Last updated: 29/05/2012
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Places such as the Lizard and Penwith are temporarily
transformed as the heathland blooms and takes over the
countryside. This important habitat generally exists as a
'mosaic' of plants such as heaths, gorse, heather and grasses, and
is influenced by the ground conditions such as acidity, nutrients
and water levels.
The heathland in Cornwall is heavily influenced by the
surrounding maritime environment and the areas are largely
determined by environmental factors such as wind and rain.
Heathland is largely due to human influence through past land
management practices. It is normally the lack of this
continuing management that poses the greatest threat to its
These threats include the lack of fencing to manage grazing,
development, arson and human activities such as trampling or
motorcycle scrambling. On many sites, sympathetic management is
being re-introduced to conserve the remaining heathland.