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Thursday, 23 July 2009

Isle of Wight Cornflowers

Via Fe and Chuck Eccleston:

A couple of weeks ago we joined a 'Farmland Visit' organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust to Cridmore Farm, Chillerton on the Isle of Wight. The visit was organised to enable members of the public to see the extensive areas [approximately 5 acres] of Corn Marigolds Chrysanthemum segetum which were interspersed with large numbers of Cornflowers Centaurea cyanus, these fields can be seen from the road but only show up as bright yellow patches in amongst the green fields of wheat.

Both these plants are in a nationally perilous state due to the introduction of herbicides and fertilisers in the 1950's. By the end of the 1970's a dramatic decline was noted in the Cornflower throughout the country and it is now only found in its natural state in three small sites: Suffolk, Lincolnshire and the Isle of Wight.

The owner of the farm, together with his farm manager, take great care to preserve these wildflowers which have occurred naturally on the site for in excess of 100 years.

The presentation by the G&WCT also focussed on the decline of many farmland birds including the Grey Partridge Perdix perdix, Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella and Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra and the measures farmers can take to assist their recovery i.e. Stewardship Schemes run by Natural England.

Cornflower

Corncockle

Corn Marigolds and Cornflower

Corn Bunting

Yellowhammer

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