Did you know that if you are out in the field and come across a rare, or interesting arable plant, you can record your finding with an app? The rare arable plant app is available for free to download on iTunes or on Android.

Arable wildflowers represent an important part of our cultural heritage and the connection between these plants and traditional agriculture goes back many centuries. They are a key species in this habitat, providing food for farmland birds and for pollinating insects. However, while such a range of arable plants used to fill the margins of arable land with colour, they have declined substantially due to a change in traditional farming methods, increases in herbicide use and differences in cultivation.

This app aims to help farmers, conservationists, botanists and the keen-eyed walker to help conserve threatened plant species by recording sightings around the UK. The app works without internet and contains detailed descriptions of more than 120 plant species, including illustrations, distribution maps and advice on management.

Photos courtesy of Cath Shellswell & Francis Buner, Plantlife

Why not download this app and see what species you can find when you are out and about? It will help you identify rare species and make a personal contribution to the conservation work that is currently happening with the Colour in the Margins project to bring back some species from the brink of extinction. It will help us discover new sites for arable plants as well as capture data on plant species at existing sites – an excellent opportunity to try your hand at citizen science!

All of the records will be verified by an expert and then will be added to the national database of biological records. Why not give it ago, along with our Mosey in the Margins to see what arable plant species you can identify near you?

You can download the app (Rare Arable Flowers) as follows:

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.ceh.raf&hl=en_GB

Apple Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/rare-arable-flowers/id1107601988

Let me know how you get on or if you download the app.


Zoe Morrall

Colour in the Margins Project Outreach Officer


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.