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Heather in bloom Barden Moor


Following the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age, much of the higher ground was colonised by ‘dwarf-shrubs’ like heather or, in particularly wet areas, by Bog-mosses (Sphagnum).  These plants and their associated species form the communities that characterise what we call ‘moorland’ habitats.

Where trees could grow, gradually woodland replaced moorland, but above the tree line (the altitudinal limit above which trees cannot grow) moorland persisted.  Human activities have tended to increase the extent of moorland in the high country and today much of the moorland is managed for sporting interest, predominantly grouse shooting.

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