Building Resilience in South West Woodlands

Building on the work of the Make the Small Things Count Project, we are developing a new Heritage Lottery Funded project that addresses the challenges faced by the Atlantic woodlands of Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.

Think of the coastal woodlands of the south west of England and images of ancient trees in grey-green jackets, soft bright mossy hummocks, carpets of ferns and misted light beams flooding through to the forest floor spring to mind...

These ‘Atlantic’ woodlands are one of Britain and Ireland’s most important habitats; home to a vast diversity of plant life. As well as being places of recreation these woods have inspired generations of writers, poets and painters including Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Lady studying a lichen on a tree

This project will address the challenges these woodlands face including climate change, tree disease, invasive species and changes in woodland management, and explore ways in which we can make them more resilient to change.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded development funding to help us progress plans with partners and communities in order to apply for a full grant in 2018.

Our goals:

To help people living in, working in and visiting the area to know more about this wonderful woodland heritage and its plant life including lichens, mosses and liverworts (known as lower plants).

To support those who manage these woodlands to manage them so that they can be more resilient to the challenges they face.

Plantlife will do this by:

  • Creating opportunities for both the public and people who manage these woods to learn more about these plants so that they can appreciate this habitat and manage woods better .
  • Carrying out essential woodland conservation work that will help to protect some of our most rare and threatened lower plants.
  • Delivering an educational programme that will engage schools, families and members of the public through innovative woodland events and training programmes.

Where are we working?

The south west is home to a number of internationally Important Plant Areas (IPAs). These places are some of the richest in the British Isles for lichens and bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).


Dartmoor IPA

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North Cornwall & Devon Coastal Woods IPA

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Exmoor & the Quantock Hills IPA

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Want to get involved or find out more?

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