From Wildlife Extra:
Lowland heath restoration in Staffordshire – Volunteers needed
Brighter future for Cannock’s precious heathland
The Connecting Cannock Chase – Lowland Heathland Project will work to restore 73 hectares of heath on three areas where the Forestry Commission has cleared 40,000 conifers. And now Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is appealing for volunteers to take part in the restoration project.
About 20% of the planet’s lowland heath is found in Britain. But Staffordshire has lost more than 90% of this habitat due to development, afforestation and agriculture, making every precious hectare restored important. By restoring heathland in the three project areas, the partnership will be linking together existing heathland which is part of a Special Area of Conservation.
Restoration will involve scrub and bracken control and grazing animals will be introduced as a more sustainable way of managing one of the areas.
Bernadette Noake, Biodiversity Coordinator at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “By re-introducing heathland grazing back onto one of the three project areas, a practice common on Cannock Chase over 100 years ago, and supporting it with a program of complementary management techniques, we will be able to produce a high diversity of biological habitats and manage the area in a more sustainable way.” …
Cannock Chase is both biologically and historically important and has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It includes the largest surviving area of lowland heathland in Central England. The habitat is a top priority for nature conservation as it is rare and threatened and supports a wide range of plants and animals such as heather, rare hybrid bilberry, nightjar, woodlark, bog-bush cricket, adder and lizards.
However, there is at least one threat to Cannock Chase.
Wet heathland on Texel island, the Netherlands: here.
Dutch heathland 5,000 years old: here.