Letting the sunshine into the Glen

The latest report from the working party shows that ‘clearing’ is in fact really helping the health the Glen:

We worked around the lawn area, again clearing brambles and ivy, which was choking so much of Glen Goyle… We were joined by robins, blackbirds, and a mistle thrush . Passers-by chatted with us. One person has told me that she feels so much more happy walking along the path, now that it is less overgrown and dark.


Clearing in the Glen: photo by John McGregor

It seems that there is some science behind this.

The understorey needs light:

Most sunlight is absorbed by the species-poor tree canopy, making the much more species-rich understorey species inhabit a severely resource-limited habitat.

Plant species richness increases with light availability, but not variability, in temperate forests understorey | BMC Ecology | Full Text

Where there is more light, there is more diversity:

On both fertilized and unfertilized plots, where removal of vegetation by herbivores increased the amount of light that struck the ground, plant species diversity increased.

For Plant Biodiversity, Let the Sun Shine In says USU Ecologist

Where there are wooded areas, growth needs to be managed:

Light is one of the most important factors in determining which plants grow where in a woodland and how successful they are.

Woodlands & Biodiversity -light