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Half the trees in two new English woodlands planted by jays, study finds………..

More than half the trees in two new woodlands in lowland England have been planted not by landowners, charities or machines but by jays. Former fields rapidly turned into native forest with no plastic tree-guards, watering or expensive management, according to a new study which boosts the case for using natural regeneration to meet ambitious woodland creation targets.

Instead, during “passive rewilding”, thrushes spread seeds of bramble, blackthorn and hawthorn, and this scrub then provided natural thorny tree “guards” for oaks that grew from acorns buried in the ground by jays.

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Thousandth dormouse brought back to the wild

The 1,000th captive-bred hazel dormouse has been released into the wild in a UK-wide reintroduction scheme for these threatened mammals.  Big-eyed and famously sleepy, the dormouse is a woodland and fairy tale icon, but it is a species in decline. Once widespread, the animals have now disappeared from 17 English counties. Reintroduction, scientists say, is the only way to bring dormice back to habitats from which they have been lost.

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