Hundreds of plant species now extinct

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts may be concerned by the findings of a recent audit from Natural England.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the study found that the number of plants and animals lost to the UK forever is higher than previously thought.

The research showed that more than two species are disappearing every year, with a large percentage of the 500 missing genera having gone in the last 200 years.

Natural England chief scientist Tom Tew suggested that it is not too late to save the hundreds of species that remain under threat.

The Biodiversity Action Plan drawn up in the 1990s has helped reverse the loss of a number of plants and animals and Mr Tew feels that increased efforts could make a big difference.

Species to have disappeared include the Weissia mittenii, also known as Mittens beardless moss, which was one of the first casualties of agricultural encroachment in the 1920s.

In other news, the RHS has reported that the Health and Safety Executive has released a pocket guide to chemicals for use in the garden.