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Pasqueflower, which is threatened and declining, has been lost from many of the places where it used to grow. This rare wildflower, which is considered ‘vulnerable’ in Britain, can now only be found at 19 sites across England – after it was lost from 108 sites.  

Similarly, Juniper – which has been lost from nearly 50% of its historic range – is facing extinction from southern Britain. Over the past 60 years, this iconic shrub has struggled to regenerate and whole colonies are dying out. If this trend continues, more than 100 special invertebrates and fungi that depend upon it will disappear too.  

What is the Species Recovery Project?

Funded by Natural England’s Species Recovery Capital Grant Scheme, we will be running a variety of species recovery projects – including for Pasqueflower and Juniper. 

We have received a share of a £14.5m award to recover some of England’s most endangered species.  

Both Pasqueflower and Juniper urgently need the help this project will provide.  

Juniper berries.

Why are we jittery about Juniper?

Plantlife has been working to reinstate lost Juniper landscapes over recent years. Since 2009, we have been trialling techniques to reinstate the shrub and 10 out of 14 sites now boast healthy populations of young bushes.   

Without vital work such as this, Juniper is likely to become extinct in lowland England within the next 50 years – which in turn could impact other species such as Goldcrest, Fieldfare and Song Thrush and Chalkhill blue and Silver-spotted skipper butterflies. 

The project, funded by Natural England, will help Plantlife to save lowland Juniper at Lime Kiln Bank at Stockton Down in Wiltshire.  

The process will involve habitat enhancement and we will collect, treat and sow locally sourced Juniper seeds. A provision of fencing and water supply infrastructure will also be implemented to facilitate the long-term management of the five-hectare site, which will gradually be restored back to chalk grassland with scattered Juniper.   


Why are we panicking about Pasqueflower?

Pasqueflower becomes more threatened every year and without intervention it may be lost in southern England within decades.  

The remaining populations face serious threats from a lack of grazing and scrub encroachment, with more than 99% of Pasqueflowers now restricted to just a few chalk and limestone grasslands and only at a handful of nature reserves. 

The project will restore Pasqueflower populations at 10 sites across the Chilterns, Cotswolds, Berkshire Downs and Yorkshire using techniques which have been trialled, tested and proven successful. 

Restoring these wildflower’s habitats and creating new ones will also result in many other species being saved. 

It will increase the ecological value of the land and be delivered by a team of specialist staff and landowners. 

We are also working to protect temperate rainforests in another branch of the Species recovery Project.