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Sunday, 2 August 2009

Neglect is casting Britain's once bright woodlands into darkness

A botanist has surveyed 100 woods where the plant life was recorded in detail in the 1930s. She has found dramatic differences including loss of diversity and character - and modern farming methods are to blame.

The gentle pleasures of a summer's woodland walk have become darker and duller, thanks to fertiliser from farms and the ancient art of coppicing dying out.

The discovery came after botanist Sally Keith retraced the steps of the pioneering ecologist Professor Ronald Good, who cycled the lanes of Dorset in the 1930s, recording in great detail the plants he found. Of the 1,500 woodland sites Good noted, Keith revisited almost 100, as close to the day and month of the original survey as possible.

Read More: Source- The Observer Sunday 2 August 2009

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