Important Plant Areas

Where can you find the crown jewels in our flora? Where are the very best places in Britain to see our most threatened wild plants and habitats?

Places like the New Forest, the Great Orme and the Cairngorm mountains are of global importance, home to rare and endangered plantlife and spectacular landscapes of threatened habitats.

Alongside these are many smaller, less well known places that are home to a wonderful kaleidoscope of mosses, lichens and plants.

Together, these form a fabulous network of Important Plant Areas (IPAs) across the UK. Plantlife has identified 165 of these IPAs, probably the best places for wild plants in Britain.

In them you can find:

  • The very best examples of internationally threatened habitats, such as ancient oak woods, sand dunes, deep mossy bogs, cliffs with arctic-alpine plants and flower-rich limestone grassland.
  • Hotspots of diversity for plants, mosses and lichens, often forming mosaics of habitats or unique communities of species.
  • Our best populations of internationally threatened plants including fen orchid, floating water-plantain and petalwort.
  • IPAs form the focus for much of our conservation work. We work with landowners, farmers and partner organisations to improve conditions for plants and habitats and encourage their spread.

    Why not explore your local IPA or discover others when visiting different parts of Britain? Rich in history, culture and wildlife, these special places offer the very best of our floral heritage.

    Our important plant areas