Temperate forests would naturally dominate the ecology of the nation, although much of its surface has been cleared over the centuries. Four different ecological regions have been identified in the country, although they remain endangered by human activities. The proliferation of wood cutting, population growth and pollution have taken a toll on the ecosystems of the country. These ecological regions include
Celtic Broadleaf Forests
The Celtic Broadleaf Forests in the UK are classified into Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests Biome. The forests are indigenous to the UK and Ireland. Over the years, the flora and fauna have decreased significantly in the ecological region. Animals supported in the ecosystem include European hedgehog, red fox, red deer, roe deer, European otter, European badger, and stoat. The trees in the region are broad-leafed such as the European aspen, common ash, common elm and the silver birch.
The climate of the area is described as Oceanic, where there are high precipitation and low evaporation due to the little sunshine, leading to high dampness levels. The conservation status of the region is described as critical because 90% of the forests have been destroyed due to human activities such as encroachment, settlement, and deforestation.
English Lowland Beech Forests
English Lowland Beech Forest ecological region is classified into Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests Biome. The European beech species are the dominant trees in this area alongside other tree species species such as rowan, ash, and oak. The beech trees create a dense canopy in the region that allows for only a handful of plants to thrive in the area. The climate can be described as temperate, with mean amounts of rainfall throughout the year.
The ecological region is home to the European hedgehog, Eurasian badger, European rabbit and the wood mouse. Another fauna which are near-endangered species in the area is the corncrake, European otter, harvest mouse, and the red squirrel. The ecosystem is considered critical due to population density in areas such as London and increased pollution.
North Atlantic Moist Mixed Forests
The North Atlantic Moist Mixed Forests ecological region is classified into Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests Biome. The forest is native to the North West part of Europe and stretches between Ireland and Scotland. The forests’ flora and fauna have been decreasing over the years due to deforestation, settlement, and hunting. Today, animals roaming the region include the European badger, red deer, barn owl, red fox and the roe deer. Species of trees in the region include the silver birch, chestnut, willow and the English oak. The area is classified as vulnerable due to excessive hunting and encroachment.
Caledonian Conifer Forests
The Caledonian Conifer Forests in the UK are categorized in the Temperate Coniferous Forests. These forests are abundant in present day Scotland. Species of the Scots Pine trees dominate the region alongside the silver birch, oak, aspen, and rowan. Plants in the area include mosses, heather, crowberry, and common cow wheat. Animal species in the forests include the red squirrel, mountain hare, wild cat, and more recently, the European beaver. After years of deforestation and human encroachment, the Cairngorms National Park was established to protect this fragile ecosystem.
Conservation Of The Ecological Regions
The different ecological regions in the UK have been under threat in terms of sustainability. In the recent years, however, the government in partnership with local and international conservation stakeholders has initiated efforts to preserve the country’s ecosystem. National parks and zoos have been established, and legislation passed to criminalize wood-cutting and hunting without the required licensing. These efforts have restored animal species such as the red squirrels back to previous abundant numbers.