Great places to see: Ancient and unusual trees

The Donkey Tree (c) Jon OakleyThe Donkey Tree (c) Jon Oakley

See living examples of natural history at a Wildlife Trust nature reserve near you

It’s not often that we can go in search of wildlife that is guaranteed to show up, be spectacular at all times of the year and be impossible to frighten away.


Veteran trees are steeped in history and folklore, and ancient coppices give us clues about the way our ancestors used the land. Mature woodland is home to a wealth of wildlife, including rare native trees and iconic woodland flowers. Even damaged, dead and fallen trees are invaluable for the deadwood and habitats they provide for birds, beetles and fungi.


Here we recommend 40 Wildlife Trust sites to view awe-inspiring and unusual trees for yourself, whether gnarled old oaks, veteran examples of field maple or holly, or trees which have a special place in the hearts of local people.

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