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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 September, 2004, 06:45 GMT 07:45 UK
Conservationists visit Pooh wood
Delegates to a conference on saving the UK's rapidly vanishing heathland will be visiting a forest which inspired AA Milne to create Winnie the Pooh.

Milne and his son Christopher Robin lived on the outskirts of The Ashdown Forest in East Sussex.

Academics and conservationists at the conference at the University of Sussex in Brighton will also be visiting Sussex Wealden Greensands Heath.

More than 80% of the UK's lowland heath has been lost in the past 200 years.

Most people are unaware that these landscapes only look like this as a result of human use and intervention over hundreds of years
Dr Isabel Alonso

Experts say the purples and yellows of the flowering heathlands are at their best at this time of the year.

Dr Isabel Alonso, heathland ecologist for English Nature, said: "Heathlands are rarer than tropical forest and are right on our doorstep.

"They are one of the few places where millions of people in England can still go to get a sense of wide-open space and wilderness.

"However, most people are unaware that these landscapes only look like this as a result of human use and intervention over hundreds of years.

"Without continuous management, heathlands and many of the species they support would simply disappear."




SEE ALSO:
Heathland to be protected
27 Aug 03  |  Cornwall
England should 'set heathland target'
05 Aug 03  |  Science/Nature


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