Forests & Woodlands

What is the difference between a forest and a woodland?  In this case it seems that size really does matter…

A forest is large with the trees packed in so tightly that barely any sunlight makes its way through the canopy of leaves.  Forests can have deciduous or evergreen trees or a mixture of both but they cover a large area and are full of lots of different wildlife.  They will also have shrubs, undergrowth and grasses.  Forests also usually have a higher canopy cover compared to a woodland area. A wood is a dense formation of trees but is much smaller than a forest although it is larger than a grove (have I lost you yet?). You will find a lot more sunlight makes its way through the upper canopy of trees in a woodland area than it does in a forest.

Did you know that there are also different types of forest? This depends on the location in the world, boreal forests are found near the poles, tropical forests around the equator and the mid latitude area has temperate forests.

Whether it is a woodland or a forest it is a mini ecosystem that is vital to us as humans as the trees and plants convert carbon dioxide into breathable air they also help regulate the climate, purify water and even provide protection against strong winds and floods.

A grove is a small group of trees with minimal or no undergrowth which can be made up from any type of tree but often fruit trees.

And then we have a coppice which is usually a small managed group of trees often used for cutting.

And here are some more:

Brake – a small group of shrubs, briars or fallen trees.

Coombe – the head of a wood in a valley.

Copse – a very small wood.

Covert – a dense group of shrubs or trees sometimes used for game.

Dingle – a deep wooded valley or dell.

Spinney – a copse that homes game.

Stand – a small group of trees.

Thicket – shrubs and briars growing together.

Forests, woodlands or whatever you call them are magical places full of potential and possibilities with any amount of hidden surprises…if you have one near you I encourage you to investigate not just once or twice but try and visit at different times of the year because each season will bring out more magic.



Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash