Britain’s vanishing rainforests must be protected, say campaigners

2 weeks ago 11

Nearly three-quarters of England’s remaining temperate rainforests bash not person immoderate authoritative protection, according to caller analysis, arsenic a run urges the nationalist to assistance identify, support and grow what remains.

Just 18,870 hectares (46,624 acres) survives successful England from an ecosystem that erstwhile stretched from Cornwall to the westbound of Scotland, having dilatory been cleared by humans implicit the centuries. Seventy-three per cent of the country’s remaining fragments of temperate rainforest, a species-rich habitat, are not designated arsenic Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), contempt their value for biodiversity. Many are threatened by overgrazing, contamination and invasive species.

The Lost Rainforests of Britain, led by Guy Shrubsole, biology campaigner and writer of Who Owns England?, is utilizing resources from Plantlife, a conservation charity, to promote radical to place and taxable coordinates for the fragments of wood that inactive exist. The results volition beryllium collated connected a soon-to-be released map. Shrubsole is campaigning for the authorities to follow a Great British Rainforests strategy to amended support the areas and let them to people regenerate.

Polypody ferns, mosses and lichens carpet branches connected  trees increasing  on  the O Brook watercourse  successful  Dartmoor.
The hallmarks of British temperate rainforest: polypody ferns, mosses and lichens carpet branches connected trees increasing on the O Brook watercourse successful Dartmoor. Photograph: Guy Shrubsole

At a caller lawsuit successful parliament, situation curate Rebecca Pow said that overmuch of the remaining temperate rainforests were already protected, citing figures from Natural England. But investigation by Lost Rainforests of Britain has recovered that lone 5,000 hectares (12,489 acres) of English rainforest is nether ceremonial extortion successful SSSIs.

“These shocking stats indispensable spur the authorities into urgently protecting our surviving fragments of rainforest,” said Shrubsole.

“Temperate rainforest is vanishingly rare, covering little than 1% of Britain and supporting a panoply of astonishing taxon of lichens, mosses, birds and mammals. We intelligibly person an overriding planetary work to support it. Yet our investigation shows that hardly a 4th of England’s precious rainforest sites person SSSI protections.

“Ministers person stated they’re committed to protecting and restoring our mislaid rainforests – present it’s clip they took action.”

In response, Pow said the planetary value of temperate rainforests, besides known arsenic Atlantic woodland, successful supporting uncommon and threatened taxon has been recognised successful home biodiversity argumentation for galore decades.

“Many temperate rainforests are protected by existing policy. Many are past woodlands, which are protected from improvement successful each but wholly exceptional circumstances; we person committed successful the England trees enactment program to summation protections successful the readying strategy for long-established woodland successful situ since 1840,” she said.

“Many of our temperate rainforests enactment affluent assemblages of species. SSSI enactment guidelines for woodlands are focused connected securing a typical bid alternatively than protecting each example,” she added.

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