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Endangered rainforest to be restored with more than 100,000 trees

by | 31 Jan 24 | Nature & Biodiversity, News

The National Trust plans to establish 50 hectares across three sites in north Devon in an effort to restore endangered rainforest and boost wildlife.

More than 100,000 trees are set to be planted close to surviving pockets of the woodland to create new areas of temperate rainforest.

Among the trees to be planted is the almost-extinct Devon whitebeam, only found in the English West Country and Ireland.

Capable of reproduction without fertilisation, the whitebeam creates seeds that are genetic duplicates of itself.

With the help of volunteers, schoolchildren and community groups, the National Trust plans to plant about 38,000 trees near the sea of Exmoor, 20,000 at Woolacombe and Hartland, and 50,000 inland at Arlington Court.

It is hoped the consistently wet climate in north Devon will create an environment for a variety of plants and animals to foster new habitats, including rare ferns and pine martens.

“Temperate rainforests used to be expensive wooded habitats along the western seaboard of the UK, but now all that’s left are fragments,” says John Deakin, head of trees and woodlands at the National Trust.

He goes on to say the rainforests now cover “only one percent of Britain” and “all that’s left are fragments.”

“As a result, the rare specialist plants that depend on this habitat desperately cling to the remaining fragments for survival.”

The National Trust hopes the expansion of the rainforest will ease pressure on existing vegetation.

Similar projects working to recreate the lost rainforests of Britain are also ongoing across the country.

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