AN AMBITIOUS appeal to protect wildflower meadows and grasslands has been launched by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

The campaign was started in a bid to halt and reverse the dramatic decline in many wild flowers that were once a common sight in the county.

The trust is hoping to raise £15,000 it requires to carry out vital habitat improvement work.

Head of land management at the trust, Adam Taylor, said: “Gloucestershire has lost over 80 per cent of its flower-rich grassland in the last 30 years which is equivalent to more than 250 football pitches.

“So we need your support to help secure the future of our beautiful wildflowers in Gloucestershire.”

According to the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland almost one in five of England’s native plant species are under threat.

Wildflowers which are often thought of as common or widespread across England such as ragged robin, green-winged orchid and common rock-rose are now close to being listed as threatened.

The trust’s fundraising appeal will fund conservation work to target the county’s most vulnerable sites.

The appeal has been kick-started by waste management firm Grundon with a pledg to donate to the campaign.

Andrew Short, estates director for the company, said: “Grundon is again delighted to start an appeal for the Wildlife Trust. We hope that this will encourage others to donate and get to the target as soon as we can.

“Gloucestershire is a fantastic county and we all need to help keep its reputation as one of the best places to live and work.

“One way we can all help is to protect and preserve the diversity of its ecology.”

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