Prince William Protects 170 Hectare Ancient Rainforest in England

Prince William to Protect and Expand Wistman’s Wood Ancient Rainforest in England.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Prince William to Protect and Expand Wistman’s Wood Ancient Rainforest in England. Image Unsplash.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Prince William to Protect and Expand Wistman’s Wood Ancient Rainforest in England

Wistman’s Wood is a magical ancient rainforest of twisted moss-covered oak trees, small streams and diverse species of plants and animals. Standing in the peaceful forest, one is reminded of a scene from a mystical time before history. It is magic and wild, yet is so close to the hustle and bustle of modern England, only a few miles away.

When people think of England, they often think of pastoral fields of agriculture, major industrial centres like Birmingham, or large international cities like London. They do not often think of England as a land of ancient rainforests. Yet historically, it is. Before the industrial revolution, large tracts of England were covered with temperate rainforests.

During the industrial revolution, there was a rapid increase in the demand for wood, which was used to fuel factories and build homes. This led to widespread deforestation; most temperate ancient rainforests were cleared.

As a result, the amount of temperate rainforest in England has declined significantly since the late 1700s. Today, only a few fragments remain. One of the most important and notable sections of untouched ancient rainforest is Wistman’s Wood, a 3-hectare fragment of woodland on Dartmoor in the South West of England, controlled by the Duchy of Cornwall.

Wistman’s Wood is characterized by its stunted and twisted oak trees, which are covered in mosses and lichens. It is thought to be one of the oldest surviving woodlands in England, dating back to the Mesolithic period and is home to a variety of rare and endangered species.

When King Charles was crowned king earlier this year, Prince William was bestowed the title of Duke of Cornwall and, as such, now controls the duchy. The Duchy of Cornwall was created in 1337 by King Edward III to provide independence to the heir to the throne. The duchy’s estate covers an area of more than 200 square miles over 23 counties, mostly in the South West of England.

Prince William, like his father before him, is a philanthropist and environmentalist and uses the duchy’s resources to support a number of causes, including mental health, conservation, and the environment. 

The prince sees the value in protecting natural areas and is planning to expand the temperate rainforest in the region. As one of the UK’s remaining temperate ancient rainforests, the duchy has announced that it plans to regenerate and at least double the size of Wistman’s Wood by 2040. 

It won’t cost much either; Wistman’s Wood will gain its increased size primarily by rewilding; simply reducing the cattle grazing in the area will allow the woodland to regenerate naturally. The duchy will also plant new trees with seeds collected from the trees in the ancient wood as well as selected planting of native plants and reintroduction of animal species indigenous to the area.

Rewilding is a process of restoring a forest to a more natural state. This means allowing it to regenerate naturally, without human intervention. The results of rewilding are numerous and include:

  • Increased biodiversity: Rewilding can help to increase biodiversity by providing a more natural habitat for a wider range of plants and animals.
  • Improved water quality: Rewilding can help to improve water quality by reducing pollution and by increasing the amount of rainwater that is absorbed into the ground.
  • Reduced carbon emissions: Rewilding can help to reduce carbon emissions by storing carbon in trees and soil.
  • Increased resilience to climate change: Rewilded forests are more resilient than managed forests. This is because they are more diverse and better able to adapt to changes in the environment.

See also: Ed Sheeran’s Rewilding: Transforming Estates.

This is a positive move by Prince William, as it will help to protect this important natural habitat. Temperate rainforests like Wistman’s Wood ancient rainforest are home to various rare and endangered species, and they play an important role in regulating the local climate.

The duchy’s plans to expand Wistman’s Wood ancient rainforest align with Prince William’s commitment to environmental protection. He has spoken out about the importance of protecting nature, and he has pledged to use his position to promote sustainable development.

It is great that Prince William follows in his father’s footsteps and is taking action to protect Wistman’s Wood ancient rainforest. This is an irreplacable historical natural resource, and it is important that we do everything we can to preserve it for future generations.

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