Other Broadleaf Woodland (definition)

Durham Lowland Priority Habitats
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Other Broadleaf Woodland Habitat Definition


Identification & Mapping

This priority habitat encompasses all woodland which is not ancient (established since 1600), and which contains predominantly broadleaf species. This includes plantation, secondary and developing woodland.

Mature broadleaf woodland dominated by non-native broadleaf species such as sycamore and beech are important in the context of the Durham BAP area and are included in this definition, however all new plantation relating to targets for this priority habitat should be of native species.

It should be noted that native but non-broadleaf species such as yew and juniper can be important components of this priority habitat.

An important exclusion to this definition, however, is woodland created by inappropriate planting i.e.:

  • broadleaf plantation woodland which has been planted, inappropriately, on another DBAP priority habitat,
  • broadleaf plantation woodland which has been planted on land which would have met the definition of another DBAP priority habitat in the previous 30 years.
  • broadleaf plantation woodland with more than 70% cover of non-native trees/shrubs

Condition Assessment

To measure the condition of Other Broadleaf Woodland a similar assessment to ASNW should be used.

However before undertaking a condition assessment on this habitat the woodland needs to be defined as either native or non-native (mature broadleaf woodland dominated by non-native broadleaf species such as sycamore and beech is included within this habitat definition). Where the character of the woodland is primarily native species all the conditions below need to be met for the woodland to be in ‘favourable condition’. Where the character of the woodland is non-native broadleaf species condition should be disregarded.

To be in ‘favourable condition’ Other Broadleaf Woodland must meet all the conditions below:

  • No loss of woodland area.
  • More than 50% canopy cover.
  • More than 80% native species*.
  • More than 20% shrub cover.
  • More than 90% native shrub species.
  • At least 3 fallen trees of >20cm diameter per hectare
  • At least 4 standing dead trees of >20cm diameter per hectare
  • Sufficient young plants to replace the tree cover
  • Veteran Trees to be present.
  • Presence of particular indicator plants
  • Some topographical features to be present.
    *see caveat to this above

There will be a baseline for condition for all sites surveyed, but it will be difficult to repeat this work regularly. For sites recorded in unfavourable condition, records of current positive interventions will give the site ‘recovering’ status. (Note: This will only be applied retrospectively once the results of any interventions are known)