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Catkins resembling lambs tails, and late-summer nuts. Hazel is one of the most useful trees for its bendy stems and as a conservation saviour. (And Its nuts are loved by) The delicious Hazelnut is loved people, squirrels and dormice.

When left to grow, trees can reach a height of 12m and live for up to 80 years (if coppiced, hazel can live for several hundred years). The coppiced wood is an important resource for traditional fencing, furniture and woodland crafts. Coppiced hazel also provides shelter for ground-nesting birds, such as the nightingale, nightjar, yellowhammer and willow warbler. Hazel has long been associated with the dormouse (also known as the hazel dormouse). Not only are hazelnuts eaten by dormice to fatten up for hibernation, but in spring the leaves are a good source of caterpillars, which dormice also eat. Hazelnuts are also eaten by woodpeckers, nuthatches, tits, wood pigeons, jays and small mammals. The trunks are often covered in mosses, liverworts and lichens, and the fiery milkcap fungus grows in the soil beneath.

Hazel has a reputation as a magical tree. A hazel rod is supposed to protect against evil spirits, as well as being used as a wand and for water-divining. In some parts of England, hazelnuts were carried as charms and/or held to ward off rheumatism. In Ireland, hazel was known as the 'Tree of Knowledge’, and in medieval times it was a symbol of fertility.

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