Candlesnuff fungus amongst leaf litter

The dead good Deadwood Survey

Deadwood is a tree or part of a tree that has died and is in a state of decomposition. Is the deadwood in your wood dead good?

Deadwood plays a big part in nutrient recycling, slowly releasing nitrogen into the soil for other plants to use. It acts as a carbon storage system, capturing carbon and locking it into the ground. Fallen deadwood also helps the stability of woodland soil and helps prevent soil erosion.

Deadwood is an important micro habitat for birds, mammals, fungi, plants, amphibians, reptiles, insects and even fish!

Find out more about deadwood here

The Deadwood Survey

Is the deadwood in your wood dead good? Find out for yourself with this simple survey. It should take no more than an hour to complete.

Any piece of woodland will do, as long as it is at least 100 square metres in area. Ancient woodland, forestry plantations, trees growing on urban wasteland, wood pasture and scrub are all fine.

Complete the survey online

What you will need

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to complete a survey (download them or request that we send them to you):

Other useful equipment:

  • Pencil
  • Camera (or smartphone)
  • Collection pots and magnifier
  • Plastic spoons or trowel
  • Light coloured collection tray
  • Coloured ribbon
  • Calculator (or mobile phone with calculator)

Send me the resources above by post

Carrying out the Deadwood Survey

You can do the Deadwood Survey as a group or by yourself. You can complete it online or on paper and send it to us.

Before you go out to the woodland, answer questions 1-8 (page 4 of the survey booklet). Once you get outside, there are two parts to the survey:

  1. How much deadwood can you see? (pages 5-6)
    The 100 pace transect
  2. How old is the deadwood? (pages 7-14)
    Estimating the age of each piece

Send us your results

We would love to hear what you found on the survey including what wildlife and insects you discovered. You can submit your survey online or:

  • Email us a scanned copy or photograph of your results to deadwood@tcv.org.uk
  • Or send your paper copy (or photocopy) to us at:

The Conservation Volunteers,
Unit M1,
143 Charles Street,
Glasgow,
G21 2QA.

Thank you for taking part in the dead good Deadwood Survey!

Complete the survey online