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In the early 1660's, Charles II commissioned Le Notre (gardener to Louis XIV) to design the formal French-style layout of Greenwich Park, much of which remains today with its impressive avenues of sweet (Spanish) chestnut. Many of these trees remain as 'veterans' more than 400 years old.

Ancient trees, such as the sweet chestnuts and the many other mature and veteran tree species to be found in the park, are of tremendous value to wildlife. The complex structure of the trees includes cavities, splits, rot holes and bark flaps - all of which provide valuable habitats for fungi, many kinds of specialised insects and other invertebrates, as well as vital roosting sites for bats and nesting sites for birds.

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