planted, often though not always, with non-native tree species, such as Beech, Sweet Chestnut or conifers.

regeneration
The process by which younger trees become established and grow to replace previous generations of trees.

relict
A remaining example of a once more extensive habitat type.

rides
Wide, usually grassy, strips dividing areas of woodland. The presence of rides can increase habitat diversity, in particular by extending the length of woodland edge, which is of importance for wildlife.

semi-natural
Formerly natural areas which have been affected to a greater or lesser extent by human intervention but which still partly resemble their natural state.

shrub layer
The layer of a woodland consisting of both low shrubs, such as Bramble and taller shrubs, and small trees such as Hazel, Elder, Hawthorn and Guelder Rose.

standard
A mature tree forming part of the woodland canopy.

suckers
Young trees growing around an existing tree and originating from its roots. In the case of Elm trees, suckers often grow back when the 'parent' tree has been killed by Dutch Elm Disease.

thinning
A woodland management operation in which the density of the canopy is reduced by felling, letting in more light to the woodland floor and encouraging the development of the understorey and ground flora.

Trans-Pennine Trail
A network of footpaths extending across the Pennines, from Liverpool to Hull. It is designed for use by a wide variety of people including walkers, horseriders, and people in wheelchairs.

understorey
The layer of woodland beneath the canopy and above the ground flora which includes shrubs and regenerating canopy species.

waymarking
The process of signposting and otherwise marking paths in order to make access to an area more straightforward.

wildwood
The woodland that developed naturally following the last Ice Age.

woodbank
An earth bank, often though not always with an associated ditch, constructed at the boundary of a woodland or of compartments within it. These banks, which were constructed to keep out both grazing animals and human intruders, would in most cases have been topped by a wall or hedge.

woodland structure
The relationship between trees and shrubs of different heights within a woodland. The structure of a woodland is often defined in terms of layers - the canopy, the understorey or shrub layer, and the ground flora or field layer.

wood pasture
A now largely extinct method of woodland management in which animals (such as pigs) grazed the lower levels of a woodland whilst the upper layers were exploited for timber.

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