Mapping the lost rainforests of England

I’m in the midst of prepping and finishing my final term paper. Hence the lack of post activity. Here is a breath of fresh air that I genuinely needed, and thoroughly appreciated. Ciao!

Lost Rainforests of England

This post is by Guy Shrubsole.

Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor, pictured above, is easily the most famous example of temperate rainforest in England. But it’s far from the only fragment in existence.

Very few people know that England once supported large expanses of temperate rainforest, in a swathe across the western upland parts of the country – from the Lake District in the north, through the Pennines, Dales and Forest of Bowland, to Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor in the Westcountry. They were felled by Bronze Age settlers, medieval tin-miners, Victorian charcoal-makers, and in the modern era by foresters who replaced them with high-yield conifers for timber. Blanket bog formed over large areas of the uplands, deterring the return of dense woodland, and overgrazing by sheep has prevented their regrowth on the hillsides and in the cloughs.

Yet despite all this, pockets of temperate rainforest cling on in England today…

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