Neutral to base-rich wet woodland

Possible BAP priority habitat typeScottish Forestry GuideNVC
Wet woodland Wet Woodlands W7 (W1, W2, W3)
Wood pasture and parkland    

Woodland description

This is a diverse woodland type occurring in the uplands, upland fringes and lowlands. It includes lowland floodplain woodlands. Soils range from flushed mineral soils to very wet, flushed peats. The dominant tree species may be alder (typical of W7 alder woodland) or eared or grey willow.

On relatively dry woodlands of this type, birch, ash and hazel may be frequent, locally dominant. Stand structure is equally varied, ranging from tall stands of alder and ash to stunted willow scrub.
Wood pasture and parkland can occur in the form of ancient slope alderwood.  

Ground flora

Ground flora species and structure will be influenced primarily by soil conditions and grazing levels. Flora may include: 

  • Herbs: This woodland type may be herb-rich with a range of tall herbs that include iris, hemlock water dropwort, angelica, marsh thistle and nettle. Closer to the ground, creeping buttercup, marsh hawk’s-beard and opposite-leaved golden saxifrage may be frequent. Very wet woodland may support bogbean and water mint. 
  • Ferns, grasses and rushes: Tufted hair grass, remote sedge,  lady fern and broad buckler fern occur in the drier versions of this woodland type. The understorey of wet willow woodland may contain bottle sedge, greater tussock sedge or common reed, the latter typically occurring in dense stands.  
  • Lower plants: Mosses and liverworts may be abundant on the woodland floor and on tree stems.

Forage potential

The herbs in this woodland type offer a limited amount of good forage potential. The wetter woods may be inaccessible to stock and deer.

See also: