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Heathlands

Heathlands

by Chris ~ 22 September, 2011 ~ comments welcome

Heathland is a threatened habitat.  Over the last two hundred years, the U.K. has lost some 150,000 hectares of heathland.  There is now only  58,000 ha of heathland left in the U.K; this represents one fifth of the world's total.  Areas of heathland can be found in the High Weald of Kent (Ashdown Forest) and the Breckland of East Anglia.  Breckland is a particular type of heathland, being a dry heath.  The average annual rainfall is only 600 mm or so and  it experiences hot summers and cold winters, together with frequent frosts. Read more...

Phytophthora ramorum – a parasitic fungus to look out for

Phytophthora ramorum – a parasitic fungus to look out for

by Rob Starbuck ~ 17 April, 2011 ~ 5 comments

Recently I wanted to find out more about Phytophthora ramorum so I went to a seminar that was organised by Natur  (The Welsh Institute for Countryside and Conservation Management) held in north Wales.

Seminar on Phytophthora ramorum
The seminar was specifically relevant for woodland owners, contractors and countryside workers. These groups are most likely to come into contact with this disease and therefore be well placed to identify it before it becomes established in a new location. There is also the danger that these groups could become vectors spreading the disease between sites. Read more...

 The Centre for Alternative Technology - Practical woodland courses

The Centre for Alternative Technology – Practical woodland courses

by Angus ~ 7 April, 2011 ~ 3 comments

The “piss and wind centre” is what local people  used to call CAT in mid Wales because of its commitment to waste recycling and windpower, but it is committed to a lot more than that – perhaps its main mission is training.  Oxfam regularly send people to learn about water and sanitation and visitors even have a choice of using a standard toilet or a composting one. Read more...

Ancient woodland part 2

Ancient woodland part 2

by Chris ~ 2 December, 2010 ~ comments welcome

The wholesale destruction of ancient woodland through farming and forestry has diminished but new roads,  bypasses and the installation of infra-structure & services (such as utilities & power lines) can still be a problem.  In recent times, new or different threats to ancient woodlands have emerged to upset the balance of woodland ecosystems.

In the 1960’s and early 70’s concern focussed on the effects of air and acid rain pollution .  Such pollution was characterised by the deposition of sulphur dioxide and its derivatives (sulphuric & sulphurous acid), plus various nitrogen oxides. Read more...

Working for biodiversity

Working for biodiversity

by Mike Thompson ~ 20 August, 2010 ~ one comment

Gatwick Greenspace Partnership, now part of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, has leased Lower Orlton’s Copse*, near Rusper, on an initial three year agreement with the aim of improving the biodiversity in the wood, through a process of selective thinning and pollarding, and using the site for our Forest Schools project. Read more...

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death

by Chris ~ 30 July, 2010 ~ 11 comments

Sudden Oak Death is in the news. A number of the national and regional news programmes have recently carried reports of the felling of larch trees in the South West. Read more...

Laurel removal

Laurel removal

by Chris Stables ~ 23 July, 2010 ~ 5 comments

We inherited a lot of Cherry Laurel in our 3 acre wood. It occupied about 2/3rd acre, growing under tall ash and beech trees. It was probably planted there by the Victorians to act as cover for pheasants. Judging by the number of pheasants around the wood, it certainly did just that! Read more...

Our changing flora

Our changing flora

by Chris ~ 9 June, 2010 ~ 7 comments

Our changing flora

All of our present plants have arrived in the U.K. since the end of the last Ice Age, about ten to twelve thousand years ago.  Plants and animals moved north as the sheets of ice gradually retreated; they were able to do this as ‘we’ were still joined directly to parts of Europe -by a great plain with meandering rivers, so that present-day East Anglia was linked to parts of The Netherlands and North Germany. Read more...

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