Beech Woodland of the Chiltern Hills

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tall beech tree

Despite the shallow soils, the Beech can reach an impressive height for a deciduous species, sometimes as much as 30-40 metres in height (notice how small the metre-high fencing appears against the Beech in the image above).

gean cherry

Whitebeam/ Sorbus aria, Gean or Wild Cherry/ Prunus avium (above) and Blackthorn/ Prunus spinosa can frequently be spotted in the Beech woodland

wild cherry

Wild Cherry/ Prunus avium in flower

beech tree canopy

When the leaves of the Beech open in late Spring, the hills become clothed in a rich, green canopy that contrasts with the ancient trunks and roots of the trees of the woodland floor.

beech tree buttress

The powerful roots of a mature Beech/Fagus sylvatica

layered beech branch

Many of the older Beech have lower branches that sweep out and then downwards onto the surface of the soil below........

beech layer

....... root themselves into the soil and become trees in their own right

young beech stump

witch's broom beech

A 'witch's broom' discovered on an old beech tree

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