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Pioneering study reveals UK biodiversity hotspot
Date:11/30/2010

he needs of threatened wild flowers and other plants in Breckland through targeting conservation work at around 30 sites and taking forward recommendations from the biodiversity audit.
  • Cultivated farmland provides a vital habitat for many important species that need disturbed soil. However, a more tailored approach to stewardship is required.
  • Although the planting of Thetford Forest originally destroyed important habitats, the forest now has a rich biodiversity including: rare plants such as tower mustard, smooth rupturewort and red-tipped cudweed; insects such as the marbled clover and grey carpet moth; and declining farmland birds like yellowhammer and linnet.
  • Other important habitats revealed by the study were ancient trees, muddy pond edges, ungrazed fields and post-industrial sites such as gravel and sand pits.

    The Breckland Biodiversity Audit will be launched in Thetford on Tuesday November 30. Speakers include: Tom Tew, former chief scientist at Natural England; Victoria Chester, chief executive of Plantlife; Bev Nichols, land management and conservation advisor at Natural England; report authors Dr Paul Dolman and Dr Hannah Mossman of the University of East Anglia. A panel session will be chaired by Jonathan Spencer, senior ecologist at the Forestry Commission.

    Bev Nichols, land management and conservation advisor at Natural England said: "This audit is truly a landmark piece of work. Around 40 per cent of Breckland is protected to help conserve the special wildlife that is found here, but throughout the farms, heaths and forests, nature needs a helping hand. These findings will help Natural England give the best advice to landowners, and ensure funding such as our Environmental Stewardship Scheme, is targeted to ensure a future for Breckland's special wildlife and wild places."

    Neal Armour-Chelu, Ecologist with the Forestry Commission said: "This work is going to help the Forestry Commission conserve the rare w
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  • Contact: Simon Dunford
    s.dunford@uea.ac.uk
    44-016-035-92203
    University of East Anglia
    Source:Eurekalert

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