Barnsley Biodiversity Trust: Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Last Updated March 2016

Veteran trees with their substantial girth, hollows, holes and crevices, rot, and dead wood, support a a wide range of often uncommon fungi, lichen, mosses, invertebrates - particularly beetles, and notably bats.

The size and distinctive shapes of veteran trees, both native and non-native species, are important features of our cultural landscape.

Veteran trees are usually old, beyond the peak of their growth. They may also be younger, middle-aged trees with aging characteristics:

Dedicated to the memory of Janet Carbutt-Lang who led Trust work on veteran trees.

  • Girth large for the tree species with trunk hollowing
  • Crown retrenchment and reiterative growth
  • Dead wood in the canopy and often on the ground
  • Split, broken and dead limbs
  • Cavities, holes and rot sites; crevices in the bark
  • Old wounds and scars; sap runs; loose and lost bark
  • High number of interdependent wildlife species including fungi, epiphytes, invertebrates.

Most veteran trees are found in historic parklands (60% nationally), however some are found as isolated individuals or in small numbers in hedgerows, churchyards and, as relics of older landscapes, in fields.

These isolated veteran trees should be protected.