NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 NEWS:
This part of the surveys website is being rebuilt soon to incorporate a new, 2023 onwards, citizen science survey being launched soon.
Text below is out of date, and all links to other surveys will bring you back to this page at present - more soon!
Welcome. This is a website about mistletoe surveys and data collection in the British Isles, where European Mistletoe, Viscum album, has a distinct population centre in the SW Midlands. It also occurs in scattered colonies across much of England and the Welsh borders but is almost completely absent from Scotland, Ireland and the rest of Wales.
Background: Surveys in the 1990s (for details click here) confirmed mistletoe's distribution centre in the south-west midlands of England and provided valuable data on habitats and host tree species and habitats.
Those 1990s studies centred on a possible threat to mistletoe - the ongoing loss of traditional apple orchards, one of its main habitats. This is still of concern, though it only really affects local mistletoe quantity and available harvest (not distribution), and is only an issue in mistletoe's stronghold areas in the SW Midlands. As a species mistletoe is not at risk, and indeed seems to be doing very well and spreading more than it used to. In areas outside the SW Midlands orchards were probably never a main habitat - most mistletoe in those areas is in parkland and gardens and in those it is thriving.
But there is still a lot that is unknown about mistletoe in the UK, not just its relationship with fruit trees and orchards but also the intriguing evidence that its distribution in the wider environment could be changing, possibly due to climate change.
This website gives information on some initiatives to find out more. A new public participation survey is due to begin in late 2023 - more details on that soon.
Scroll down to see links to some current projects, and to find links to more websites about mistletoe.