Temperate rainforests are the less known sibling of our tropical rainforests, but equally magical and biodiversity rich.
Worldwide 50% of these precious temperate rainforests have disappeared and in the UK we have just 1% of these biomes left. It’s estimated up to 20% of the terrestrial UK land mass still has the right environmental and climatic conditions for temperate rainforests to flourish and as such could be restored to create the lush micro climates and biodiversity havens they are.
Also known as the Celtic or Atlantic Oakwood rainforests, these biomes so closely linked to local weather patterns, are home to an incredible and often endemic range of biodiversity. This fragile hidden world is not just made up of trees but also a huge range of epiphytes and adaptable cryptogams. Diverse mosses, lichens, ferns and liverworts can be found throughout the forests.
A staggering 700 plus types of lichen are found growing symbiotically on oak trees in the UK. Many of these are only found in the Celtic rainforests, growing on the dominant sessile oak species. Lichen is highly sensitive to environmental change and an excellent early indicator of changes in the local climate and environment.