|Above: Heathers grow in the Heathland Area of the Woodland Education
There is evidence that much of East Devon consisted of lowland heath up
until 150 years ago. However since that time, much of it has dissappeared as methods
of farming have changed along with land usage.
Some maps older than 150 years detail sizeable areas of heathland throughout East
Devon. In places where the rhododendron jungle has
been cleared in the Woodland Education Centre, small clumps of heather sometimes grow
without being reseeded.
One particular area of the Centre is being restored as a heathland. The
restoration is currently underway across a 2 hectare area on the western side of the site
on a south-east facing slope. As part of the ongoing project, a scientific survey is
being undertaken. The area has been split into 9 parallel adjacent strips.
Each strip is being managed in a different way and the resulting variations in
diversity of heathland species is being monitored. The Offwell Woodland and Wildlife
Trust has also produced the worlds' largest website on lowland heath. Click here to
visit the site for much more information on heathland and heathland restoration.