British Wildlife 22.3 February 2011

The Scarborough Snail and what it has to tell us about ancient semi-natural woodland

Picture a day some time in the 1820s. A middle-aged gentleman naturalist is rambling through an ancient woodland near Scarborough, in north-east Yorkshire. He is searching through leaf litter and herbage for land snails. This turned out to be a notable day, because he chanced upon something new: a dimunitive snail with a shell little bigger than a pinhead and the shape of an old-fashioned beehive. 

Letter from the far West Coast The south-west Dartmoor downs
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