This amazing old ash tree in Abney is standing on one leg.  The whole of its north side has rotted away from beneath it, probably because a fire was set against it around 20 years ago.  The tree still stands only because it is sheltered from wind by Abney's woodland and because it has had its crown reduced to decrease its 'sail area'.

As part of the Abney Veteran Tree Project the tree has recently been repollarded in the hope it can be retained.  Veteran trees like this are extremely valuable for wildlife and already I've discovered several species of beetle larva, spiders, ants, millipedes and centipedes living in the deadwood.  However the most exciting find so far was this fantastic, tiny pseudoscorpion.  Measuring less than 2mm this incredibly small beastie lives in the rotten wood and soil beneath the giant tree.

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