Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

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Colour in the Margins

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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Stone Curlews are back in Wessex!

An update from the Wessex Stone-curlew team as we approach the start of the 2020 fieldwork season.   (c) Nick Tomalin On the 19th February we had our first Stone-curlew report of the year.A single bird has been found by a farmer on Salisbury Plain after arriving back to the UK from its wintering grounds...

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Spreading-hedge Parsley – Reintroductions in Somerset

Spreading-hedge Parsley - Reintroductions in Somerset On Thursday 13th February, a group of 12 volunteers, the Colour in the Margins Field Officer, Alison Mitchell and I met up at a farm in Somerset to reintroduce Spreading-hedge Parsley, one of the priority species for Colour in the Margins. The seeds were collected in the first year...

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Common Communities or Scarce Species?

Common Communities or Scarce Species? Scarlet Pimpernel has always been my favourite flower. Long before I developed a professional interest in scarce and declining arable plants (formerly known as weeds), I just adored the scarlet pop of colour that scrambled across the field edges and gateways where I grew up.  It seemed to be everywhere....

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Volunteer Focus – Devon & Cornwall – Lucy

  Volunteer Focus – Devon and Cornwall – Lucy Lucy is based in Devon and has been a volunteer for Colour in the Margins since July 2018. She’s taken part in one or two surveys with Hannah, the Project Officer for Devon and Cornwall. This is her story… Lucy decided to volunteer with Back from...

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