Saving England's most threatened species from extinction


Colour in the Margins

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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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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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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