The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

Look inside a cowslip, wild flower lovers told


Wildflower enthusiast­s are being encouraged to take part in a citizen science survey of cowslips to help monitor the health of threatened meadows.

Nature charity Plantlife is urging the public to continue the legacy of Charles Darwin by taking a close look at the inside of cowslips to judge the genetic diversity of the flowers and the wider health of their meadow habitat.

The yellow spring flower, whose local names include cowslops, fairy cups and bunch of keys, were once as prolific as buttercups, Plantlife said.

But they suffered marked declines between 1930 and 1980, as their ancient meadow and species-rich grassland habitat was converted to intensivel­y managed pasture and silage fields, or ploughed up for crops.

To get started in the cowslip survey, people can visit https://www. discover-wild-plantsnatu­re/cowslip-survey

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