Flagging-up Flowers!

It's the beginning of a pretty packed summer for the Colour in the Margins team visiting around 75 reintroduction sites scattered across England. The species we've sown include Pheasant's-eye, Corn Buttercup, Small-flowered Catchfly, Spreading Hedge-parsley, Red Hemp-nettle, Broad-fruited Cornsalad and Broad-leaved Cudweed. Last year, even with covid, the team did a fantastic job managing to...

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Corn Buttercup Success in Cambridgeshire!!

We were thrilled to find Corn Buttercup growing in all our reintroduction sites during our sunny surveys last week. The first sites were sown at RSPB's Hope Farm in 2019. Hope Farm Interpretation Board Last year further sites were sown at Papley Grove Farm owned by Martin Lines, chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network,...

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Conservation work with the arable farmers of the Kent Downs

Tucked away in the depths of East Kent lies a patch of country that I'm privileged to call my workplace.  You'd think that anywhere sandwiched between London and the channel ports would be a bit of a jungle of roads, railways and development but thankfully the Kent downs have in many parts confounded the unstoppable...

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The Wildlife of Great Chalfield Manor

We started establishing wildlife corridors along the Chalfield and Lenton brooks in the mid-1970s encouraged by David Rice then County Forester for Wiltshire. Most of the 350 acres I farm and the woods that I manage now belong to the National Trust. We enjoy a good mix of habitats: encouraging biodiversity is both a high...

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Fivehead Arable Fields Nature Reserve

I grasped this opportunity to volunteer for many reasons, but in 2020 when we were all wondering where any of our freedoms and constraints were heading, I knew I wanted to be in the outdoors and this small reserve of 11 ha was on one of my daily walks. Somerset Wildlife Trust had sufficient trust...

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Discovering Corn Buttercup on a Somerset Farm

On a beautiful, sunny afternoon in June 2019 we attended a Colour in the Margins Arable Plant meeting and farm walk in Somerset. Before heading off around the fields we were asked if anyone had experience of managing AB11 plots. It's not just the BBC's 'Line of Duty' who have their acronyms! AB11 is a...

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Today’s the day I dreamt about for 20 years!

At times I wondered if it would ever happen, and yet here we are. The Dearne Valley Wetlands have been notified as a SSSI (Site of special scientific Interest) by Natural England. An incredible "rubber stamp" from Government and recognition of the nationally important wildlife spaces our local community has created and restored over the past few...

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Surveying for Deadwood-loving Invertebrates

Last September we happened to chance upon Graeme Lyons at the Knepp Castle Estate with a film crew (as you do), while he was carrying out a saproxylic invertebrate survey on behalf of the Ancients of the Future project. Saproxylic invertebrates are dependent on dead or decaying wood for part of their lifecycle (or dependent...

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Arable Seed Swap

Having always been a very amateur botanist, over the last few years I've taken a more active interest in arable plant communities in particular. This is in part due to living in an arable-dominated landscape on the mid-Hampshire chalk and the 2020 lockdown meant that local habitats were visited often. I'm in the midst of...

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Art of Saving Species – Guest Curator – Jack Wallington

JACK WALLINGTON I am a landscape designer focused on contemporary gardens that are good for wildlife and us. Working with businesses and private homes, I have designed over 60 gardens since switching careers a few years ago. The starting point for my work is studying natural habitats, landscapes and wildlife, trying to capture wild magic...

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