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Trees, plants and wildlife at Lineover Wood

Two thirds of Lineover Wood is designated as ancient woodland. This includes ancient semi-natural woodland in the south and planted ancient woodland (semi-natural woodland replaced with a plantation) in the north-west.

The woodland has some impressive ancient beech trees. One is over 600 years old and, with a circumference of around seven metres (23ft), is thought to be the third largest beech in England. Other species include oak, ash, whitebeam, birch, rowan, wych elm, sycamore, silver birch, small-leaved lime and large-leaved lime, the UK’s rarest lime species.

Traditional lime and hazel coppicing (cutting back to promote regrowth) has long been carried out on the site, with trees harvested every 7-10 years to produce timber for poles. The South Walk takes you past a lime coppice stool (living stump) which is thought to be at least 1,000 years old.

Conifers planted in the 1970s include Norway spruce, Douglas fir, grand fir, European larch, and Western red cedar. There are some remaining low-cut oak pollards (trees with the upper branches pruned) throughout the conifer area and these provide an important deadwood habitat. The Trust is gradually thinning the conifers to increase the light reaching these trees and restore a more broadleaved composition, while retaining some specimen conifers.

Shrubs include hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, bramble, holly, field maple, willow, elder, wayfaring tree, dogwood and spindle. The six hectare (15-acre) addition to Lineover, acquired in 1990, has been planted with oak, field maple and shrubs to create new native woodland.

Ground flora includes bluebell, dog’s mercury, primrose, lily of the valley, toothwort, herb paris, lords and ladies, woodruff, wood sorrel, wild garlic, opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage, sedge, angular Solomon’s seal, autumn crocus, bellflower, limestone fern, broadleaved helleborine, town hall clock, burdock, devils-bit scabious, St John’s wort, knapweed, adder's-tongue, greater butterfly orchid, common spotted orchid and pyramidal orchid.

There are many mosses and lichens on the stone walls and fungi proliferate in the ancient woodland’s deadwood habitat. The Cotswold Fungus Group has recorded more than 500 species of fungi on the site since 1992, including lemon disco, jelly ear, angel’s bonnet and funeral bell.


The wood is home to fox, badger, and fallow, roe and muntjac deer.

Birds include buzzard, long-tailed tit, pheasant, woodcock, spotted flycatcher, green and great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper, swallow, sand martin, house martin, crossbill, red kite, and peregrine falcon. An osprey has also been sighted in the area. Tawny owl boxes have been installed by the Hawk and Owl Trust and these are monitored by volunteers.

Insect life is abundant and includes some uncommon beetles, such as the long-horn beetle, as well as other insects such as hoverfly, dragonfly, spider, and fine streaked bugkin. A huge number of butterfly and moth species have been recorded on the site.

Butterflies include the silver-washed fritillary, dark green fritillary, small skipper, Essex skipper, large skipper, dingy skipper, clouded yellow, brimstone, large white, small white, green-veined white, orange-tip, green hairstreak, purple hairstreak, white-letter hairstreak, small copper, common blue, small blue, holly blue, brown argus, duke of burgundy, white admiral, red admiral, painted lady, small tortoiseshell, peacock, comma, speckled wood, marbled white, grayling, gatekeeper, meadow brown, small heath, and ringlet.

Some of the site’s moth species are classed as nationally notable or scarce. These comprise the plumed prominent, dotted chestnut, dotted ermel, orange-tailed clearwing, red-belted clearwing, yellow-legged clearwing, broad-bordered bee hawk-moth, mocha, ruddy carpet, Blomer’s rivulet and drab looper. There are also many which are listed as rapidly declining on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. These include the ghost moth, oak hook-tip, blood vein, shaded broad-bar, small phoenix, pretty chalk carpet, grass rivulet, August thorn, dusky thorn, brindled beauty, small emerald, buff ermine, white ermine, cinnabar, grey dagger, knot grass, mouse moth, green-brindled crescent, rustic, mottled rustic, rosy rustic, sallow, brown-spot pinion, centre-barred sallow, dark brocade, feathered gothic, dot moth and small square-spot.

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.