BRITAIN'S wildflowers are at risk, with no fewer tha 345 species at risk of extinction, according to a report published today by the Government's Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
The committee says that one of five of out native flowers, many of them once spread throughout the country, have been placed on the Red List - which means that they are in danger of extinction.
The include the prickly poppy, which once gave a blood-red hue to corn fields, where it was considered a weed and killed off by chemical sprays, and the holly fern, once abundant in lime-rich areas like the Yorkshire Dales. It's decline, says the committee, was probably caused by "large-scale" collecting by domestic gardeners.
However, it is hoped that more environmentally friendly farming being encouraged under reforms to the EU's notorious Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will save many of the threatened species before it is too late.
For the full Red List, see www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3354