Heathland Biodiversity - Taken from the Hampshire County Council website and adapted.
Heathlands are landscapes with a varied range of components. Each component supports varied wildlife and are important in their own way. Most heathlands have open areas, dominated by heather, a scrub or wooded component, areas of bare ground and wetter areas.
A number of factors make heathlands very special places for wildlife:
They are areas of open land with few trees. This allows the sun to heat the soil, encouraging wildlife which would not normally be able to survive so far north.
Heathlands are found on nutrient-poor, often sandy, acid soils. Many animals rely on these soils to hunt on or burrow into.
The unique vegetation structure of low growing shrubs like heather and gorse provide homes to a wide variety of animals.
These factors enable a special range of wildlife to inhabit heathlands. It is the complex interaction between the plants, animals and the conditions in which they live that make heathlands so special and important.
Some of the plants and animals found on heathlands are listed below. All of them rely on the important management work that initiatives such as the Heathland Conservation Society carry out.
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