Isle of Man and North Wales are first to benefit from £38million Aviva fund

British rainforests have been largely destroyed over hundreds of years and now cover less than 1% of Britain. The restoration of this precious habitat is part of a wider programme of naturebased projects funded by Aviva to remove carbon from the atmosphere and to help nature recover.

Local communities will be closely involved in rainforest projects and will benefit from increased access to nature, volunteering, educational and employment opportunities. Rainforest recovery will also provide cleaner air and water and reduced risk from flooding.

The ambitious programme will see temperate rainforests restored and expanded in areas where they used to grow along the damper, western climes of the British Isles. The first two sites are Creg y Cowin in the Isle of Man and Bryn Ifan in North Wales.

Rob Stoneman, director of landscape recovery, The Wildlife Trusts, says: “We’re delighted these first rainforest restoration projects can now get started. They’ll provide vital habitat for wildlife in a time of nature crisis, store vast amounts of carbon, and benefit local communities for generations to come. Restoring this gorgeous habitat will also allow adaptation to climate change, reduce threats from extreme heat, flood and drought, and enable local people to reap the benefits.”

Rainforests of the British Isles are temperate rainforests, which means they grow in areas that have high rainfall and humidity, and a low annual variation in temperature. They are also known as Atlantic woodland or Celtic rainforest.

Tree species include sessile oak, birch, rowan, holly, alder, willow and hazel. They are home to stoats, red squirrels, and pine marten, and threatened birds like wood warblers, redstarts, and pied flycatchers. Wet conditions support an abundance of mosses, liverworts, lichens, and ferns – many of which grow on the trees or cover boulders and ravines. The dampness is ideal for fungi, including globally rare species like hazel gloves fungus.

Picture caption: Creg y Cowin in the Isle of Man (c) Graham Makepeace-Warne

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