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Woodlands include all vegetation types dominated by trees forming a distinct, although sometimes open, canopy. They may have developed naturally or occur as a result of planting. The woodlands that are of greatest conservation significance are those which have had continuous wooded cover for at least 400 years. Such sites, called ancient woodlands, are often extremely rich in plants and animals and may contain species with specialised habitat requirements. In a number of ancient woodlands the original tree cover has been felled and replanted (often with conifers). These often retain remnants of the original woodland flora and fauna.

The North East supports approximately 3.5% of Englandís ancient semi-natural woodland and 3.2% of Englandís ancient replanted woodland. The information available about woodlands in the region is patchy. Phase 1 survey data exist for much of the North East but habitat data has still to be collected for large areas of Northumberland. There have been few systematic studies of woodland composition and so it has not been possible to reliably quantify the extent of UK BAP priority habitat types within the Region. The Forestry Commission is currently producing an inventory of all of Britainís woodlands but this information is unlikely to be available for some time.

The UK BAP identifies six priority woodland habitats, of which four - upland oak woodland, upland mixed ashwoods, wet woodlands and lowland wood pasture and parkland - occur within the North East Region.

Where can I see examples of woodland in the North East?

Follow the links below for more information about woodlandsites that are owned or managed by members of the North East Biodiversity Forum.  Please note that some of the sites are in remote locations and may have difficult terrain - refer to the individual web page for more details about site.


Barrowburn Woods

Borough Woods

Briarwood Banks

Grasslees Burn Woods

Holywell Dene

Holystone North Woods

Irthing Gorge

Kielder Forest

Priestclose Woods

Newcastle and North Tyneside

Holywell Dene

Jesmond Dene

Walbottle and Throckley Dene


Chopwell Woods

Gibside Estate

Ousborough Woods

Ridley Gill/Hedley Hall


Allensford Wood

Baal Hill Wood

Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve

Cocken Wood

Cong Burn Woods Local Nature Reserve

Edmondsley Wood

Hawthorn Dene

Pontburn Woods

Sacriston Wood

Tees Valley

Saltburn Gill

Hardwick Dene Local Nature Reserve