Upland oakwoods occur in areas of high rainfall in the west and north of the UK. As its name suggests, our native pedunculate and sessile oaks dominate this habitat, which is usually found above 250 metres. Birch can also be seen in the canopy, and varying amounts of holly, rowan and hazel are the main understorey species. The ground may be covered with bracken, bilberry and wavy hair-grass, and many mosses and liverworts. Where the soils are richer, wildflowers like bluebells and shrubs like bramble are more common.
Although they are mainly found on acidic soils with few nutrients, most upland oakwoods contain areas of more alkaline soils, often along streams, where richer wildlife communities occur, with ash and