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22 Oct 2008 05:10:07

UK lost Birmingham-sized woodland

UK lost Birmingham-sized woodland
Ancient woodland the size of Birmingham has been threatened with degradation or destruction, according to a new report.

Some 100 square miles of ancient woodland have been destroyed or degraded in the last decade, according to a new report.

An area equivalent in size to Birmingham has been threatened, the year-long study by the Woodland Trust has revealed.

Ed Pomfret, of the Woodland Trust, said: "This is a worrying picture, half of the ancient woodland that existed in 1930 has been lost. Ancient woodland is the UK's equivalent of rainforest and is irreplaceable having been wooded for over 400 years."

The biggest threat to woodlands is new roads, followed by utilities and power lines, all of which are carbon intensive.

Ancient woodlands are "historical treasure troves", the trust claims, which must be preserved for wildlife and future generations.

Earlier this year a report revealed that untouched natural forests store three times as much carbon as was previously thought and up to 60 per cent more than plantation forests.



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