Trees of distinction

If you're a collector then you might enjoy some of our collections around Arnside and Silverdale. Not paintings or unique plates but trees with their own stories to tell.

Woodlands are one of the biggest habitats that our rangers look after across Arnside and Silverdale. They give the area a timeless feel – as if nothing has changed for centuries and in some ways that is true. The woodlands have been managed for centuries using the same traditional methods of coppicing and are still managed in that way today, except occasionally we use modern tools.

Some pockets of woodland such as parts of Eaves Wood are semi-ancient woodland which means they have stood there for over 400 years and what tales those trees could tell.

Not all woodland is the same. You can walk through areas of Eaves Wood in Silverdale where the mature yew trees create a real darkness with their twisted trunks and gnarled roots. Other areas where new hazel or ash coppice is growing up after being worked can feel younger and lighter and full of life.

Oak tree
Arnside and Silverdale oak tree
Oak tree

Throughout our sites we have some special collections of trees which have their own stories to tell. The small-leaved limes in Eaves Wood are a group of limes which we believe could be hundreds and hundreds of years old. These trees, like a phoenix of the woodland world, can drop a branch which will then re-grow from the ground into another tree meaning that the collection of individual trees is in fact all the same tree all from the same genetic stock.


On Arnside Knott, take a walk to the trig point at the very top of the hill and you might see some Lancastrian whitebeams. Blending into their environment, they’re not a striking tree in any photographer’s eyes but they only exist here in the limestone soils around Morecambe Bay and nowhere else in the world.

Continue your walk along the slopes of Arnside Knott and you will see juniper trees hugging the rocky screes. Spreading low across the ground like green shrubs these conifers are hundreds of years old but have been grazed by passing deer and sculpted into all sorts of shapes and sizes. Being constantly nibbled by deer and rabbits means that they don’t reproduce very easily making them priority species for conservation across the country.

Larch trees are quite prominent on Arnside Knott and a landmark in itself is the knotted larch. Some people call this the 'h' tree, for others it's the 'giraffe' tree but whatever you call it it was once a pair of larches photographed for years by generations of families.

Discover your own collections of trees across Arnside and Silverdale throughout the seasons. Sit underneath with a picnic in the summer or watch their leaves changing colour in the autumn.