Bid to save Cairngorms plant life from extinction

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A close up of the twinflowerImage source, Plantlife
Image caption,
Twinflower is among the plants conservationists hope to help

Conservationists are to try to save wildflower meadows, rare pinewood plants and arctic alpine flora from dying out in the Cairngorms.

Species such as twinflower, which has tiny, pink, bell-shaped flowers, are on the verge of extinction in the area.

One-flowered wintergreen - one of Scotland's rarest pinewood flowers - is also at risk.

Plantlife Scotland is leading a four-year project to boost meadows and establish new twinflower populations.

Image source, Anne Elliot
Image caption,
Conservationists hope the Cairngorms project will spark interest among the wider public

It also hopes to introduce wintergreen to two new sites and work with landowners to protect grasslands containing rare waxcap fungi.

Another project objective is to develop technology to monitor and understand the impact of climate change on fragile mountain-top habitats.

Image source, Plantlife/PA Wire
Image caption,
The Cairngorms are home to rare mountain plantlife

Scottish Natural Heritage and the Cairngorms National Park Authority are supporting the initiative and funding has been provided from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Plantlife's Gwenda Diack said it was hoped the wider public would take an interest in the conservation effort.

Image source, Plantlife/PA Wire
Image caption,
Twinflower is on the verge of extinction in the area

She said: "We want people to re-connect with the rich wild plant heritage of this truly special part of Scotland, whether through the rekindling of wild plant folklore, celebrating current uses or taking action to help save rare plants.

"The Rare Plants and Wild Connections project will harness the power of citizen science and our love for the Cairngorms to restore and protect some of the rare plants and fungi of our pinewoods, meadows and mountains."

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