Botanical knowledge to be boosted

A new survey reveals that 70 per cent of people in the UK want to know more about wildflowers. 

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Common bird's foot trefoil, Lotus corniculatus

Common bird's foot trefoil, Lotus corniculatus, is a widespread species of wildflower, sometimes known as 'bacon and eggs' © Trevor Dines / Plantlife

 

The survey was undertaken by YouGov on behalf of Plantlife, and found that 80 per cent of people didn’t know the name of common dog-violet.

Only 11 per cent of 16-24 years old felt they could confidently and correctly name wildflowers.

“It’s exciting to know that people have told us they want to know more about the ‘extraordinary ordinary’ pop of colour in a normal day” said Trevor Dines, Plantlife’s botanical specialist.

The results showed that the ability to name wildflowers varied between the different age groups.

Harebell, Campanula rotundifolia, can be found in a variety of habitats including grasslands, cliffs and sand dunes © Trevor Dines / Plantlife

For 16-24 year olds, less than half could name bluebell and only four per cent could name red clover.

In comparison, for those aged over 55, the results were 83 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.

This month, Plantlife launched its Great British Wildflower Hunt, a large-scale interactive guide to wildflowers.

Plantlife hope the guide will improve people’s understanding and increase Britain’s connectedness to nature, while also making nature more relevant to young people.

Marian Spain, chief executive of Plantlife said, “Lots of us love wildflowers but can feel uncertain around them and want to know more. The Great British Wildflower Hunt is designed to do just that.”

Ox-eye daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare, can be found in traditional hay meadows and field edges. It also thrives on roadside verges and roundabouts © Trevor Dines / Plantlife

Plantlife’s interactive identification tool includes nearly 50 flowers to identify and allows hunters to filter photos by colour, mark off flowers spotted and earn flower points to be shared on social media via #WildflowerHunt.

To find out more about the Great British Wildflower Hunt click here

 

Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine

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