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Waveney Forest in east Norfolk is a large area of coniferous woodland, interspersed with remnant heathland and bog. The Forest has been the subject of much interest recently due to proposals for large-scale gravel extraction. Survey work has revealed that the Forest and the surrounding marshland and reedbed provide habitat for many legally protected species such as the Norfolk hawker dragonfly and water vole. The open heathland is a rare habitat in east Norfolk, as is the birch carr and Sphagnum bog. Future climate change and unmanaged scrub encroachment are serious issues for the remaining heathland and bog. Recent felling of a large area of conifers has given insects and plants of open areas a new lease of life after several decades surviving under the dense shade of the planted pines.
1. Introduction 3
2. The history of Waveney Forest and its current state 7
3. Paradise lost? 11
4. New threats emerge in the 21st century 17
5. Forest plants and their habitats 23
6. An invertebrate paradise 37
7. Vertebrate animals 51
8. The fight is won? 61
Tim Gardiner moved to Essex in 1997 and studied conservation and ecology at Writtle College near Chelmsford for several years, obtaining a PhD in Entomology in 2006. While studying at the College he worked as a lecturer in conservation and also as a researcher, roles which saw him initiate the Essex Glow-worm Survey in 2001.
After leaving the College in 2004 he briefly worked as a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University before retuming to Essex to take up a position with Essex County Council's Public Rights of Way department in 2005. He has worked as a biodiversity officer at the Enviromnent Agency since 2009, a role which sees him involved with maintaining and enhancing the ecological interest of rivers and sea walls in Essex. Tim has been included in the 2012 Marquis Who's Who in the World and the 2011 Who's Who in Science and Technology for his significant contributions to the study of the conservation of insects and plants in the UK. He has written numerous scientific papers for intemational joumals, but also enjoys writing less academic articles for a wider readership to disseminate the important message of conservation.