Few people know that Britain’s west coast was once covered by rainforests. Dating back 10,000 years to the end of the last ice age, they originally spanned as much as a fifth of the country, as well as France, Spain and Portugal’s Atlantic coastlines.
Today, only isolated pockets remain, mainly in Scotland, Cumbria, Wales and Devon. Representing less than one percent of the British land mass, these ‘Atlantic’ or ‘Celtic’ rainforests are rarer and under greater threat than their tropical counterparts. They’re also biodiversity hotspots, home to hundreds of moss, fern, fungi, epiphyte, liverwort and lichen species, many of which are endemic.