The Heathland Area

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Above: Heathers grow on the Heathland Restoration Project area of the Woodland Education Centre.

There is evidence that much of East Devon consisted of lowland heath up until 150 years ago. However, large tracts of this heathland habitat have disappeared as methods of farming have changed along with land usage. Some maps older than 150 years detail sizeable areas of heathland throughout East Devon.  It is likely that at one time, much of the Woodland Education Centre would have been heathland. In places where the rhododendron jungle has been cleared in the Centre, small clumps of heather often grow without being reseeded. This suggests that there is a residual seed bank of heathland plant species in the soil. 

(You can find out more about lowland heath by accessing the world's largest website on lowland heath here .) 

One particular area of the Centre is being restored as a heathland.  The Heathland Restoration Project is currently underway on a 2 hectare area located on the western side of the Centre, on a south-east facing slope.  The area has been split into 9 parallel, adjacent strips. Each strip is managed in a different way and the resulting variations in plant species have been monitored through extensive ecological surveys. This long-running restoration project first started in 1993.


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Above:  Part of the Heathland area.

More about the Heathland Area

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