Beech woodland is shady and often characterised by a dense carpet of fallen leaves and mast husks, which prevent most woodland plants from growing. Young beeches prefer some shade and may grow poorly in full sunlight, however. In the Beechwoods a lot of the ground is bare of new growth – the natural factors inhibiting regeneration are reinforced by the footfall of walkers and their dogs. The paling fence is the remnant of an attempt to protect an area and encourage new growth.
Photo: Beechwoods, Cambridge, April 2017