Britain’s vanishing rainforests must be protected, say campaigners

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Analysis reveals 73% of remaining fragments of rare temperate rainforest in England are not under protection

Nearly three-quarters of England’s remaining temperate rainforests do not have any official protection, according to new analysis, as a campaign urges the public to help identify, protect and expand what remains.

Just 18,870 hectares (46,624 acres) survives in England from an ecosystem that once stretched from Cornwall to the west of Scotland, having slowly been cleared by humans over the centuries. Seventy-three per cent of the country’s remaining fragments of temperate rainforest, a species-rich habitat, are not designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), despite their importance for biodiversity. Many are threatened by overgrazing, pollution and invasive species.

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