Types of heathland
Heathlands can be classified by the amount of water in the soil. Different amounts of water lead to different qualities in the soil which in turn support different plants.
Dry heaths tend to be dominated by ling and bell heather. Nutrients from decomposed leaf litter are quickly washed through the sandy soils making the land inhospitable to many other plants. Dry, sandy areas are home to sand wasps and sand lizards.
Wet heaths have waterlogged soils for much of the year. The vegetation is not able to rot because of a lack of oxygen. This leads to a build up of peat and very low available nutrients. Plants such as cross leafed heather and insectivorous plants are able to cope with these difficult conditions. The bog bush cricket and raft spider live in these wet areas.
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