The heath as we know it today did not develop naturally. Originally a deciduous forest covered the terrain. However, deforestation and sheep pasturing led to the typical open landscapes. On the dry, sandy, and nutrient-poor grounds specialists from flora and fauna found the ideal environment with the living conditions they were adapted to.
Not too much. Please!
In late summer, when the scotch heather is ablaze with purple blossoms, it is easy to forget how difficult survival is here. Only with the help of a root fungi can heather wring out some nutrients from this barren land. Even grazing sheep assist in sustaining the shrub: the sheep nibbling regenerates the twigs so that not much falls to the ground from which humus would emanate. Because too much nutrition is not good for this plant's well-being!