The Queen's Green Canopy

Wytham Woods part of ancient woodland network to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Blue tit at a nest box in Wytham

Wytham Woods have been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Woodlands to be dedicated to The Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.


The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative was launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Established over hundreds of years, the chosen woodlands and trees represent the diverse canopy of the four nations in a celebration of our living heritage.


The wooded parts of Wytham comprise ancient semi-natural woodland (dating to the last Ice Age), secondary woodland (dating to the seventeenth century), and modern plantations (1950s and 60s). Other important habitats include a limestone grassland, a valley-side mire and a series of ponds.


Wytham Woods are unique because they form the research woodland of the University of Oxford, and this makes them one of the most researched places in the world. Is it here where Charles Elton, the ‘father of ecology’, worked and developed his ideas to transform the study of natural history into the scientific discipline of ecology, and since then the Woods have been the subject of continuous ecological research.


The ancient natural spaces chosen to be part of The Queen’s Green Canopy hold significance and meaning for many people in many different ways. They are symbols of community pride, places to connect socially and vital spaces for health and wellbeing activities. At Wytham we take pride in being a hub for creativity with Artists and Writers in Residence, and we also host a programme of educational workshops for young people.


‘Wytham Woods are a fantastic place to study the ebb and flow of different species in response to different pressures and events: from warmer springs meaning that birds breed earlier, the way deer browsing changes the composition and structure of the ground flora, to how much carbon is stored in the trees and the impact of new diseases such as Ash Dieback. Some of these studies go back to the start of the Queen’s reign so it is great that the Woods have been included in this initiative.’ – Dr Keith Kirby


Further information on the dedication of the 70 Ancient Woodlands and 70 Ancient Trees for The Queen’s Green Canopy is available here:

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