Upland landscapes cover a range of habitat types from heathland, woodlands and mountains, in this issue we will focus on conifer and pine forests.
There are only 3 native conifer species in the UK; Scot’s pine, Yew and Juniper however most of the UK’s upland conifer forests are planted using introduced (non-native) tree species (such as Douglas fir, Norway spruce and Sitka spruce). These species grow well in places like northern United States, Canada and Norway. Plantation forests were planted on poor quality agricultural land for timber production and they cover 70% of the total forested area in Britain. Upland conifer forests can be found in Scotland, Northumberland, Cumbria and Wales.
However Scotland is also home to the Caledonian Pine Forest, this is an ancient and native forest. It consists primarily of Scot’s pine trees. These trees do not have a thick crown, so light penetrates to the ground below creating a diverse habitat, rich in animal and plant species.