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 is absolutely amazing, it plays a big part in nutrient recycling, acts as a carbon storage system, helps the stability of woodland soil. Deadwood is an important micro habitat for birds, mammals, fungi, plants, amphibians, reptiles, insects and even fish!

But sadly this habitat is under studied and under threat. This is why we in the TCV Citizen Science team have produced the Dead Good Deadwood Survey, to get more people excited about deadwood and its protection.

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.

We have created this survey as a educational tool kit that will help people understand the benefits of looking after deadwood whilst also providing us and them with new information about our local woodlands and green spaces.

Complete the survey online

What you will need

Here you can download the full survey booklet and guide, as well as the recording sheets.

Other equipment:

  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Smartphone or camera
  • Collection pots and magnifier
  • Plastic spoons or trowel
  • Light coloured collection tray
  • Coloured ribbon

Members of our Community Network can request printed copies of the survey booklet and field guide.

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

Thank you for taking part in the Dead Good Deadwood Survey!

Complete the survey online