Western Europe: Southern England, United Kingdom

This ecoregion encompasses lowlands in the southeastern part of England. Beech forests, which dominate the natural vegetation, thrive in a moist climate with moderate temperatures and lots of rainfall. Traditional English oaks mixed with beech, ash, fir and elms form much of the forests. The Thames and other rivers provide habitat for riverine forests of Alnus glutinosa. Uncommon or rare plants include red helleborine(Cephalanthera rubra) and bird's nest orchid (Neottia nidus-avis). characteristic mammals include Western European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus),Eurasian badger (Meles meles), Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), European polecat (Mustela putorius), ermine (Mustela erminea), and European hare (Lepus europaeus). Important Bird Areas include the Mid-Essex coast, Thames estuary and marshes, and Severn estuary (Heath and Evans 2000). The New Forest, a one hundred and fifty square mile reserve, serves as the largest intact tract of habitat for this ecoregion.

  • Scientific Code
  • Ecoregion Category
  • Size
    17,600 square miles
  • Status
  • Habitats


 Location and General Description

Biodiversity Features

Current Status

Types and Severity of Threats

Justification of Ecoregion Delineation
This ecoregion is equivalent to the DMEER (2000) unit of the same name. It includes the lowland to submontane beech and mixed beech forests of southern England, as well as some fragments of flood-plain, estuarine, and freshwater polder vegetation (Bohn et al. 2000).

Davis S.D., V.H. Heywood, and A.C. Hamilton. 1994: Centres of plant diversity. Vol. 1: Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia and Middle East. WWF and IUCN.

Digital Map of European Ecological Regions (DMEER), Version 2000/05


Heath M.F., and Evans M.I., editors. 2000: Important bird areas in Europe: Priority sites for conservation. 2 vols. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

Heinzel H., R. Fitter, and J. Parslow. 1977: Pareys Vogelbuch - Alle Vögel Europas, Nordafrikas und des mittleren Ostens. 2. Aufl. Verl. P.Parey, Hamburg, Berlin.

IUCN 2000: The Global Redlist of Species, of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. URL: <http://www.redlist.org>

Ozenda, P. 1994: Végétation du Continent Européen. Delachaux et Niestlé, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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