The Hazel, was one of the very important fruits for the early settlers to Britain. Huge middens have been found where they settled around the coast. Hazel, which belongs to the Corylaceae, has a wide distribution through Europe to North Africa and to west Asia. Corylus avellana was a sacred plant of the Celts and the druids. In recent times hazel rods have proved useful in dousing for water. The plant coppices well and produces young stems which are supple enough to be widely used for baskets, creels and wattles and older stems for crooks and handles. Hazel occurs as an understorey for deciduous trees although pure stands of hazel occur in north-west Scotland.