Fantastic examples of rare trees and fauna

In the Northumberland National Park, you’ll find areas of woodland safe from grazing animals and tree felling.

A lot of effort has gone into saving the last of these rare woodlands. Most can be found along river banks or upland burns and cleughs, where felling trees and grazing animals is difficult.

A healthy woodland contains trees of all ages, so that seedlings can replace older trees as they die. Animals such as deer and livestock eat seedlings and ground flora before they can grow. We help landowners decide how to protect woodlands through fencing, where to plant new native woodlands and how to apply for grants.

Plants to look out for


This small native tree is known for its quivering leaves that make it look as if it is shaking in the wind. This led to its scientific name being ‘Populus tremula‘. Aspens are only found in a few ancient woodlands and on some crags.

Herb Paris

It is a member of the Lily family but its flowers are quite insignificant. It normally has four leaves, but five and even six are not uncommon.

Jacobs Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is a native plant confined to a few areas of Northern England. Plants form leaves in April and grow rapidly in the moist soils of shaded north-facing banks. Seedlings are particularly vulnerable to wilting. It flowers between June to August and is pollinated by bumblebees, although Jacob’s Ladder is also self fertile. The seed ripens from August onwards but only released in autumn.


Juniper berries are used to flavour gin. Sniff it on a sunny day to smell why! It is one of only three native British Isles conifers. We are working hard to plant new trees and protect the survivors from grazing animals and plant new trees. Juniper grows very slowly and, despite being spiky, the young trees are very tasty to deer and sheep.

Juniper at Hepple in the Northumberland National Park

Oak Woods

These woods are home to the most number of species in Britain. Insects use the oak tree for food and shelter, which encourages birds here to feed on them. The native sessile oak is the most common type within Northumberland National Park. These oak woods are now very small and scattered because of livestock grazing and the trees being cut down for timber for thousands of years.

Wood anemone

Wood anemones show that woodland has existed for hundreds of years. They flower in spring in dappled woodland. The white flowers open wide in bright weather but close and droop when it’s dull.

Wood Anemone