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Britain’s temperate rainforests are facing severe and surging threats from climate change, air pollution, invasive species, a lack of appropriate land management and tree diseases.  

These wild and wet ancient woodlands are home to internationally important species with some 21 species of lichens and mosses being under threat. 

There is a very real threat that this globally significant habitat will slowly vanish unless urgent action is taken.  

How is Plantlife helping? 

Funded by Natural England’s Species Recovery Capital Grant Scheme, we will be helping to protect temperate rainforests and restore these threatened species. 

We have received a share of a £14.5m funding award to recover some very rare and threatened species of lichens that only exist in Britain’s temperate rainforests.  

Tried and tested restoration techniques will be used on 12 sites across Devon and Cornwall – working in partnership with the Woodland Trust and the National Trust.  

The work includes halo thinning, glade creation and INNS control to create habitat conditions to help different species.  

Our habitat enhancement work will also be complemented by the creation of woodland pasture.  

Why do we need rainforest recovery? 

Our temperate rainforests have become smaller, more fragmented and isolated over centuries.  

This is due to human influence on the landscape, inappropriate grazing, clearance and conversion.  

Periods of extended drought also seem to be having an impact on some species, especially in South West England. 

Some species of lichens, mosses and liverworts can only survive in these rainforests.  

And despite being biodiversity hot spots, nearly three quarters of England’s remaining rainforests do not have any formal protection because they fall outside of Sites of Special Scientific Interest.