Skip to main content

Replicating Veteran Trees With Willow Structures

Replicating Veteran Trees With Willow Structures

We’re experimenting with willow rods to replicate the diverse structure and habitat of ancient veteran trees.

While many habitat designs rely on dead wood, they often cater to limited species. Our approach aims to replicate the broad species diversity supported by living veteran trees

We’ve crafted willow structures with woven rods to create a tubular hollow, mimicking large decayed stems. These tubes are filled with logs, detritus and other organic matter. We have also installed an experimental bat box to provide a common habitat for most bat species in basal cavities.

The branches sticking out of the structure provide opportunities for lichens and other specialised fungi to colonise and grow. Areal deadwood like this is key for some of our rare longhorn beetles.

the overall design aims to replicate the diverse habitat  ancient trees in areas where it’s scarce. Such habitats can take centuries to develop naturally. In theory, this design could support a range of species including amphibians, mammals ( such as dormice), nesting birds, saproxylic invertebrates, fungi, lichen and pollinating insects.

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones.

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start.

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help.

Discover more about our academic departments and schools.

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Royal Holloway is a research intensive university and our academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence.

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway.

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future.

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today.

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable.

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today.