Living Heritage

Legacy newsletter no. 10, Spring 2009

A legacy to the Woodland Trust. The gift that grows...

Legacies helping wildlife

A world at your feet
egacies play a major role in the acquisition and maintenance of our woods and therefore have a vital part to play in supporting and protecting the species that depend on woodland’s rich diversity. Deadwood habitats in particular are home to a large number of species and are found throughout the Trust’s older woodlands, including our 100+ legacy woods (woods specifically acquired or maintained with legacies left to the Woodland Trust).


his spring we have therefore chosen to focus our species article on a few of the creatures and organisms that live in or on dead or decaying woodland trees – an environment full of nooks, crannies and rotting wood. These species may not be very trendy or good looking, and are often very small, but they are all busy contributing to the woodland ecosystem. Each has its own part to play – even if it’s just being a tasty snack for a hungry bat or woodpecker!

Fungi –
WTPL/Jane Corey

a clean-up act

Bracket fungi (Turkey tail – Tramates versicolor)
Fungi play a vital role in woodland ecology and some are themselves rare and restricted to only the oldest of trees. It is fungi which cause the

decay of heartwood and the hollowing on which other wildlife depends. This is a perfectly natural part of the ageing process of a tree, probably prolonging its life and providing habitats for a huge number of specialist species. In the Great Storm of 1987, many of the trees that were blown down were the ones with solid trunks: the hollow trees were more able to bend and f lex and so withstand the wind. One distinctive group is the bracket fungi, of which there are many species. The brackets, which can be seen developing on tree trunks, are just the fruiting bodies of the fungal mycelium (the main growing structure of a fungus) which is active deep within the dead heartwood tissues in the trunk. Only when they have loose tree trunk bark, preferring wood heated by the sun, and feeds on small invertebrates such as beetles and mites. Deadwood can be found in all of our mature woodland, including the ancient beeches in Great Church Wood, our legacy wood at Marden Park in Woldingham, Surrey.

The fruiting bodies of fungi provide specialist habitats for a huge array of invertebrate species, such as the bright, redand-blue or black Triplax beetles; and the scarce fungus weevil (Platyrhinus resinosus).
gained sufficient resources to reproduce do they produce the ‘brackets’ and then only where dead tissues are in contact with the air outside. The fungi then produce the spores that drift in air currents in search of more dead woody tissues. One of the long-term intentions for Bovey Valley Woods in Devon, which have directly received legacy income, is the monitoring of a variety of dead wood species to aid understanding of habitat change over a long period.
Roger Key

False scorpion –
not what it seems
It’s not well known, but our woods play host to a fearsome, eight-legged creature which looks just like a scorpion. But it is tiny, rarely being more than 3mm long, and it comes without a sting-bearing tail. There are about 25 species of these ‘false scorpions’ in Britain, with six species living mainly in old trees and decaying wood. Britain's largest false scorpion (Dendrochernes cyrneus) lives beneath

The false scorpion subdues its prey by grasping it with its pincer-claws and injecting it with venom from glands at the claws’ tips.

False scorpion (Dendrochernes cyrneus)


Wood ants –
Roger Key

part of the bigger picture
trunks and foliage, taking insects back to the nest as food for the larvae developing within. Their nests also provide valuable habitats for a wide range of other invertebrates which feed variously on debris and discarded food, with some even feeding on the ant larvae themselves.
Bob Gibbons

Lichens – clean air indicators
Lichens are complex organisms consisting of a fungus growing intimately with an alga, which to the naked eye are seen as little colourful patches or bushy structures on trees, rocks and bare ground. They reproduce by spores or when tiny particles break away. Most lichens are very sensitive to air pollution, making them excellent environmental indicators. The presence of the large and leafy tree ‘lungwort’ or ‘lung moss’ (Lobaria pulmonaria), with lobes or ‘fronds’ measuring between 8 – 18 cm, indicates good air quality and long established tree conditions. Similarly, the string-ofsausages lichen (Usnea articulata) which hangs down from a tree in great festoons, rather like tangled knitting, is also a pure air barometer. The coating of lichens on trees and rocks provides habitats for many more small creatures which feed on this coating and on micro-organisms growing on the surfaces of bark or foliage, and they in turn are fed upon by predatory bugs and spiders. Binswood, a legacy wood in East Worldham, Hampshire, is a typical example of great continuity of old growth and old trees where lichen and fungi associated with deadwood habitats can be readily found.
Bob Gibbons

Brown tree ant (Lasius brunneus)

Two species of ant make their nests deep inside the decaying heartwood of old trees: the brown tree ant (Lasius brunneus) and the jet ant (Lasius fuliginosus). Both species help to hollow out the trees – the brown tree ant by carving intricate passageways through the Jet ant (Lasius fuliginosus) heartwood to get to various points in the outer trunk, and the jet ant by These ants harvest the honeydew chewing the dead woody tissues to secretions from aphids feeding create a more manageable mulch from high in the tree canopy by stroking which it constructs its nest. The worker them with their antennae. ants of both species forage over the tree

Rhinoceros beetle –
Matt West

handsome and distinctive

Rhinoceros beetle (Sinodendron cylindricum)
The shiny black rhinoceros beetle (Sinodendron cylindricum) is one of the UK’s more dramatic-looking beetles – the male having a distinctive rhinoceros-like horn on its head. The females are very choosy about where they lay their eggs, placing them into dead and decaying wood that is in just the right condition for larval development. The larvae (grubs) then feed on these woody tissues over the next 2–3 years, chewing their way through even tough hard wood, before pupating and transforming into adults. The beetles are active during the daytime and may be spotted crawling across logs and stumps. The rhinoceros beetle can be found in a wide range of legacy woods including Brede High Wood, near Battle, East Sussex.

Lung moss (Lobaria pulmonaria)

Male rhinoceros beetles use their horns during mating battles against other males.

Country folk traditionally used certain lichens for dyeing yarn, with the most coveted producing shades of purple or red.

Pledger Profile

Roger Jefcoate CBE
oger Jefcoate isn’t just an interesting man to talk to, he’s actually someone who makes a difference – whether it’s to people’s lives, to the environment, or to threatened species. The large number of charitable organisations he’s founded gives a clue to his commitment to helping, and include the Disability Aid Fund, Canine Partners, ME Research UK and Cancer Detection Dogs.


Roger Jefcoate
say that he’s absolutely besotted with Britain’s rarest and largest native timber tree – the black poplar – and he has campaigned for over 30 years to lift its profile both locally and nationally. And his campaigning must be pretty successful because he’s already accepted several invitations from the Royal Family to plant his cuttings on their estates! But Roger’s love of trees goes back much further than the black poplar – back to his childhood in Amersham in fact. His garden backed onto a wood, where countless idyllic days were spent climbing trees, making camps and exploring. So it comes as no surprise that he is both a life member of The Men of The Trees (later renamed the International Tree Foundation) and the Woodland Trust. ‘It was Kenneth Watkins (founder of the Woodland Trust) who inspired me to join the Trust’, said Roger. ‘Though I never actually met him, I was impressed by the fact that he wasn’t just talking about the loss of ancient woodland, he was actually taking practical steps to do something about it. I liked that.’ More than 30 years ago Roger and his wife Jean planted an oak tree in their garden to symbolise their enduring love for each other, and it was this concept of leaving something for others to remember you by after you’ve gone, that led them to leave a legacy to the Woodland Trust. ‘We like the idea of living memorials, and a legacy left to the Trust will be just that. But our legacy will be unrestricted because we both know, from having worked with so many charities, that ‘core funds’ are of utmost importance, much more so than ‘special projects’ which people too often focus their legacy on. Core funds pay for things such as wages, offices, heating and lighting, and spreading word about the cause, and though not particularly exciting, they are still vital in helping a charity to achieve its aims.’ Jean, who was once a classical singer, loves trees as much as her husband, and they are both singing from the same song sheet when it comes to their thoughts about woodland: ‘In this frantic world, we all need places to escape to, and woods have a spiritual dimension where you can feel at peace and get your lives into perspective. Where would we be without trees, and without the Woodland Trust?’ A very good question to finish on!

Like many of the pledgers we’ve profiled, Roger makes the most of his talents, and one particularly notable achievement was helping to develop Possum – the first electronic remotecontrol system for disabled people. His tireless work at Stoke Mandeville hospital as deputy director of the electronic laboratories he helped set up was a pre-cursor to what he still does today – providing disabled people with independent advice on technology that could transform their lives. But Roger’s passions aren’t just confined to people. It would be fair to
WTPL/Tony Chadwick

Black poplar (Populus nigra)

Roger has planted his black poplar cuttings at a number of Royal estates, including Sandringham, Gatcombe Park and Buckingham Palace!

Stella Williams

Your page

Could you be a video star?
Have you kindly remembered the Woodland Trust in your will? Would you be willing to talk about what inspired you in a short video which we will use on our website and at various Woodland Trust events? If you think you can help, please contact Stella Williams by email: or telephone 08452 935644. Closing date: 2nd April 2009.

Competition results
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to our competition last year to win an FSC* hand-crafted oak bench for the garden. The lucky winner was Sarah Thomas of Herefordshire, whose Chiddingstone bench was delivered to her in September. Naturally, Sarah was rather pleased with her prize: ‘I am thrilled to bits with the beautiful bench – it brings me joy every time I look at it. It has pride of place in the garden and will bring great pleasure for years to come.’ The questions were:

What’s in a legacy?
There are a number of different types of legacy and a range of legal terms to cover them, which can be confusing, so we have provided a brief explanation below of those most commonly used, starting with the definition of a legacy: Bequest/Legacy: A gift left in your will. A legacy generally means something of monetary value and a bequest tends to refer to property and possessions. Contingent/Conditional Legacy – also known as a Restricted Legacy: A legal term which means to give something, subject to something else happening. In practice, a legacy with restrictions can be harder for a charity to use where needs are most pressing, and if too restrictive, sadly may not be able to be used at all. If you wish to leave the Woodland Trust a restricted legacy, we would encourage you to discuss with us the conditions you wish to impose so that we can let you know if we are able to comply. Discretionary Legacy: A gift in a will whereby someone else has the discretion of how it is to be used or to whom it is given. Pecuniary Legacy: This is a gift of a specific sum of money or monies worth (e.g. shares) stated in your will. You may wish to link it to the Retail Price Index which will maintain its real value and prevent it from being eroded by inf lation. Residuary Legacy: A gift of all or part of anything not already given away in the will (i.e. the residue left), which will increase or decrease with the value of your estate. Generally this kind of legacy is of greatest benefit as its value increases in line with the value of your estate. Reversionary Legacy: An instruction naming a person who can use something for their lifetime (life tenant) after which that part of the estate passes to someone else. The beneficiaries have to wait for the life tenant to die or give up the life interest. Specific Legacy: A named gift in your will – for example, a house, shares, or jewellery. If you were considering leaving us such a gift, we would encourage you to discuss it with us first so you are aware of how we may use the legacy. Where we cannot benefit from the gift directly we may need to sell it and use the proceeds. Unrestricted Legacy: A gift given without restrictions or conditions being placed on its use. Such legacies are vital for the Trust as we can use them where the need is greatest and respond quickly to threats or opportunities.

Q.1: What is the courtship arena of the black grouse called? A: A lek Q.2: What was the most popular article in the last edition of Living Heritage? A: Rare and endangered species in our legacy woods Q.3: What year were Skipton Woods leased to the Trust? A: 1991 Competitors were also asked to complete the sentence: A legacy left to the Woodland Trust will change our landscape for the better because…, and Sarah’s winning tiebreaker was: those places we have loved today will be protected for those who will love them tomorrow.
Photo: courtesy of Sarah Thomas

A comprehensive list of legal terms, together with a simple guide to will-making, is included in our booklet Are you willing to save a wood? For your free copy, please contact the legacy team (see details on back page) or visit:

*Forest Steward Council certified timber extracted from the Trust’s own sites as part of essential management work.


Legacies in action

Four natural gems
egacies from Woodland Trust supporters are helping to change the face of the countryside for the better. Here we highlight four more woodland ‘gems’ that have benefited directly from legacy income:


Hawkeswood –

hidden history
The woods are thought to have once been part of the landscaped grounds of Millgrove House, which is next door to the 5 acre (2 hectare) wood. There are still tantalising glimpses of what the gardens may have looked like before nature was allowed to take over again, such as partly hidden f lights of stone steps or the footings of old buildings that have long since disappeared. But now the f lowerbeds and the borders are wild again, and among the trees in the wood are beech, ash and sessile oak. In recent years the Trust has cut back many of the rambling non-native species of rhododendron and laurel bushes – lovingly planted by Victorian gardeners – to increase the light penetrating the woodland and improve soil pH conditions which are altered by these species. This has allowed the R ed ca mp io n wood’s natural f lora to f lourish, and now male and hart’s tongue ferns are common, along with bluebells, pink purslane, wood sorrel and dog’s mercury. Though denser conifers are also being controlled, many of the wood’s other naturalised nonnative species, such as beech and sycamore, now play such an important part in the wood’s overall ecology that they are being left in place. Bats and roe deer are also regularly spotted at Hawkeswood, which is now established as a true Cumbrian gem.
Du n ne

Jackie Dunne

Hawkeswood, on the western fringes of the Lake District, is a small ancient woodland acquired by the Trust in 1996. The purchase was made possible thanks to a generous legacy and it has become a much-loved haven of peace and tranquillity for the villagers of nearby Low Moresby.

Spreading out over 20 acres (8 hectares) on the edge of the Somerset town of Keynsham, what was once simple farmland has now grown into a nature-rich community woodland. The site was given to the Trust as part of a legacy in 1996 and planted as part of the Woods on your Doorstep
Jonathan Burgess

Project. Native species such as oak, ash, wild cherry and field maple were introduced, and now, over a decade on, many are soaring to over 10 metres high. The wood, which lies within the Forest of Avon, has been deliberately planted in a very informal way, giving it an open and airy feel. And with no set route to follow, this is a place to wander at your leisure, following the meandering grass tracks as they take you past random thickets of trees, with a new view at every turn. Around the edge of the wood is a well-established hedgerow which is punctuated with veteran oaks, while central to the site is a massive two

tonne sculpture of an ammonite. Legend has it that St Kenya discovered a hoard of the fossils when she was building the nearby priory. She was allegedly also responsible for turning all the local snakes into stone but what the wood lacks in reptiles it makes up for in butterflies, with 14 species recently recorded. Community involvement remains important at Abbots Wood and local children have helped to plant the thousands of bluebells which make the wood such a special place to visit in the spring.


Jonathan Burgess


J ac



Blackbush Shaw & Twenty Acre Shaw –

Darwin’s doorstep
WTPL/Stuart Handley

Visitors to Blackbush Shaw have the unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the world’s most famous naturalist, Charles Darwin. The woodland, which includes the adjacent Twenty Acre Shaw, is nestled away on the slopes of the Downe Valley, close to the Kentish village of Cudham. Two significant legacies helped the Trust extend the site, taking over a new 22 acre (8.9 hectare) plot of chalk grassland which will act as a buffer to the woods where Darwin once collected evidence for his book The Origin of Species. Together the woods provide an intricate mosaic of grassland, farmland, woodland, woodbanks and hedgerows, many remaining virtually

unchanged since Darwin’s time. Within the 24 acres (9 hectares) covered by Blackbush Shaw are a mixture of habitats, with both ancient woodland and younger trees, as well as grassland that’s rich in colourful f lora, including the six different species of orchid that once inspired Darwin. Glades open out throughout the wood and during spring these are awash with primroses and cowslips. The whole site has several excellent footpaths, while the steep sides of the valley are riddled with badger setts. In contrast, Twenty Acre Shaw is all mature woodland and another of those quintessentially English spots where bluebells herald the start of spring with a remarkable display of colour. The legacies have also helped to provide a range of pictorial

interpretation boards, and the site’s importance is now acknowledged by the fact it has been put forward for World Heritage status.



Priestley Wood –

truly ancient

Priestley and Swingen's is a wonderful ancient 2 3 broadleaf woodland that's home to the finest collection of ancient coppices in Suffolk. Officially a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the wood covers over 58 acres (23 hectares) and still looks much the same as it would have done more than 750 years ago. Among the oak, ash and hazel are stands of cherry, hornbeam and smallleaved limes, which together make for some spectacular autumn colour. There are also clutches of rare elms too, gifts from one of Britain's last remaining elm woods which is close by. The woodland is also stunning in the spring thanks to over 130 species of plant that have been recorded on


the site, including early purple orchids and the delicate white f lowers of woodruff as well as primrose, oxslip, wide-leaved helleborine and,

of course, huge swathes of bluebells. Priestley has a well documented history, with timber records stretching back to the Middle Ages, as well as impressive medieval wood banks and ditches. Legacies have helped the Trust to fund a number of programmes here, and in 2000 the elusive dormouse was reintroduced, and has now established a healthy, sustainable population. Nightingales also breed on the site, and there are several species of resident bats, too. The Trust takes a softly, softly approach with the woodland management to ensure the wood remains as natural as possible. As a result there are no marked trails and paths can become boggy in places, so when you do pay a visit, be sure to bring your boots.


Trees in focus

Large-leaved lime –
Tricia Atkinson

Britain’s rare beauty is a medical treasure chest!
Ten facts about the lime tree…
1. Adored by aphids 2. Can live for centuries 3. Its canopy can reach a spread of 25 metres! 4. Much loved by woodworkers and musicians 5. In Germany, it is the tree of lovers 6. It is the national emblem of Slovakia 7. Lime blossom produces lovely honey 8. Bast from lime bark makes sandals and clothing 9. Morris dancers love their lime wood sticks! 10. Its flowers make delicious herbal tea. and in diuretics and sedatives. Lime tree wood is also a popular choice for intricate carving, delicate woodworking and model building. Known as basswood, it is used for drum bodies because lime wood possesses better sustain and resonance than alder. It is also frequently used for electric and bass guitar bodies.

Large-leaved lime (Tilia platyphyllos)
Description: Ask any woodland walker and they’ll tell you they are broadleaved beauties, often tall and always magnificent. Members of the Tilia genus, they are known as limes in Britain but lindens in America and throughout much of Europe. Deciduous by nature, they reach heights of 18–35 metres and produce heart-shaped leaves varying in size from 6–20 centimetres. Despite its name, the tree has nothing to do with the lime fruit. Phenology timeline:

Habitat: No longer common in British woods, the large-leaved lime (Tilia platyphyllos) can be found at several Woodland Trust spots including Lineover Wood, Dowdeswell, near Cheltenham and Old Wood – a lovely legacy wood situated near Skellingthorpe in Lincolnshire. The tree’s leaves are sparsely covered with hair and catch the sunlight beautifully, creating a joyous cascade of fresh green and yellow. Its fruit is a small, dry, nut-like seed of about 8mm in diameter. They are often called bee trees because they attract bees and other insects and the beehives located near lime trees produce a pale, richly f lavoured honey. Uses: The lime tree was once used extensively for medicinal purposes in treatments for colds, coughs, fevers, infections, inf lammation, high blood pressure, headaches (particularly migraine), restlessness and hysteria,

leaves appear flowers appear seeds appear April/May June July/August



willing to save a wood? Contact us

leaves fall September

seeds ripen October

ime tree… he l t, know it, love it. T i see

This newsletter shows the very real difference legacies can make. If you are now considering remembering the Woodland Trust in your will – thank you. We would be grateful if you could fill in the pledge form enclosed. It is not binding in any way but it does help us plan for the future.

Write to: The Legacy Team, The Woodland Trust, Autumn Park, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG31 6LL Telephone: 01476 581129 or 581151 Email:
The Woodland Trust (Registered office) Autumn Park, Dysart Road,Grantham, Lincolnshire NG31 6LL Tel: 01476 581111 The Woodland Trust Scotland South Inch Business Centre, Shore Road, Perth PH2 8BW Tel: 01738 635829 The Woodland Trust in Northern Ireland 1 Dufferin Court, Dufferin Avenue, Bangor, Co Down BT20 3BX Tel: 028 9127 5787 The Woodland Trust Wales (Coed Cadw) Unit 3, Coopers Yard Curran Road Cardiff CF10 5NB Tel: 0845 293 5860

Why not have a look at our simple guide to making a will by visiting our website at
Copyright © 2009 The Woodland Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales no. 294344 and in Scotland no. SC038885. A non-profit making company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 1982873. Printed on Era Silk by Eclipse Colour Print Limited

Front cover: Bracket fungus (Ganoderma applanata): Bob Gibbons

Contact us for our free comprehensive brochure which explains the will-making process step by step, translates legal jargon into everyday language and gives real examples of what legacies have enabled the Woodland Trust to achieve.

WTPL/Anna Badley