It is common in woodland, scrub and hedgerows, especially in oak and beech woodland.
Holly (Ilex aquifolium
) is one of the few native evergreen trees (it doesn’t lose all it’s leaves in autumn but instead loses them slowly throughout the year). It is dioecious which means that the male and female flowers appear on separate trees. Once pollinated by insects, the female flowers develop into red berries, which can remain on the tree throughout winter unless they are eaten by hungry birds! If you have a holly tree which doesn’t produce berries it could be that you have a male tree! As there aren’t many leaves around in winter, evergreens become targets for browsing animals, so they have had to evolve strategies to stop being eaten! Yew is very poisonous; ivy climbs; and holly has prickles. If you look at a holly bush you will notice that the lower leaves within reach of animals are prickly, while those higher up and out of reach, except to the tallest deer, are smooth.
For more info seehttps://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/holly/