Damage caused by recent storms will benefit woodland and wildlife in and around London, an expert has said.

The London and Essex Wildlife Trusts have been assessing the impact of the recent high winds and torrential rain.

But despite an estimated 64 percent of all woodland in the south east being affected by the storms, Tom Hayward, the Trust’s Reserves Manager says fallen trees are not always a bad thing.

He said: "Every storm has the capability of wreaking destruction on trees and woodlands and those of 2013 certainly have made their mark.

"However, from an ecological perspective the winds of December will be mostly beneficial by opening up parts of the woodland canopy encouraging woodland flora and other wildlife.

“Trees blown down will contribute to dead wood habitat providing additional food sources and breeding habitats for fungi, fauna and flora."

The Wildlife Trust reports over 30 trees felled or shattered in their reserves since Christmas, including the Roding Valley Reserve in Chigwell.

On the Trust’s reserves, most of the damaged trees have already been made safe and are likely to be left where they are. 

Some, such as willows, will regenerate and others will be left to decay as valuable deadwood habitats for wildlife.

For more information on London Wildlife Trust reserves and to find reserves in your area visit http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/wildlife/reserves.