The third title in the National Trust's "Living Landscapes" series, "Heathland" looks at some of Britain's most endangered landscapes. Lowland heath, with its wide, open tracts of heather and gorse, was once a highly prized resource, worthy of special protection through an intricate system of common rights. It was the scene of extensive human activity, ranging from the grazing of livestock to the mining of iron and copper and the making of heather honey and ale. Yet over the last two centuries we have lost more than 80 per cent of British heathland, either smothered under swathes of intensive agriculture, forestry, roads and housing, or left unloved and unmanaged to become overgrown by scrub and woodland. Gone forever are the people who scraped a living on the heath, the shepherds, furze-cutters, flint-knappers, rabbit warreners, bracken-gatherers and turf-cutters.;Heathland is also home to a range of specialised wildlife, some of which can live in no other British habitat. From the sun-loving sand lizard to the gorse-dependent Dartford warbler, heathland is essential for many rare species. Their conservation is now a major priority and has led to intensive efforts to save what is left, to manage them more effectively and even to try to restore some of those that have been lost. From new heathland on top of the slag-heaps of Nottinghamshire to the recreation of Thomas Hardy's fictional Egdon Heath in Dorset, heathland is making a comeback. This book celebrates both the cultural and natural heritage of the heath, and looks at its hopeful future. It features newly commissioned artwork illustrating a range of the birds, plants, mammals and insects native to heathland.