Beech wood

Beech wood

The European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a delightful tree, with silver-grey bark and a straight trunk. If left without management, it forms dense woodlands, whose deep shade, coupled with heavy layers of dead leaves, often prevents much undergrowth from forming. Sometimes, as in this case in South Yorkshire, the woodland floor is carpeted in season with bluebells or even wild garlic.

Beech wood is valuable in furniture making, and the beechnuts (or beech mast) are edible, but should NOT be consumed in large quantities by humans as they do have slight toxicity. Pigs, however, really enjoy beech mast, and used to, in Mediaeval times, be left to roam in the woods to feed on these nuts.

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