When you say the word “rainforest” - people are often transported thousands of miles away to places like the Amazon or Borneo, but unbeknown to most, we have our very own rainforests right here in Britain. These woodlands, or Atlantic woodlands, are a habitat of huge conservation importance and are confined to the western seaboard of the British Isles, where they are influenced by the wet-mild climate from across the Atlantic. Some of these woods are remnants of the ancient wildwood, which are those that started appearing across Britain after the last ice-age. Therefore, these woodlands are some of the oldest, living ecosystems that we have in Britain, where this long continuity and high rainfall results in spectacular habitats which are teaming with wildlife.
Atlantic woodlands are a world unto themselves, and have such a mystical and enchanted feel to them. These woods are so dramatic and wild, with their craggy terrain and rivers that cut through the ancient tree-scapes, where the broadleaf canopy locks in humidity from the high rainfall. The National Trust’s Aira Force is a classic example of this, most renowned for its impressive 60ft waterfall, where the water cascades its way along the beck and into Ullswater Lake.