Shocking results of new plant audit

April 20, 2010 0 comments

A new audit into the UK‘s endangered species has found that the number of plants and animals disappearing from Britain is higher than previously thought.

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts may be shocked to hear that at least two species of plant or animal are lost forever each year, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reported.

According to the Natural England survey, a large proportion of the 500 missing species have disappeared over the past two centuries.

Extinct varieties include the native orchid summer lady‘s tresses, which was also known as Spiranthes aestivalis, and the creeping spearwort, or Ranunculus reptans.

The Weissia mittenii, or Mitten‘s beardless moss, disappeared from its natural habitat in Sussex and Surrey in the 1920s and was one of the earliest casualties of agricultural encroachment.

Worryingly for the UK‘s gardeners, hundreds of other species remain under threat.

However, Natural England chief scientist Tom Tew explained that species loss is preventable – a fact outlined by the success of the Biodiversity Action Plan created in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, the RHS revealed that UK gardeners are being asked to report on the presence of invasive non-native plants.

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