In the southwest of England, the National Trust intends to establish extensive new temperate rainforests. In north Devon, almost 100,000 trees will be planted to make vast areas of damp woods suitable for endangered plant species.
Heavy rainfall and high humidity levels create a unique environment filled with moisture, according to experts.
There are also initiatives afoot to restore Britain’s once-thriving rainforests.
Much of Britain’s western coast was formerly covered by temperate rainforests.
However, one of the most imperilled in the UK, their habitats have declined owing to illnesses, invasive species, and air pollution.
North Devon has a regularly moist environment, which could be good news for a wide range of endangered flora and animals, like pine martens and ferns.
Arlington Court will have 50,000 trees planted as part of the National Trust project, Exmoor 38,000, and the area between Woolacombe and Hartland 20,000. The total area involved is 50 hectares.
Rare moss and lichen species have been discovered at Lydford Gorge on Dartmoor, further south in Devon, in recent years.
Lichens on dead trees are being saved by replanting them and cutting them down and reusing them in other areas of the forest.
For example, ash dieback, air pollution, climate change, and deforestation are all potential dangers to the habitats.
By reuniting fragmented sections of temperate rainforest, the Devon Wildlife Trust aspires to treble its area.
The Isle of Man and north-west Wales are home to more rainforest habitat restoration initiatives.
Since its introduction in 2020, the National Trust scheme has contributed to the Plant a Tree fund, which has planted almost one million trees.
Local primary schools and other community groups will be among those planting trees at each site.The head of trees and woodlands of the National Trust, John Deakin, made the following statement: “Temperate rainforests used to be expansive wooded habitats along the western seaboard of the UK, but now all that’s left are fragments.”
According to Mr. Deakin, the rainforests used to occupy “just 1% of Britain” but now they’re “restricted to small areas in Devon, Cornwall, North and West Wales, Cumbria, the West of Scotland and sections of Northern Ireland”.
He explained that because of this, endangered plant species that rely on this area are fighting for what little they have left. He mentioned that the woodlands in north Devon, where he is responsible for environmental protection, house almost the entire world population of several of these species, such the Devon whitebeam.
“Without urgent action, these unique plants could soon be facing extinction.”
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