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This autumn, help us find the Britain’s most colourful and important fungi – waxcaps.
Plantlife’s Big Give Christmas Challenge 28 Nov- 5 Dec, make a positive impact in protecting remarkable lichens.
Go the extra mile and run wild for Plantlife
Become a Plantlife member today and together we will rebuild a world rich in plants and fungi
Different types of grasslands, such as meadows and parks, can be full of wildflowers and fungi, benefitting people, nature and climate.
Discover the wealth of benefits provided by these biodiverse habitats and why we need to take action to make the most of our grasslands.
Healthy grasslands, rich in wild plants and fungi, can provide so many ecosystem services and benefits. With the right management, they can support wildlife, store more carbon, produce nutritious food, provide clean air and water, plus so much more.
Yet, we’ve lost almost all of our most biodiverse grasslands. We need governments in England, Scotland, and Wales to take action to manage, restore, and create grasslands that are rich in wild plants and fungi – making the most of our grasslands for people, nature, and climate.
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Extreme weather resilience
Diverse plant species help to cope with droughts, with deep roots accessing nutrients and water
Natural beauty and cultural heritage
Filled with colour and life, grasslands enrich our landscape and culture, inspiring art & crafts
Cleaner air and water
Reducing fertiliser and pesticide use benefits our health and the natural environment
Health & wellbeing
Access to green spaces improves peoples’ mental & physical health
Diverse plants, fungi & microorganisms support healthy soils & their ecosystems, reducing soil erosion
Climate change mitigation
Carbon is safely stored in the undisturbed soils of permanent grasslands
Natural flood defence
Absorbent soils of floodplain meadows and other grasslands slow the flow of floodwaters
Better, joined-up habitats
Providing food, shelter and connected corridors for wildlife across the landscape 
More wildflowers help pollinators thrive 
Animal health & nutritious food
Livestock grazing on diverse plant species are healthier & produce more nutritious food
In heatwaves, wild plants & fungi retain moisture, absorb heat & provide shade for wildlife
 Grassland Resistance and Resilience after Drought Depends on Management Intensity and Species Richness | PLOS ONE
 Grassland ecosystem services: a systematic review of research advances and future directions | SpringerLink
 Improving access to greenspace: 2020 review (publishing.service.gov.uk)
 Frontiers | Managing Grazing to Restore Soil Health, Ecosystem Function, and Ecosystem Services (frontiersin.org)
 Briefing Document_Grasslands
 The natural capital of floodplains: management, protection and restoration to deliver greater benefits – Open Research Online
 Lowland Grassland Management Handbook (Second edition) – GRASSLAND (naturalengland.org.uk)
 Historical nectar assessment reveals the fall and rise of floral resources in Britain | Nature
 Microsoft Word – Is the rye-grass always greener FINAL (magnificentmeadows.org.uk)
 the-human-health-benefits.pdf (pastureforlife.org)
 Urban green space cooling effect in cities – ScienceDirect
Drive positive change for your local wildlife and local communities with Plantlife's LNRS Local Nature Recovery Strategy guidance.
It’s waxcap season in the Upper Ystwyth and Plantlife’s Sheena Duller explains why fungi and farming can go so well together.
Since the 1930s, 97% of wildflower meadows across England and Wales have disappeared – and we're creating positive change.
Calling governments around the world to recognise the importance of plants and fungi biodiversity for the planet.
In December 2022 countries, organisations, and people from around the world gathered in Montreal to see a new global agreement to protect and restore biodiversity adopted at CoP 15.
Plantlife along with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew were there to ensure that plants and fungi were not forgotten. From our joint exhibition stand we spoke passionately to governments, NGOs, research organisations members of Youth Groups and Indigenous communities about the value of wild plants and fungi, and the need to maintain and preserve their extraordinary diversity worldwide.
On the 9 December 2022, we held a side event on Important Plant Areas-a tool for implementing the Global Biodiversity Framework (which you can watch here: Important Plant Areas- a tool for Implementing the Global Biodiversity Framework (CoP15 side event) – YouTube). Important Plant Areas are an invaluable tool for helping to tackle the ecological, climate and societal crises we are currently facing.
We know that life on earth depends on its extraordinary diversity of plants and fungi, yet two in every five wild plants are threatened with extinction.
Plantlife has been working with partners over the past twenty years to make sure that plant conservation is given priority within global biodiversity agreements. In 2002, this led to the United Nations CBD adopting a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), which was updated 10 years later. We helped establish the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation and coordinated the Important Plant Areas programme – an important tool for achieving Target 5 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation – to protect and manage at least 75 per cent of the most important areas for plant diversity of each ecological region.
The impact of the GSPC and the ongoing importance of specific plant conservation actions was recognised when in Decision 15/5 the Monitoring Framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework the CBD Secretariat:
“Invites the Global Partnership on Plant Conservation, with the support of the Secretariat and subject to the availability of resources, to prepare a set of complementary actions related to plant conservation to support the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and other relevant decisions adopted at the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, aligned with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and also based on previous experiences with the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation as described in the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook1 and the 2020 Plant Conservation Report,2 for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice.”
Plantlife is now working closely with members of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation to establish this set of complementary actions.
Downland and read our Cop15 Briefing Document
IPAs are key sites for exceptional botanical richness; rare, threatened and socio-economically valuable plant species; and rare and threatened habitats. Plantlife developed the first IPA criteria in 2001.
The nature and climate crises are inseparable challenges: healthy species and habitats provide essential solutions to climate change, absorbing carbon and increasing resilience. Yet many carbon-focused initiatives are blind to the importance of plant and fungi diversity or can even do more harm than good, causing damage and destruction to our most precious wildlife.
Nature-based solutions to climate change rightly focus on trees, wetlands and peatlands, but often overlook the importance of the world’s permanent grasslands. From the smallest British wildflower meadow to the great steppes, savanna and prairies, these grasslands are home to thousands of species, many of which are threatened and endangered.
Grassland ecosystems are often undervalued in climate mitigation strategies. Yet they store between 25-35% of the world’s land based – or terrestrial – carbon, 90% of it underground. While grasslands, savannahs and rangelands store less carbon per area than forests, their underground stocks are considered safer in areas of high fire or future logging risks. Grasslands with high biodiversity can sequester even more carbon and be more resilient to the effects of climate change.
In a briefing and case studies published jointly with WWF, we demonstrate how grassland protection and restoration can support a sustainable and equitable food system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester and store carbon, provide resilience to extreme weather events, support food security and rural livelihoods, improve health and wellbeing, and boost biodiversity.
For Plantlife and its partners, this highlights the fact that wild plants and fungi are at the heart of tackling the biodiversity and climate change crises together. To promote the wider recognition of this internationally, Plantlife has worked across the world to build a growing global network of Important Plant Areas (IPAs), which contain some of the best wild plant and fungi species and habitats. You can explore the world of IPAs through our interactive story map.
We are calling on governments around the world to align their climate and nature goals in international agreements as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. With ambitious goals in place, we need local communities, leaders, and governments to identify and recognise those precious sites for wild plants and fungi, and then collaborate on their protection or restoration – for nature, climate and people.
Grasslands, savannahs and rangelands are huge carbon stores, vital global resources forbiodiversity, food and freshwater security, and offer many ecosystem services to support climatemitigation and adaptation.
Case studies on the importance of grasslands ecosystem in the UK, Brazil, Mongolia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
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