Closed canopy woodland
Closed canopy woodland, which is predominantly beech, is another part of Moor Barton Wilding’s mosaic of habitats. As well as being rich in species of lichens and bryophytes, it is home to pied fly catchers, wood warblers and red starts among other birds, and it is where bats find roosts.
Closed canopy woodland on Dartmoor is part of the Atlantic Rainforest that once covered parts of the UK, but now only remains in small pockets along the UK’s western seaboard. Rainforests are one of the most biodiverse habitats in the UK. The high humidity and low temperature range create the perfect conditions for moisture-loving lichens and bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).
The closed canopy woodland management strategy at Moor Barton Wilding includes halo thinning around potential veteran trees to promote healthy crowns in these trees. We are also endlessly thinning trees elsewhere to let the light in to promote understory development. We leave almost all dead wood in situ in the woodland. Fallen deadwood releases a reservoir of nutrients gradually into the woodland floor, and standing deadwoods, decaying stumps and roots provide incredibly valuable habitat for wildlife that can live nowhere else.
We also build and place bird boxes in different strategic locations in the closed canopy woodland. The boxes provide nesting opportunities for a wide range of species from barn owls, tawny owls and kestrels to pied fly catchers and redstarts.