Priority habitats: Lowland mixed deciduous woodland, Traditional orchards, Wet woodland and Wood-pasture and parkland.
Just over 4% of Greater Lincolnshire is covered by woodland, making it one of the least wooded areas in the UK. The dominance of agriculture means that woodland is confined to those areas of least value for food production. In the process, woodlands have not just become reduced in extent but have also become more fragmented, even in those areas where substantial blocks remain. There has not only been a reduction in the quantity of woodland but also in the quality. Many of the existing woods are former ancient woodland sites now given over to conifers or other non-native trees, or are plantations on formerly non-woodland sites. When the figures are adjusted to include only ancient semi-natural woodlands, the figure drops to around 1% of the area.
Where significant areas of native woodland remain, they are of national importance for their biodiversity. These woodlands form the minimum base stock from which action to deliver real biodiversity benefits can spread. While, newly planted native woodland cannot be as species rich as ancient woodland, it plays a valuable role in reconnecting this fragmented habitat, and provides opportunities for people to experience and enjoy woodland. The area’s woodlands support a range of national Priority species. Dormice were introduced to a single woodland site as part of a national project, and they have spread out significantly from the original release site, making use of connecting hedgerow and woodland habitat.
Vision for Greater Lincolnshire’s trees and woodland: