It is said an oak can spend 300 years growing, 300 years living and 300 years dying. Throughout its long life, an oak tree can support an amazing diversity of life, with more than 280 different species of insects being recorded living within an oak tree.
An ancient oak is therefore a rare and highly valuable biodiversity resource.
Worcestershire is recognised nationally as an important county for ancient and veteran trees. These are particularly valuable for fungi, lichens, bryophytes and more than 1700 species of saproxylic invertebrates, which are associated with decaying timber. They are also important nesting and roosting sites for bats and birds.
Any veteran trees that could not be retained in situ within the Worcester 6 development site have been moved elsewhere within the site’s ‘green spine’ and where possible, the veteran tree’s trunk has been reinstated vertically, providing refuge for bats, birds and the rare and specialist invertebrate biodiversity. In fact, seven ‘red data list’ species of saproxylic invertebrates have been recorded in the veteran trees at Worcester 6.
The hope is that by reinstating the veteran tree’s deadwood, the populations of these scarce invertebrates can be supported for generations, while ‘future veteran’ trees will be identified and positively managed.