Back From the Brink

More than 100 species of England’s most threatened wildlife - including wild flowers - could be saved from extinction.

‘Back from the Brink’ is a partnership project that brings together a range of conservation organisations to focus on protecting key threatened wild flowers, butterflies, birds and other species – such as the pasqueflower (pictured below), sand lizard, and Duke of Burgundy butterfly – from extinction.


Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) - one of the wildflowers we hope to save from extinction in the UK. © Katherine Ryan

The programme is being run by Natural England and the Partnership for Species Conservation – a coalition of seven of the UK’s leading wildlife charities including Plantlife (the others are the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).

By working together at sites across the country, ‘Back from the Brink’ will save 20 species from extinction and help another 118 species that are under threat move to a more certain future.

This is our chance to leave a lasting legacy for the next generation, by bringing like-minded bodies together for the first time ever.

Marian Spain, Chief Executive of Plantlife & Chair of the Back From the Brink programme board

The programme will combine three strands of work, including species conservation on the ground in over 30 places across England, working with landowners, communities, and volunteers, and inspiring people to enjoy and appreciate England’s threatened species.

It is a key contributor to achieving the Government’s Biodiversity Strategy 2020 and forms part of Natural England’s Species Recovery Programme, which focuses on boosting populations of rare insects, birds, amphibians, plants, fungi, and mammals.

Plantlife is leading or working with partners in the following Back from the Brink projects:


Colour in the Margins

Led by Plantlife, this is a project that will empower local agricultural communities throughout England to take action for arable habitats.

Find out more

Dorset's Heathland Heart

Led by Plantlife, this project includes an ambitious programme of management work across selected sites, creating the micro-habitats that key heathland species need...

Find out more

Lesser Butterfly Orchid

Led by Plantlife, this project will establish a network of helpers to find out more about where this orchid is growing and more detailed information about its needs. We’ll undertake careful habitat management and trial new techniques...

Find out more

Cornish Path Moss

Led by Plantlife, this project will train local bryophyte (moss and liverwort) experts to identify the moss and continue the search for more of it, and we’ll run activities to tell people about this special plant.

Find out more

Limestone's Living Legacies

As part of a project led by Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife will work with landowners to restore and manage a network of grassland sites in the Cotswolds.

Find out more

Ancients of the Future

As part of a project led by Buglife, to protect England's treescapes, Plantlife will be working with landowners across the country to secure recovery of species reliant on ancient trees.

Find out more

Shifting Sands

As part of a project led by Natural England, Plantlife will be helping to restore and create a mosaic of habitats for the Brecks’ rarest wildlife.

Find out more


Want to know more?

Sign up to our monthly newsletter to hear about the work we're doing, how our campaigns are progressing and the odd bit of wildflower trivia!