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Post by taixyz1992 on Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:34 pm

Ancient woodland is a term used in the United Kingdom to refer specifically to woodland dating back to 1600 or before in England and Wales (or 1750 in Scotland). Before this, planting of new woodland was uncommon, so a wood present in 1600 was likely to have developed naturally.[1]

For many species of animal and plant, ancient woodland sites provide the sole habitat, and for many others, conditions on these sites are much more suitable than those on other sites. Ancient woodland is the UK's equivalent of rainforest, home to more rare and threatened species than any other UK habitat. For these reasons ancient woodland is often described as an irreplaceable resource, or 'critical natural capital'.[2]

Ancient woodland is formally defined on maps by Natural England and equivalent bodies. Many ancient woodlands have legal protection of various types, but it is not automatically the case that any ancient woodland is protected.

The analogous American term is "old growth forest".

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