One of our specialities is creating dead wood sculptures. This means simulating the natural look of a dead tree. Many trees provide food and shelter to a host of wildlife and, in suitable locations, this can be an alternative to tree felling whilst maintaining a valuable habitat for insects which are dependent on dead wood at some stage of their life cycle such as Stag Beetles Lucanus Cernus (a protected species), other invertebrates including species of worms, snails, centipedes, spiders and woodlice which, in turn, provide a food source for birds and animals such as woodpeckers and bats.
Fungus spores, carried in the air, are deposited on wood. If they land on a suitable spot they will germinate and send hyphae into the wood, gradually softening it and breaking it down. Under suitable conditions, fruiting bodies are the visible signs of fungal activity, but the mycelium, in the form of fine thread-like strands through the deadwood, is always there, carrying out the decomposition of the wood. As the wood is broken down, suitable habitats are provided for invertebrates and their larvae. The fruiting bodies of the fungi themselves also provide habitats for some specialised invertebrates, which may lay their eggs on or in the fungus, or “graze” on the spore-bearing surface.
The value of dead wood to the environment is well documented and, if required, timber, branches and trunks can be left on site. However, standing dead wood has greater value; therefore trees can be reduced to a monolith to retain habitat. This option also helps to support our environmental policy.