India’s largest open-air fernery: Ranikhet

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India’s largest open-air fernery: Ranikhet

India’s largest open-air fernery: Ranikhet

Recently, India’s largest open-air fernery has been inaugurated in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, which will go a long way in conserving fern plants.

The fernery is home to a large number of fern species, some of which are endemic to the state, some have medicinal value, while some are threatened species that require care and protection.

The newly built fernery is one of the largest ferneries in India. The fernery has the largest collection of fern species. It is the country’s first open-air fernery in natural surroundings, which is not covered under any poly-house/shed house.

The fernery of Ranikhet is spread over 4 acres of land at an altitude of 1,800 meters. A seasonal hill stream also passes through this fernery, which provides it with sufficient moisture, as the fern needs shade and moisture to grow and spread.

It has been developed by the Research Wing of the Uttarakhand Forest Department under the CAMPA scheme of the Central Government after three years of hard work.

Key Points

  • This fernery is home to about 120 different types of ferns. The fernery consists of a mixture of species from the Western Himalayan region, the Eastern Himalayan region and the Western Ghats.
  • The fernery also has several rare species, including the tree fern, which is a threatened species by the State Biodiversity Board of Uttarakhand.
  • It also has about 30 species of medicinal ferns like Hansraj, which have great importance in Ayurveda as medicine to cure diseases.
  • Apart from this there are edible fern species like ‘Lingura’ (Diplazium esculentum)used as nutritious food popular in Uttarakhand.

Fern

  • Ferns are known as non-flowering pteridophytes. They usually reproduce by producing spores. Similar to flowering plants, it has roots, stems and leaves. Fern is the first plant with a fully developed vascular system.
  • Ferns and fern are the second largest group of allied plants in the Indian flora. It consists of 1,267 species and 130 genera represented by a total of 33 families, of which about 70 species are endemic to India.
  • In addition, ferns are indicators of moisture and clean the ecosystem.
  • These are good nitrogen-fixing agents. They are also used to filter heavy metals from polluted water and are a bio-indicator for the health of an ecosystem.

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and. Planning Authority (CAMPA)

Compensatory Afforestation Management Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) was launched by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in 2004 to accelerate the conservation of natural forests, management of wildlife, infrastructure development in forests and other allied activities.

Source – The Hindu

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