Heathland Management

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Burning

The aim of burning is to remove all above-ground vegetation cleanly, yet leave the roots unharmed for regeneration. It is only relevant on large heathland areas and may be impossible if the area is surrounded by forestry plantations or housing. It needs to be very carefully controlled. Accidental fires can be absolutely devastating because they are totally uncontrolled and usually occur in the summer breeding season.

Burning, whether accidental or controlled, will obviously lead to the local extinction of some animal species. Areas to be burnt should be surrounded by fire-breaks for containment of the fire, as well as by older Heather, to allow subsequent recolonization of the area. Firebreaks can provide important habitats for animals such as Common Lizards  and adders which bask in the open areas which are created.

Other forms of heathland management - Cutting  Grazing

Lowland Heaths in East Devon

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