CONSERVATIONISTS are fighting to save two of Wales’ most rare wildflowers.
Charity Plantlife Cymru is carrying out urgent work in Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire and Montgomeryshire to stop the decline of the bastard balm and the spreading bellflower.
Bastard balm is a healing herb used for the treatment of anxiety, wounds and kidneys.
The spreading bellflower is classed as critically endangered and exists on just 11 sites in Wales.
Plantlife Cymru has reported the spreading bellflower appearing at a site in Monmouthshire after an absence of 140 years.
Trevor Dines, of Plantlife Cymru, said: “Spreading bellflower and bastard balm are among the top priorities for conservation in Wales.
“They are both threatened and populations are very small and sporadic, usually being found in neglected patches of ancient woodland and along old hedgebanks.
“These habitats are vulnerable to neglect, with a lack of coppicing and hedge laying leading to overgrowth with coarse herbs and woody plants.
“For spreading bellflower, the situation is especially critical — it’s identified as being in imminent risk of extinction in Wales within five years with less than five plants recorded across all sites in some years.
“In order to save these species, we want to encourage a return of traditional woodland and hedgerow management, with coppicing being used to provide a sustainable source of timber and woodfuel and hedgerows made stock-proof through proper laying.”