Bill Wiggin MP joined conservationists from Plantlife and Forestry England in Frith Wood to monitor the progress of the recently re-introduced Spreading bellflower (Campanula patula).

Plantlife Species Champion for the Spreading bellflower, Bill commented: “the Spreading bellflower is one of the rarest plants in the UK, growing in only a small number of habitats in the West Midlands and Welsh borders.

Increased levels of herbicides in roadside soil and changes in woodland management have brought the bellflower close to extinction in recent years.

Thanks to the hard work of Forestry England conservationists who re-planted the local bellflower seeds, I am delighted that this critically endangered species is alive and flourishing on our doorstep.

The newly flowering Campanula patula in Frith Wood demonstrate how the UK’s species diversity depends on a delicately balanced ecosystem, and that we must make sustainable land management a priority in order for endangered species to survive.

According to the UN Report on Biodiversity published earlier this year, 25% of species of flora and fauna globally are vulnerable, whilst 1 million species face extinction unless urgent action is taken to reduce biodiversity loss. It is therefore vital that we do all we can to protect biodiversity in North Herefordshire, and the re-introduction of the Spreading bellflower shows us what is achievable now on a local level.”

The biennial species can be recognised by its upright, funnel shaped purple flowers and narrow leaves. It flowers in June to September in its preferred habitat of fallow land, banks, meadows and open woodland.