When the ice sheet receeded at the end of the last ice age Britain was bare or had the remains of arctic tundra. (frozen ground) As the climate warmed up, species that had survived further south moved north and colonised. Eventually almost all of Britain was covered in woodland. Most of this woodland was dominated by deciduous trees (shreds its leaves annually) such as beech, oak and ash. In parts of scotland where its too cold or the soils are too acidic for deciduous trees, scots pine dominated. The native woodlands had a mix of tree species and a varied age structure which resulted in high biodiversity of the other plant species and animals found there.
Trees are matured for timber to be used in house and ship contruction and are valuable for nesting birds and roosting bats.
Trees are cut to ground level on a rotation every 7 to 12 years (coppicing) so as they re-grow they produce thin, straight branches for products such as fencing and wall panels. The mixed habitat produced is very valuable for many species such as butterflies, insects and dormice.
Trees are cut down to about 1.6m (pollarding) as this protects the new growth from grazing livestock…