Pale Dog Violet

The scintillating sight of the milky-white petals of Pale Dog-violet (Viola lactea) - so electrified with deep purple veins - has been sadly disappearing from heathlands for decades, to the point that it is now endangered in England.

But thanks to the work of staff and volunteers from the Plantlife-led Back from the Brink conservation team to clear spiky gorse, we’re seeing a wonderful re-emergence: across the heaths Pale Dog-violet is bouncing back from the brink as it emerges from the shade. The conservation success story is remarkable given Pale Dog-violet is a particularly temperamental species that both likes the protection from grazing and trampling provided by gorse yet loathes being completely shaded. What we are seeing is a keen rebalancing to allow Pale Dog-violet to once again necklace the trackways of the heaths.

Pale Dog-violet is just one of 19 scarce and declining species the project are working to save and protect including lesser butterfly orchid, chamomile, yellow centaury, pillwort, and march clubmoss plants. Back from the Brink, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, is an ambitious partnership project to save 20 species from extinction and benefit over 200 more.

To view the published document click here.

Luke Morton



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.