UK: Wildflowers of Brockles Field avoid the plough


Nature conservation charity Plantlife has saved a wildflower-rich meadow in Kent, UK from possible destruction thanks to a major grant. The meadow will become a key component in Plantlife’s vision for their famous Ranscombe Farm Reserve.

wild flower meadow by Sue Nottingham, Plantlife

Brockles Field is a 23 hectare (57 acre) orchid-rich chalk grassland and was facing the prospect of being ploughed up had it been bought by unsympathetic interests. The field is adjacent to Ranscombe Farm Reserve, Plantlife’s nationally important nature reserve and will help it become a wildflower-rich, working landscape accessible by 250,000 people living nearby.

wild flower meadow and blue sky by Sue Nottingham, PlantlifeBrockles Field had been left unfarmed for some years and has developed into wonderful grassland. Orchids (bee, man and pyramidal) grow alongside wild liquorice and carline thistle and many other species are likely to reappear from the natural seedbank in the future. Two of the other fields within the reserve are important UK sites for other rare and threatened farmland flowers, including corncockle, hairy mallow and broad-leaved cudweed.

“I am delighted that we have been able to secure a wonderful future for Brockles Field as part of our Ranscombe reserve, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Medway Council,” said Victoria Chester, Plantlife’s Chief Executive. “Our new project will allow us to improve access to and understanding of this beautiful reserve, and to involve many more local visitors who will be able to volunteer at Ranscombe, enjoy its extraordinary wild flowers and learn about the landscape and how it came to be one of the most important reserves in the country for rare and threatened wild plants.”

Images © Sue Nottingham, Plantlife

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