Where do Heathlands Occur?

Mapworld.wmf (11132 bytes)Worldwide heathlands are rare. They occur in areas which combine poor soils with a cool, moist climate.In Europe,they occur in oceanic cool, temperate regions where tree growth is suppressed in some way (usually where the local microclimate is inhospitable for tree growth, or where human activity prevents their establishment). Heathlands are also found in sub-arctic/ antarctic regions where it is too cold for tree growth (e.g Northern Canada, Russia and Scandinavia) and on mountains where the humidity is high enough.

In Europe, lowland heathland occurs mainly in a zone bordering the Atlantic and North Sea, where there is a cool moist oceanic climate with mild winters and cool summers. The UK has approximately 20% of Europe's remaining lowland heath. Most of this is concentrated in the southern and eastern counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Suffolk and Norfolk. Twenty five percent of the South West's lowland heathland area occurs in Devon. Ten percent of this South West heathland resource is in East Devon. This represents 2.5% of the remaining UK heathland area.   (See East Devon Biodiversity Action Plan (EDBAP)).

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What is heathland?   Heathland Geology

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