Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre

International Year of Forests Results!

Savernake Forest in autumn, Tom Cairns/ WWT

The United Nations proclaimed 2011 the International Year of the Forest urging people to raise awareness of this important and rapidly disappearing habitat across the globe. Here in Wiltshire 7% of our land area is woodland and over 50% of this is considered ancient, we therefore asked people to get out and explore their local woodlands and record the wildlife within them to add to our knowledge of this ecosystem. The International Year of the Forest has now come to an end and we have collated the information gathered over the past year. 

As the table below indicates the records received overwhelmingly focused on the plant life and included records for two notable species, Meadow Saffron (Colichium autumnale) and Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha). Plants are often poorly recorded despite being the basis of a habitat and so this information is particularly valuable in building on our picture of Wiltshire’s woodlands.

Record Type Percentage (%)
Plant 84.25
Fungi 0.25
Mammal 0.25
Bird 8
Invertebrate 7.25

We had a good coverage of records across Wiltshire as shown in the table below, the majority from North Wiltshire woodlands. There was a good spread across a number of woodlands rather than concentrated in a small number of sites, which gives a good snapshot across Wiltshire.

Location Percentage (%)
West Wiltshire 33.2
Birds Marsh Wood 20.1
Vincents Wood 12.6
Biss Wood 0.5
North Wiltshire 53.5
Bruddell Wood 2.8
Stratton Wood 13.1
Shaw Forest Park 21.6
Ravensroost 16
South East Wiltshire 13.3
Milton Wood 3.4
Eveleigh Ashes 2.4
Linden Copse 7.5

A big thank you to everyone who took part and sent in their sightings, the response to our survey pack was enthusiastic with over 6,000 packs being downloaded over the course of the year, so far we have received 388 records and we urge anyone with outstanding data to send it into us using either an IYF recording form, via our on-line recording form, or if you have a number of records use our excel recording form. Every single record plays an important part in adding to our knowledge of woodland ecosystems and the state of these habitats within Wiltshire.

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