Filey school blossoms in rare plants bid

FILEY School has notched up its first success in helping farmers to save rare wild plants.

The Muston Road school is at the forefront of a new initiative under the Cornfield Flowers Project, aimed at involving schools, garden clubs and community groups to vastly increase the amount of seed from endangered wild plants such as the cornflower, corn buttercup and weasel’s snout.

Pupils have already grown a significant number of the wildflowers, collecting their seeds so the surplus can be used by the project to start a new population somewhere else.

Project officer Tom Normandale (pictured) said: “The students and staff have done a tremendous job. The large and healthy plants they grew have produced an abundance of seed.”

Mr Normandale also commended the school for taking a practical “deeds-not-words” approach. “Everyone can feel proud they are playing a direct part in saving these beautiful plants for the future,” he said.

“The students’ flower-bed now features a dozen self-seeded corn buttercups, a remarkable achievement for a plant on the brink of extinction throughout the UK, and they should be immensely proud of this.”

Other schools, groups and gardening clubs have now been invited to follow Filey School’s example and make a real difference to some of Britain’s rarest species, whose survival has been threatened by changes in farming practices.

The scheme is supported by the North York Moors National Park Sustainable Development Funds, the LEADER programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Anyone interested in becoming involved should contact Tom Normandale at tom.normandale@north-yorkshire-moors.org.uk or on 07543 540008.