Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

Archive:

Colour in the Margins

Arable Archaeology – a wander back in time

As many of us wander through the arable countryside for exercise, dog walking or to appreciate the stunning array of plants that surround us, I wonder how many of us stop to think about what lies beneath our feet and the history of past generations that have walked there before us? To have the opportunity...

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Rare wildlife making the most of the quiet

During lockdown the National Trust has reported that emboldened wildlife, from raptors and warblers to Badgers, Otters and even orcas, appear to be enjoying the disappearance of humans from its gardens, castles and waterways across the UK. Reports from rangers and gardeners include Peregrine Falcons nesting in the ancient ruins of Corfe Castle in Dorset,...

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Farm-led Conservation of Arable Flora

An attractive spray of arable plants. Photo Jess Brooks  There is only so much that an individual land manager, acting in isolation, can achieve on their own. By working together in a group or ‘cluster’, helped by a chosen advisor, farmers can work more cohesively together in their locality. This enables them to collectively deliver...

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Lovell Life on the Farm

Our family run farm in Wiltshire has been my home for all my 14 years of life. For as long as I can remember, I have loved anything and everything to do with nature. Four generations of Lovell’s have farmed here, and although the farm is only small, 120 acres, it has an amazing amount...

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The Arable Garden

Alongside cooking, crafts and creativity, one of the emerging themes of the coronavirus lockdown has been gardening and growing – at least for those lucky enough to have a garden or an allotment. It is also one of the themes of the Colour in the Margins project, because we want gardeners and allotment-holders to be...

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The captivating Adonis

Pheasant’s-eye is blooming again at Ranscombe Farm, after … how many decades? Five? Ten, More? It was certainly here once – the 1899 Flora of Kent notes that it was found in the chalk hills around the village of Cuxton, which must surely have included the arable slopes of Ranscombe. Pheasant’s-eye was once so common in...

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Lockdown diaries

It’s blazing hot, my legs are starting to cramp and sharp limestone is digging into my knees, but I can’t move too often for fear of starting a landslide. Perched half-way up a scree slope peering intently into the calyx of a flower only a couple of inches tall to see how ripe the seeds...

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Red Hemp-nettle on Cleeve Common and Beyond

It’s blazing hot, my legs are starting to cramp and sharp limestone is digging into my knees, but I can’t move too often for fear of starting a landslide. Perched half-way up a scree slope peering intently into the calyx of a flower only a couple of inches tall to see how ripe the seeds...

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Corn Buttercup Established at Hope Farm

Georgie Bray the Farm Manager at Hope Farm, the RSPB’s flagship arable farm in Cambridgeshire, tells us about the progress of the reintroduction of Corn Buttercup there Corn Buttercup, like Cornflower, Corncockle, and other flowering arable plants, were once an abundant sight in farmers’ fields. My grandparents remember these species being as common as Wild...

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Martin’s Ramping Fumitory!

Martin’s Ramping Fumitory A couple of months back during a historical record search, one of my colleagues came across a record for a species called Martin’s Ramping Fumitory about 5 minutes away from my house. After speaking to the allotment where the record had been submitted in 2010, they invited me to come and have...

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