Fern ma­nia

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The Vic­to­ri­ans col­lected ferns with such fer­vour that na­tive pop­u­la­tions were dec­i­mated – the Kil­lar­ney fern (Tri­chomanes specio­sum), for in­stance, is now one of the rarest ferns in Europe and is pro­tected un­der UK and EU leg­is­la­tion. The sites where it grows are shrouded in se­crecy.

Plant col­lect­ing re­mains a threat to na­tive ferns. In 2000 a hy­brid spleen­wort fern was re­moved from a wall in Leek, Stafford­shire; it was the only known plant of its type in Bri­tain at the time.

The Kil­lar­ney fern is rare in Europe

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