Special habitats and plants
Some plants in Scilly are native species - the Dwarf pansy and Orange birdsfoot are found nowhere else in Britain. Others are rare on the mainland but common in Scilly. Dutch elm disease did not reach the Islands, and Elm groves are found on St. Mary's. Yet other plants have been introduced from abroad but have flourished in the warm climate or have escaped from cultivation - natives of Africa and South America give an exotic flavour to the scenery, but in some cases threaten native habitats.
Plant habitats on the islands are under stress. Bracken is getting thicker and denser in some areas, destroying smaller plants, and gorse (grazed in the past by farmer's cattle and horses before a great reduction in livestock, and by rabbits before myxomatosis reduced the population) is growing strong.
The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust is reversing this trend through its habitat management work, including grazing areas with traditional breeds of animal.
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