Once a common arable plant, Darnel experienced a severe decline at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Rarity: Few, if any, stable locations
Cause of decline: Changing agricultural practices
Archetypes Project 2019
This project aimed to re-introduce Darnel (Lolium temulentum) and Upright Goosefoot (Chenopodium urbicum) back to a range of sites across England.
Obtaining seed for both species, the project bulked them up to viable quantities in the Millennium Seed Bank, researched the growth of plants in different mediums, and established populations in nine field sites and two test beds at Kew Gardens and Salisbury
Work in 2019 again focussed on growing the plants in more ‘natural’ situations, in amongst vegetation assemblages and crops rather than in monoculture beds.
The heatwave of 2018 meant that we lost nearly all the trial populations, so in 2019 had to reseed most sites with new seed from Kew Gardens.
The Project aimed form part of the Government’s Biodiversity 2020 strategy which contained the following targets:
Identify suitable source material for reintroduction / translocation and maintain ex-situ material as seed source for introduction programme.
At key sites ensure appropriate management is in place (e.g. disturbance regimes, times of disturbance etc.).
Research the availability of potential new nutrient-rich disturbed habitats (e.g. outdoor pig and poultry farming) and measures to establish populations, if considered necessary.
Surveillance programme: monitor extant site and translocation/re-introduction sites