Saturday, Apr 19, 2014


We often have no appreciation of the value of the most potentially rich habitats, instead clearing them away in the interests of tidiness. Something as apparently simple and useless as rotting wood supports up to 1700 different species of invertebrate. Rotting wood on its own provides an amazing variety of different microhabitats. These also include the fruiting bodies of fungi actively decaying the wood.

Larger animals such as Roe deer also roam through the wood. While we are unlikely to actually see them, the signs of their presence will be all around, from the territorial scratchings of the males, made on saplings, to the dung which they deposit as they go. While this dung may be undesirable waste to us, there is no such thing as waste in nature and it will be eagerly colonized as soon as it falls. The rich resource of invertebrates living in and emerging from the dung provides food for any number of predators, such as beetles, birds, small mammals and bats.