Favourite tree No 5

This standing dead beech tree is a representative of a group of old dead and dying beeches in an area of the nature reserve we have closed to visitors due to the hazard they present. We want to preserve them for as long as possible because they provide a habitat for rare beetles and other invertebrates as well as nest sites for birds like tawny owls, jackdaws and woodpeckers. The different areas of rotting and insect damaged timber are amazing on close inspection. The extra photos show the patterns in one area exposed after the bark fell off and a scarce beetle Platycis minutus, found nearby this year, which is a specialist feeder (as larvae) in dead beech trees.

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