Northumberland Wildlife Trust

Support our disappearing grasslands

Some of the regions wildlife rich fields are in danger of being lost forever! In response to this crisis, Northumberland Wildlife Trust has launched an appeal aimed at protecting one of Northumberland’s most threatened and exceptional landscape features for current and future generations to enjoy.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to

Registered Charity in England and Wales (221819)





  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation


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Over the past 60 years, a staggering 97% of Britain’s wildflower grasslands and meadows have been destroyed. One in five of the nation’s wild plants are on the verge of extinction and species-rich grasslands are becoming increasingly rare. Two years ago the Trust surveyed the rare whin grassland which is only found in Northumberland and limited to areas along the Great Whin Sill. A number of historical sites including Hadrian’s Wall and the coastal castles of Bamburgh and Holy Island are also situated on the whin sill. The results of the survey were quite alarming. A number of the sites which were originally surveyed in 1980 have completely disappeared and those that remain are under imminent threat from scrub, neglect or over grazing. Calaminarian grasslands, more popularly known as heavy metal grasslands, are also poised to disappear. These grasslands, found amongst the river shingles of the Tyne at places such as Beltingham and Close House host a number of rare species including spring sandwort, Young’s helleborine and alpine pennycress, making them internationally important. Steve Lowe, Head of Conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust said: ‘This is our last chance to conserve the natural heritage of the area. Now only a handful of whin grasslands, such as Gunnerton,