What’s in a view?

I took the below photo a few weeks ago, whilst visiting a large parkland nearby to where I live. I initially just saw it as a good photo (in part, because of the sky and the slight haze), though having looked at it again just today I have noticed how it’s full of diversity.

Not only can we see that there is a large area clear of trees in the foreground, indicative perhaps of old grazing land or an agricultural field, but an array of trees in different settings and of different morphologies behind. In the centre of the image, a large monolith can be seen, and to its right both a tree that appears to have suffered storm damage to its right limb, and a young tree of more recent birth (all the way to the right, amongst the haze). To the monolith’s left, we have a cluster of mature trees (some with epicormic / basal sprouting) that may perhaps have been an old field boundary. Behind the mature trees, woodlands can also be seen (to both sides, though more noticeably to the right).

Such rich landscape diversity means that the site’s ecology may be rather diverse, as we have exposed mature trees with large swathes of heartwood that will incubate any boring insects (as the sun will heat the wood), and likely have cavities home to birds and bats (most notably the monolith). Additionally, fungal species will be present and decaying the heartwood (which would provide habitat for the wood-boring insects). The woodland may also bring with it woodland bird species, otherwise not found in a more pasture-like landscape, and support mammals including bats and dormice.

parklandtrees
The silhouetted trees and woodlands contrast wonderfully with the sky, though it is the landscape diversity that really can make one wonder. What species may such a varied landscape be home to?
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What’s in a view?

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