Some effects of sheep management on heather moorlands in northern England.
Since the last War, large tracts of the uplands have experienced changes in land use which have altered the distribution and quantity of their specialized vegetation and wildlife. Areas of coniferous afforestation, bracken, and grasslands are increasing, while the heather dominant vegetation is decreasing. Replacement of heather dominant vegetation appears to be permanent, and only through expensive management (eg heather planting, bracken spraying, etc) or the complete rest of the land for long periods (eg Welch & Rawes 1964) can the vegetation revert to its previous form. This paper attempts to evaluate the direct and indirect consequences of high grazing intensities on heather dominant moorland, with particular reference to the base-rich moorlands in the Pennines which contrast with the relatively poor moorlands of Scotland.