Forestry England's Forest and Heathland Project

Approximately 850 hectares of heathland has been created under Forestry England's Forest and Heathland Programme and the quality and linkage of the designated heathland areas has been enhanced throughout the southern heathland forests between Dorchester and Ringwood.

Major heathland restoration on Forestry England land began during the early 1990s. Around 25% of the entire area of the main heathland forests is designated permanent heathland, in addition to miles of enhanced heathland ridge habitat, and 'temporary heath' areas (young forest plantations between 1 and 15 years old). The strengths of the forest and heathland habitats are clear to see with strong populations of all key heathland species, as well as a wide variety of important non-heath species, including notable populations of turtle dove, dormice and woodland bats.

Recent projects include the removal of invasive rhododendron at Moreton Forest to create 30 hectares of wet/humid heath, establishment of a further 20 hectares of dry heath on Duddle Heath in Puddletown Forest and the creation of around 60 hectares of heath in Whitesheet plantation through the removal of conifer scrub and gorse.

For further information contact the Forestry England office at Lyndhurst on 02380 283141.

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