The Dorset woods in autumn and winter are brightened by the bright red unmistakable berries of holly (Ilex aquifolium). It is interesting that although holly is one of Britain's best known trees it is actually quite local occurring mainly in hedgerows and older, traditional forest and woods. It is tolerant of shade which means it can survive quite comfortably under other trees, especially ash and birch. The holly is also tolerant of clipping, and as it is evergreen, it is popular as a hedging plant. Another interesting feature is that only the lower leaves are prickly, presumably to give the plant protection against grazing. The upper leaves are often quite smooth edged.