Hundreds of plants lost to gardeners

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A new comprehensive audit from Natural England has shown that the UK's gardeners have lost access to a range of plants.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) revealed that the study shows the number of extinct plants and animals to be higher than previously thought.

Almost all of the 500 missing species have disappeared over the past 200 years, with two or more said to be dying out per annum.

Tim Tew, head scientist for Natural England, said that all hope is not lost and that a concerted effort could help to slow or even reverse the trend.

The Biodiversity Action Plan drawn up in the 1990s was given as an example of how such work can be a success.

Plants to have disappeared include the Weissia mittenii, which was one of the earliest losses to agricultural encroachment in the 1920s.

Meanwhile, gardeners left confused by the range of chemicals available for horticulture may be interested in a new pocket guide from the Health and Safety Executive.   - 20 April 2010
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Hundreds of plants lost to gardeners

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