Intensive farming threatens wildflowers

A guide to more than 100 of Britain’s arable plants says flowers that were once common are now rare sights because of increasingly intensive farming methods. Those species most at risk in Scotland include shepherd’s needle Scandix pecten-veneris, which is fast disappearing in East Lothian, pink dianthus, geranium and yellow globe flower Trollius europaeus. Other species, such as corncockle Agrostemma githago, are already considered to be extinct in Britain. Also threatened are common poppies, corn marigold and cornflower. Wildflower experts said farmers were using increasing amounts of pesticides and other chemicals, cutting back hedges and filling in boggy areas where plants thrived. This has also had a knock-on effect on bees, butterflies and birds further up the food chain.

Source: The Scotsman, 30 April 2011, Published Date: 08 July 2003