Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

Colour in the Margins

Encouraging arable wildlife in our landscapes

Farmland birds have declined by
since 1970
Arable plants are the
declining suite of plants in the UK
of England is farmland

What is the habitat for the Colour in the Margins project?

The colourful hues of cornfield flowers were once a familiar part of our arable landscape. Sadly they are also the fastest declining suite of plants in the UK. Fascinating, sometimes rare, and often overlooked - they are frequently threatened by the arable farming on which they depend. This has a knock-on effect for other wildlife, including ground beetles, bats and birds.

Why is this habitat at risk?

Arable habitats have been affected by modern farming practices such as the increased use of herbicides and fertilisers, changes from spring to autumn growing, and increased competition from modern crop varieties. These have reduced the chances that cornfield flowers have to spread and grow.

How we’ll colour-in the margins

This Back from the Brink project, led by Plantlife, will focus on 13 species; 10 plants, and three ground beetles. Conservation work for these will have benefits for many other threatened species, particularly 14 birds, two bryophytes, eight mammals, three insects and eight other arable plants. We will develop ways to reintroduce and manage for these species, and will bring them back to suitable sites. We will work with farmers and landowners to encourage them to take up these techniques.

We aim to capture community recollections of animals and plants of the arable landscape, arrange farm visits, and provide training workshops, advice and guidance for farmers. We will introduce people to the habitats by a programme of activities and volunteering.

What we’re aiming for

By the end of the project, we aim to have successfully reintroduced arable species at key sites and improved the way people manage arable habitats. We will have reconnected people with the farmed environment, encouraging them to appreciate the importance of arable wildlife, both for its cultural value, and also for its part in a larger ecosystem.

How to get involved

Can you help us by getting involved with surveys, or with management for arable habitats? Find out more at our talks, walks and events.

You can get the latest news, and find out about upcoming events, by following the links below.









Project contact

Wynona Legg

Outreach Officer

07960 152687

Latest news

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Bringing them Back From The Brink

We are working with some of the most endangered species in England. With your help we can do even more to save them.

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