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Typically, lowland mixed broadleaf woodland is associated with a wide range of
fertile, moist loams and clays. Lowland mixed broadleaf woodland overlaps with
several other woodland types. Mixed broadleaf woodland has a maximum of 10%
conifers in the tree canopy.
On moderately base-poor soils oak and birch predominate in the canopy, with ash,
wych elm and alder present in damper or nutrient-rich areas. On more calcareous
soils, ash predominates with locally frequent wych elm and small-leaved lime.
The UK has an estimated 130,000 - 160,000 ha of ancient semi-natural mixed
There are five main types of lowland mixed broadleaf woodland as identified by the
National Vegetation Classification. In brief, these are: W8 and W9 Ash woodlands;
W10 and W11 Oak woodlands; W13 Yew woodlands.
There are no estimates of the total area, status and condition of lowland mixed
broadleaf woodland according to NVC communities. However, areas of woodland
prior to The Mersey Forest commencement give the following area of broadleaf
woodland: Knowsley 573ha; Liverpool 166ha; St Helens 283ha; Sefton 294ha.
From the 1993 Mersey Forest survey, mixed broadleaf woodland is the most common
type in North Merseyside (broadleaf 604 ha; mixed woodland (conifer and broadleaf)
454 ha; conifer 166 ha.) The Sefton Coast Woodland and Scrub Strategy identified
227 ha of conifer woodland.
North Merseyside has at least twelve ancient semi-natural woodlands, although this
figure does need confirmation. Most of the above can be classed as W8-W11
woodlands. Liverpool 3 sites; Knowsley 1 site; St Helens 7 sites; Sefton 1 site.
W10 type woodland is likely to be the most common woodland type. There are no
examples of yew woodlands (W13) in North Merseyside.