Invasive Species: Fallow Deer
Fallow deer were purposely introduced by Normans in the 11th century. As all of deer's natural predators have been hunted to extinction in the UK, winters are becoming warmer, and deer's amount of natural habitat is decreasing, this invasive species adds to the excess of deer. This introduces problems such as the overgrazing and trampling of UK woodland.
Endangered Species: Hedgehog
Located in English and Irish woodland edges, farmlands, and gardens, the hedgehog is a docile creature. However, it has become endangered due to fenced in gardens, gardens becoming smaller, and gardening techniques such as mowing (all habitat destruction and fragmentation).
Red deer have been successful forest species for several reasons, one being that they are the biggest native land mammal in the UK. Also, their coats change color with the season and fawns have spotted coats. This allows them to blend in with the forest floor and hide from predators. In the cold UK winters, deer have hollow hairs which insulate them.
Red foxes live across the UK in woodland areas. They are very adaptable to different environments, including urban areas, which has helped their survival. In the forest, foxes hide their food in the ground or under leaves for later use. Also, foxes are highly intelligent hunters with strong senses. Their ability to pick up low frequencies allows them to hunt tiny creatures such as mice on the forest floor.
Weasels have also adapted to hunt small rodents on the forest floor. Their slender bodies allow them to hunt in small tunnels. Also, similar to deer, they molt and their fur changes color to blend in with the forest during different seasons. This allows them to hunt prey more efficiently and hide from predators.
Typically found on forest edges, dogwoods are well adapted to surviving forest fires as saplings sprout from the root crown after the tree is destroyed. Also, they have slightly pointy edges on their leaves, so predators are pricked if they come too close.
Flowering crabapples are very common in UK deciduous forests and shrubs. Their hardiness allows them to grow in difficult soils, which is one reason they are common in neighborhoods and urban places. Besides being able to survive in a variety of soils, crabapples can also survive in very cold conditions and it is moderately drought tolerant.
The UK is famous for its English bluebells which cover forest floors in the Spring. Bluebells, like other woodland wildflowers, have adapted to live with limited sunlight. Specifically, they spend the year as bulbs underground and then sprout in the springtime when there are fewer leaves on trees to block out sunlight. The underground bulbs allow the flowers to survive winter frosts.