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Georgina Towler | 11 January 2021
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Here at The Bushcraft Company we absolutely LOVE trees, there’s no denying it! And our glorious woodland sites have such an array of species to learn more about.

We believe that increasing students’ knowledge and understanding of our precious woodlands helps them to value and appreciate the importance of caring for our natural environments. During our residential camps our team of instructors take time to share their knowledge with their group, teaching students more about how to identify different trees, their benefits and not forgetting lots of fun facts.

We’ve asked one of our Senior Instructors Kyle to tell us a little more about some of the trees you can find on our camps.

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OAK TREE (Quercus robur)

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Oaks are the second most common tree in UK, having been on the planet for 65 million years, and are particularly widespread across central and southern England.

Fun Fact: The inner bark of Oak trees used to be an important ingredient in the tanning industry.

Which Bushcraft sites can you find them: Being so common they are on almost all our sites.

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HORNBEAM (Carpinus betulus)

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This deciduous, broadleaf tree is native to the south of the UK, and naturally found in Oak woodland. Hornbeam’s leaves become golden yellow in autumn, however many stay on throughout winter providing shelter for roosting wildlife.

Fun Fact: When dry hornbeam is extremely hard and durable and was often used to make parts for hard working tools such as carts and mills.

Which Bushcraft sites can you find them: Cuffley has some fantastic examples of ancient hornbeams that used to be coppiced many years ago.

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SILVER BIRCH (Betula pendula)

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With its striking white bark these elegant deciduous trees stand out within our woodlands. Providing a habitat for more than 300 insect species, their leaves also sustain the caterpillars of many moths.

Fun Fact: Silver Birch is one of the best trees to help with fire starting as the bark has flammable oils within it.

Which Bushcraft sites can you find them: Silver Birch is common on all our sites as it is a fast growing early propagator.

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HORSE CHESTNUT (Aesculus hippocastanum)

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Living for up to 300 years these much loved trees are found less in woodlands and are a more common site in parks, gardens and farmland. Their most well known for their bright green conker cases which are spotted throughout the autumn.

Fun Fact: First introduce to the UK by the Romans these trees can grow to be massive and have a sticky flower bud in spring. Ground up conkers used to be fed to horses to relieve them of a cough.

Which Bushcraft sites can you find them: The most notable examples can be found at Penshurst Place where there are massive examples of some ancient giants.

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ASH (Fraxinus excelsior)

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Ash is the third most common tree in Britain and is currently at threat due to ‘Ash Dieback’, which will possibly change the UK woodlands forever.

Fun Fact: Ash is a very good firewood and burns well for a long time. It even burns better than most woods when wet.

Which Bushcraft sites can you find them: Boughton Woods has its woodland dominated by ash as it was planted as a harvest crop many years ago.