APPEAL LAUNCHED TO SAVE GLOUCESTERSHIRE’S WILDFLOWERS

Thursday 28th January 2016

In the depths of winter, summer can feel so far away. But as a new year starts it is reassuring to know that summer will return and bring with it bees, butterflies, birdsong and the fantastic array of wildflowers which bring our grasslands to life.

Our wildflower meadows and grasslands are part of what makes Gloucestershire’s countryside so special, but sadly many of our once common wild flowers have declined so dramatically that local charity, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is launching an ambitious appeal to save them. 

lost over 80% of its flower-rich grassland in the last 30 years which is equivalent to more than 250 football pitches!

“Gloucestershire has lost over 80% of its flower-rich grassland in the last 30 years which is equivalent to more than 250 football pitches!” said Adam Taylor, Head of Land Management at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT). “So we need your support to help secure the future of our beautiful wildflowers in Gloucestershire.”

According to the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland almost 1 in 5 of England’s native plant species are under threat. Wildflowers which are often thought of as common or widespread across England such as ragged Robin, green-winged orchid and common rock-rose are now worryingly close to being listed as threatened!

In Gloucestershire our nature reserves help safeguard many of the plants listed as being in serious decline; plants such as the beautiful meadow clary are protected at GWT’s Stuart Fawkes nature reserve, one of only 21 sites across the UK where this plant is found.

This week GWT has contacted its friends and supporters to appeal for help to raise £15,000 to carry out the vital habitat improvement work needed for Gloucestershire to bloom again with its native flowers and plants.

The appeal will fund vital conservation work to target the county’s most vulnerable sites, for example just £20 could fund the re-seeding of 500 square metres of wildflower grassland and £100 pay for the equipment we need for seed harvesting and propagation.

Long-term supporter of GWT, Grundon on hearing about the wildflower appeal has pledged to donate to get it kick-started.

“Grundon is again delighted to start an appeal for the Wildlife Trust. We hope that this will encourage others to donate and get to the target as soon as we can,” said Andrew Short, Estates Director, Grundon.

“Gloucestershire is a fantastic county and we all need to help keep its reputation as one of the best places to live and work. One way we can all help is to protect and preserve the diversity of its ecology.”

GWT is asking you to give what you can to support Gloucestershire’s wildflowers and prevent them from becoming just a childhood memory, www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/wildflowers