Veteran trees are very old trees. Most will be over 100 years old, but different tree species become veterans at different ages. They often have rotting heartwood and a hollow core. The UK is famous for its veteran trees and has an international responsibility to protect them. They may be found in a wide variety of locations other than woods, such as gardens, hedgerows, riverbanks, parkland as well as some university and college campuses.
An individual veteran tree contains many different micro-habitats, such as loose bark, holes and deadwood that provide food and shelter for a wide range of species. The deadwood habitat is particularly important, as around 20% of Britain’s woodland insects are associated with it. Veteran trees are also important as nest and roost sites for birds and bats and for lichens, mosses and fungi.
The number one resource
for sustainability in post-16 education