I’m not going to lie, before I applied for the job as Outreach Officer for Colour in the Margins, I’d never really considered arable fields as a habitat for plants and the species that depend on them. I’ve always been interested in conservation and looking after the environment we are fortunate to have in the UK, such as meadows, estuaries, the ocean and woods as well as habitats further afield (excuse the pun), like the jungle but never a farmer’s field.

I guess it has always been part of my life – I grew up next to a dairy farm, getting woken up by cows and saying hello to them every morning on my way to school – but we used the fields at the back of my house to get to other places to walk the dog, not somewhere I’d stop and think about what plants and species could live there. It was always just a path to the another place, somewhere we walked through at pace to get to the destination.

After four years of studying Environmental Science and Ocean Science, my interests in the Environment and Conservation just grew and grew but with the mounting work load of dissertations and coursework, I turned to spending more time in the environment I had studied through long walks and long distance trail running. Again, I saw this space and time as an escape from the coursework, or more recently a break from the demands of working full time and juggling being an adult. I’d stop, take photos of the view, enjoy the open spaces and the peacefulness of it, but I didn’t put two and two together and click that the fields and arable landscapes I was running through were a pretty awesome habitat for a wide range of species.

This is still a love of mine and come this summer, I am spending a few long weekends on long distance running routes through the beautiful countryside and thanks to this job, even though I’ve only been in post about 6 weeks, when I take my breaks for a snack and some water, rather than just admiring the view, I’ll take that little bit more time to look at the margins and see what colour I can find there.  And maybe this time, I’ll be able to ID a few more species than before!

Zoe Morrall

Outreach Officer - Colour in the Margins


Would you like to help these incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Why not volunteer for Back from the Brink? Check out our events page for opportunities near you.
  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping over the next 3 years, by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.

1 thought on “My Relationship With the Arable Landscape

  1. Id be very interested in helping to put more arable magins aside for wild plants through our facilitation groups covering glocestershire. If your interested please get in touch

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