Nature Champions: Oceanic Heath

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Oceanic heath is a habitat of global importance. What makes it special is its ground layer of mosses that only thrive in the oceanic climate of the hills in the west of Scotland. This ground layer is also home to large leafy liverworts that have a highly restricted global distribution. Rare and unusual species such as Arch-leaved Whipwort, Lindenberg’s Featherwort, Alpine Notchwort and Northern Prongwort are all characteristic of this rare habitat, which is also known as  ‘Scottish liverwort heath’, the ‘Northern hepatic mat’ or the ‘oceanic-montane heath’

Action Needed

  • Introduce a licencing regime for muirburn in Scotland’s uplands in favour of sustainable land management practices.
  • Introduce legally binding targets for reducing nitrogen oxides pollution.
  • Support efforts to raise awareness of this globally important habitat.

Threats

Oceanic heath is threatened by muirburn, which can devastate it. It is also impacted by nitrogen pollution.

MSP Nature Champion

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