Plantlife is a wild plant conservation charity. As of 2017, it owned 23 nature reserves around the United Kingdom.

Plantlife logo
MottoSpeaking up for the nation's wild plants
Legal statusNon-profit company
PurposeThe conservation of wild flowers, fungi and other plants primarily in the UK, but also abroad
  • 14 Rollestone Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 1DX, UK
Region served
39 employees (2010)
10,500 members (2008)
Chief Executive
Marian Spain
Main organ
Board of Trustees (The Prince of Wales, Patron


It was founded in 1989. Its first president was Professor David Bellamy.

Its patron is the Prince of Wales, its president is Philip Mould OBE and its chairman is Professor David Hill CBE. English gardener and television presenter Rachel De Thame is their vice-president. The chief executive is Marian Spain, who took over from Victoria Chester in 2014.


Plantlife's principal activities in Britain include the management of 4,500 acres (18 km2) of rare and important plant habitats as nature reserves, lobbying and campaigning in support of wild plant conservation, and organising surveys aimed at generating public interest in wild plants. Plantlife helps run an annual National Plant Monitoring Survey, and a rare species conservation programme, "Back from the Brink". It was a lead partner of the Prince of Wales' Coronation Meadows project.[1]

Although much of Plantlife's work is centred on plants, it is also involved in the conservation of fungi. Its work in this area includes surveying waxcap grasslands and publishing a strategy for conserving fungi in the UK.[2]

The group also has an international programme which includes projects on medicinal plant conservation and sustainable use in the Himalayas and East Africa.

Plantlife Nature Reserves

Ranscombe Farm Reserve in June 2007

Plantlife own the following nature reserves:

  • Long Herdon and Grange Meadows, Buckinghamshire
  • Munsary Peatlands, Caithness
  • Cae Blaen-dyffryn, Carmarthenshire
  • Greena Moor, Cornwall
  • Augill Pasture, Cumbria
  • Deep Dale, Derbyshire
  • Ryewater Farm, Dorset
  • Caeau Tan y Bwlch, Gwynedd
  • Davies Meadows, Herefordshire
  • Joan's Hill Farm, Herefordshire
  • The Lugg Meadows, Herefordshire
  • Moaney and Crawyn's Meadows, Isle of Man
  • Queendown Warren, Kent
  • Ranscombe Farm, Kent
  • Thompson Meadow, North Yorkshire
  • Winskill Stones, North Yorkshire
  • Seaton Meadows, Rutland
  • Skylark Meadows, Somerset
  • Side Farm Meadows, Staffordshire
  • Winks Meadow, Suffolk
  • Furnace Meadow and Brick Kiln Rough, West Sussex
  • Stockwood Meadows, Worcestershire
  • Upton Ham, Worcestershire

County Flowers competition

In 2002 Plantlife ran a competition to select county flowers for all counties of the UK. The general public was invited to vote for the bloom they felt most represented their county. The list was declared in 2004.

Although sometimes contested, all have, to date, stuck. The one exception was the county flower of Norfolk: originally Alexanders won the vote. However, a campaign led by the Eastern Daily Press was successful in requesting a change to the poppy, which was felt to be more representative.

The Back from the Brink programme

Plantlife's "Back from the Brink" programme was initiated in 1991. Its intention was to focus conservation efforts on some of the rarest plant species in Britain. It initially concentrated on vascular plants but was extended to cover lower plants and fungi. As of 2006, 101 species are covered by the programme. The programme included survey work to establish information about populations of these species, monitoring of populations to identify change over time and the factors relating to this, research into ecological requirements of the species, and site management work aimed at maintaining or restoring habitat conditions suitable for these species. Since 2008 the programme has gradually expanded to include a much larger list of species, this is in response to the publication of both the UK Red List and UK Biodiversity Action Plan. To effectively deliver conservation of an ever expanding list of rare species the work will be directed at habitats, where it is hoped that suites of species will respond.

Important Plant Areas

In 2007, Plantlife announced the establishment of 150 Important Plant Areas (or IPAs) across the UK. These areas were nominated for their internationally important wild plant populations. Since then they have been actively raising awareness of these ecologically important habitats and encouraging their long-term protection and improvement through the adoption of an 'ecosystem-based' conservation approach.

The IPA programme is endorsed by national conservation organisations including the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts, and also by UK government bodies including Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Countryside Council for Wales.

Plantlife's international team has had some success in spreading the concept abroad.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Coronation Meadows project". Plantlife website. 2015.
  2. ^ "Saving the Forgotten Kingdom: A Strategy for the Conservation of the UK's Fungi". Plantlife website. 2009.
  3. ^ "Important Plant Areas Around the World". Plantlife website. May 2010. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011.

External links

All Dressed in Love

"All Dressed in Love" is a song written by Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo, Matt Kahane (known as MC Jack Splash from the group Plantlife) and Salaam Remi and recorded by Jennifer Hudson for Sex and the City: The Movie. Despite not being released as a single, the song debuted at number 72 on the UK Singles Chart on the strength of paid downloads alone.The songs appears in the film's closing moments as the characters celebrate Samantha's 50th birthday.

Arabis glabra

Arabis glabra, commonly known as tower rockcress or tower mustard, is a tall, slim, grey-green plant with small creamy flowers at the top of the stem. It usually grows on poor chalky or sandy soils, in open situations. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and it is widespread in North America where it is also probably native. It can be found in many other parts of the world as an introduced species.

It is classified as an endangered species in the UK and is considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. It is listed as a Priority Species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Only 35 sites are recorded by Plantlife mostly in Norfolk, (where 100 plants were found at a new site in 1999) but includes 6 sites near Kidderminster in Worcestershire.

Barle Valley

Barle Valley is a 1,540 acres (620 ha) Site of Special Scientific Interest within Exmoor National Park, situated in the counties of Devon and Somerset through which the River Barle flows. It was notified in its current form under the Wildlife and Countryside Act in 1988. The site includes the Somerset Wildlife Trust's Mounsey Wood Nature Reserve and the Knaplock and North Barton SSSI which has been notified since 1954.

County flowers of the United Kingdom

In 2002 Plantlife ran a "County Flowers" campaign to assign flowers to each of the counties of the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. The results of this campaign designated a single plant species to a "county or metropolitan area" in the UK and Isle of Man.. Some English counties already had flowers traditionally associated with them before 2002, and which were different to those assigned to them by Plantlife, including the white rose for Yorkshire (assigned the harebell), the poppy for Norfolk (assigned the alexanders), and the cowslip for Essex (assigned the poppy).

Dajti National Park

Dajti National Park (Albanian: Parku Kombëtar i Malit te Dajtit) is a national park established in 1966 in central Albania, spanning an area of 293.84 km2 (113.45 sq mi) since 2006. The park is 40 km (25 mi) west of the Adriatic Sea and 26 km (16 mi) east of Tirana. It is adjacent to Shtamë Pass National Park to the northwest, Kraste-Verjon Protected Landscape to the west, and Mali me Gropa-Bizë-Martanesh Protected Landscape to the east. The park is marked by an extremely fragmented, rugged topography which creates favourable conditions for a great diversity of ecosystems and biodiversity.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the park as Category II. The park has been recognised as an Important Plant Area of international importance by Plantlife. Lately, deforestation has become a major problem on the mountain. In the summer of 2012, an intentional fire burned down 10 ha of forests at the Priska summit and was extinguished only with the help of helicopters.

Important Plant Areas

Important Plant Areas (IPA) is a programme set up in the UK, by the organisation Plantlife, to provide a framework for identifying and maintaining the richest sites for plant life, possibly within existing protected areas; though the protection of the IPA itself is not legally enforced. The term plant life in this case refers to any number of species, encompassing algae, fungi, lichens, liverworts, mosses, and wild vascular plants. IPAs are selected with the intention of focusing on the conservation of the important wild plant populations in these areas, and act as a subset in the broader context of Key Biodiversity Areas. Designating an IPA is intended to gain awareness and encourage long-term conservation through an 'ecosystem-based' approach.The identification of IPAs is based on three criteria:A. Presence of threatened plant species: the site holds significant populations of one or more species that are of global or regional conservation concern

B. Presence of botanical richness: the site has an exceptionally rich flora in a regional context in relation to its biogeographic zone

C. Presence of threatened habitats: the site is an outstanding example of a habitat or vegetation type of global or regional plant conservation and botanical importance

IPAs are integral to the initiatives of government agencies and NGOs in furthering the development of conservation goals on a national and international level. Plantlife's international team has had some success in spreading the concept abroad.


Koritnik (Albanian: Maja e Koritnikut) is a wooded, limestone mountain, located in northeastern Albania and southwest Kosovo between the cities of Kukës and Prizren. The mountain is entirely surrounded by branches of the White Drin river. The highest point of Koritnik massif, Maja e Pikëllimës reaches an elevation of 2,393 metres (7,851 ft) above the Adriatic. Gryka e Vanavës (English: Vanave Gorge) separates the mountain from Gjallica. The gorge is 3.5 km (2.2 mi) long, 30 m (100 ft) wide, and about 300 m (980 ft) deep.The massif falls within the Balkan mixed forests terrestrial ecoregion of the Palearctic Temperate broadleaf and mixed forest. The slopes of the mountain meadows are mostly covered with coniferous forests. The Koritnik mountain because of its high pastures contains a population of 60 chamois.

Koritnik falls within the Korab-Koritnik Nature Park, forming the European Green Belt. It has been recognised as a Important Plant Areas of international importance by Plantlife.

List of flora of Arkansas

Geobotanically, Arkansas belongs to the North American Atlantic Region.

Mabel Bush

Mabel Bush is a small community in the Southland region of New Zealand's South Island. The community has an estimated population of 127 people. The main building in the area is the Mabel Bush Hall, which consists of the hall and tennis courts. The Hall is mainly used for parties and community events.

Neotinea ustulata

Neotinea ustulata (known as burnt orchid or burnt-tip orchid) is a European terrestrial orchid native to mountains in central and southern Europe, growing at up to 2,400 m (7,900 ft) elevation. The plant is considered Endangered in Great Britain and Least Concern internationally based on IUCN Red List criteria. The burnt-tip orchid was voted the county flower of Wiltshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild flora conservation charity Plantlife.

Queendown Warren

Queendown Warren is a 22.2-hectare (55-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest south-east of Rainham in Kent. It is a Local Nature Reserve, a Nature Conservation Review site, Grade 2, and a Special Area of Conservation.. It is in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust, and part of it is owned by Plantlife.


Rtanj (Serbian: Ртањ, pronounced [r̩̂ːtaɲ]) is a mountain situated in eastern Serbia, approximately 200 km southeast of Belgrade, between towns of Boljevac on north and Sokobanja on south. It belongs to the Serbian Carpathians. Its highest peak is Šiljak (pronounced [ʃǐːʎak]) (1,565 m), a natural phenomenon of karst terrain.

The north side of the mountain is covered with forests and shrubs, full of autochthonous plant species and plenty of sources of potable water. A hunting ground covers 6368 ha. The most common prey are roe deer and wild boar.

Scilla verna

Scilla verna, commonly known as spring squill, is a flowering plant native to Western Europe. It belongs to the squill genus Scilla. Its star-like blue flowers are produced during the spring.

It is a small plant, usually reaching 5-15 centimetres in height. It is perennial and grows from a bulb which is 10-15 millimetres across and ovoid in shape. Two to seven leaves grow from the base of the plant; they are long and narrow, measuring 3–20 cm by 2–5 mm. The flowers grow in a dense cluster of two to twelve at the top of the upright stem. They are scentless and have six violet-blue tepals, 5–8 mm long. Each flower has a 5–15 mm long, bluish bract at the base. The seeds are ovoid and black. The diploid number of chromosomes is 20 or 22.

The plant occurs from Portugal north through Spain, France, Great Britain (particularly the west coast) and Ireland (mainly along the east coast), reaching as far as the Faroe Islands and Norway. It is found in short dry grassy areas, usually near the sea. It is one of the key components of the H7 plant community in the British National Vegetation Classification system. It was chosen as the county flower for County Down in Northern Ireland after a public vote organised by the charity Plantlife in 2002.

Seaton Meadows

Seaton Meadows is an 11.4 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest east of Seaton in Rutland. It is owned and managed by Plantlife.This site is traditionally managed as hay pasture, and it is an example of unimproved alluvial flood meadows, a rare habitat due to agricultural developments. The grasses are diverse, including meadow foxtail, red fescue, sweet vernal grass and Yorkshire fog.There is access from the B672 road.

St Austell Clay Pits

St Austell Clay Pits, (Cornwall, England, UK,) are a group of locations within active china clay quarries that form a single Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation, noted for its biological characteristics. In particular, the site is known for the rare western rustwort, a plant that grows only at two other sites in the UK.

Stepin Lug

Stepin Lug (Serbian: Степин Луг) or Gaj (Serbian: Гај) is a park-forest and, for the most part, non-residential suburban settlement of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in Belgrade's municipalities of Voždovac (southern part) and Zvezdara (northern part). It is part of the forest complex Stepin Lug-Baba Velka-Torlak-Jajinci, which is the largest wooden area in Belgrade.

Viola riviniana

Viola riviniana, the common dog-violet, is a species of the genus Viola native to Eurasia and Africa. It is also called wood violet and dog violet. It is a perennial herb of woodland edges, grassland and shady hedge banks. It is found in all soils except acid or very wet.

It is a perennial, flowering from April to June.Viola riviniana was voted the county flower of Lincolnshire in 2002, following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.


A wildflower (or wild flower) is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted. Yet "wildflower" meadows of a few mixed species are sold in seed packets. The term implies that the plant probably is neither a hybrid nor a selected cultivar that is in any way different from the way it appears in the wild as a native plant, even if it is growing where it would not naturally. The term can refer to the flowering plant as a whole, even when not in bloom, and not just the flower."Wildflower" is not an exact term. Terms like native species (naturally occurring in the area, see flora), exotic or, better, introduced species (not naturally occurring in the area), of which some are labelled invasive species (that out-compete other plants – whether native or not), imported (introduced to an area whether deliberately or accidentally) and naturalized (introduced to an area, but now considered by the public as native) are much more accurate.

In the United Kingdom, the organisation Plantlife International instituted the "County Flowers scheme" in 2002, for which members of the public nominated and voted for a wild flower emblem for their county. The aim was to spread awareness of the heritage of native species and about the need for conservation, as some of these species are endangered. For example, Somerset has adopted the Cheddar Pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus), London the Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) and Denbighshire/Sir Ddinbych in Wales the rare Limestone Woundwort (Stachys alpina).

Zabargad Island

Zabargad Island (Egyptian Arabic: جزيرة الزبرجد‎ Geziret El Zabargad, also known as St. John's Island in English) is the largest of a group of islands in Foul Bay, Egypt. It covers an area of 4.50 square kilometres (1.74 square miles). It is not a quaternary volcanic island, but rather is believed to be an upthrusted part of upper mantle material. The nearest island is known as "Rocky Island". The island is slightly north of the Tropic of Cancer, and its highest point is 235 metres (771 feet).

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