Barnsley Biodiversity Trust: Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Last Updated October 2018

Wet woodland.  A jungle of deadwood and new growth from toppled trunks in waterlogged ground, ‘Willow Carr’ is an impressive extreme form of Wet Woodland.

Wet and waterlogged woods provide important habitats for biodiversity with an abundance of lichens, mosses, sedges, rushes and ferns and large numbers of invertebrates which support amphibians, mammals and birds. Wet woodland can also help in flood management.

Wet woodland, well represented in Barnsley, is found near streams and hill-side flushes, and on floodplains, often in a patchwork with and replacing fens and swamps. It is found within other woodland.

It occurs on poorly drained, wet or seasonally wet soils, usually with Alder, Birch and Willows as the main tree species, but sometimes including trees like Ash where it is a little drier.

The high humidity supports rich arrays of mosses, lichens and ferns; Marsh Marigold, Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage, and Yellow Flag may be found alongside sedges, rushes, and reeds.

Harvest Mouse nests may be found in Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris) and Wet Woodland provides cover and breeding sites for more mammals, such as Otter, Water Vole, and bats such as Noctule.

Barnsley’s scrubby wet woodland provides a stronghold for Willow Tit, which excavates nest holes in rotten wood;  Siskin and Lesser Redpoll feed on alder catkins and birch seed; and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker frequents these wet woods.

For more information on Wet Woodland use these links:

Local Priority Habitat details

Wet woodland is a local priority habitat because of its national status, the plants, animals and birds it supports, and the opportunity for its conservation in Barnsley.


Wet woodland is a national priority habitat. UK BAP priority habitats

It is classed as Broadleaf Woodland or Scrub in Phase 1 habitat surveys.

Wet Woodland in Barnsley includes National Vegetation Classification categories:

W2 Willow-Birch carr

W4 Birch-Purple Hairgrass

W5 Alder-Sedge woodland

W6 Alder-Nettle woodland

W7 Alder-Ash woodland.

W6a is a frequent category for willow carr with Crack Willow together with Grey Willow and Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris).

Long established wet woodlands are particularly rich in wildlife but more recently established wet woodlands are also valuable.

The best examples of the local priority habitat are: