Heather by Elizabeth Dack 1/1

Ling Calluna vulgaris

Ling, which is also often known as common heather, is a widespread species in the UK and in Norfolk. It is the dominant plant in most UK moorland and heathland and this situation prevails in Norfolk. It is a low-growing, bristly shrub with small, hard leaves. In late summer it produces many small pale pink flowers which are very attractive to bees.

Conservation status

Though essentially restricted to heathland, ling is common in Norfolk and is of no conservation concern.

Details

Did you know? Ling was traditionally used in the making of besoms. Its scientific name Calluna, derived from the ancient Greek verb meaning to sweep clean, is a reference to this historic use.

Heather heaths are managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust by grazing tough, traditional breeds of sheep. As this has been one of the uses of heaths for centuries, grazing helps preserve the heathland habitat, favouring the rare, sun-loving, habitat-specific species which live in it.
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