Heathlands are human-made habitats. They only persist if they are managed. The lowland heaths of southern England would quickly become woodland if no grazing occurred. 


Lowland Heaths of Southern England

Most of the lowland heathlands have developed on freely-drained sands and gravels. The nutrient-poor sandy soil is well-aerated and sun-warmed, giving rise to a unique set of environmental conditions.

There are also a few wet areas, with acidic peat bogs, dominated by Sphagnum moss. Shallow heathland pools are inhabited by many plants and insects (especially dragonflies) that are rare elsewhere.

Read More: Heathland Plants

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