Caspar Henderson

Britain’s lost rainforests

Guy Shrubsole laments that the temperate rainforest that once covered a fifth of Britain has now shrunk to pitiful fragments on its western fringe

Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor, home to more than 100 different species of lichen alone. [Alamy]

One of the most beautiful spots I know in Britain is a steep-sided gorge in Devon where the River Dart carves through the Dartmoor rock on its way to the sea. The trees on either side are small, twisted and covered in ferns, mosses and lichens, so that even on a dull day the colours, shapes and textures are vibrant and dynamic.

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