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Exploring Arable Plants

Natural History Live by Cath Shellswell, Hannah Gibbons and Alison Mitchell

The colourful hues of cornfield flowers were once a familiar part of our arable landscape. Sadly they are also the fastest declining suite of plants in the UK. Fascinating, sometimes rare, and often overlooked – they are frequently threatened by the arable farming on which they depend. This has a knock-on effect for other wildlife, including ground beetles, bats and birds. This webinar will describe the different arable plants that you would find growing on sandy and shale soils, clay soils and calcareous soils.

The Back from the Brink ‘Colour in the Margins’ project focuses on rare and threatened arable plants. Read more about this fantastic project from Plantlife and the RSPB on the Colour in the Margins webpage.

Natural History Live events are free online natural history talks, comprising of a 30-40 minute talk from a guest speaker, followed by a question and answer session. We host them on Zoom and we will send out joining instructions on the day of the event. Sign up to the FSC BioLinks newsletter to find out about our other online learning opportunities here.

Tutor: Cath Shellswell, Hannah Gibbons and Alison Mitchell

Cath Shellswell, Hannah Gibbons and Alison Mitchell work on the project covering different habitats. Between them, they bring a wealth of experience to discover the different arable plant communities across the UK.


The FSC BioLinks project is part-funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. These Natural History Live webinars are made available to all at no cost. If you would like to contribute to the FSC BioLinks project, you can do so by selecting the option to attend at a cost of £5. All donated fees go contribute financially to FSC BioLinks project work to provide adult learning opportunities for a range of audiences.

Attendee (Online) - select if you would like to attend at a cost of £5 (all donated fees go towards supporting the FSC BioLinks project activities)

Attendee Discounted (Online) - select if you would like to attend at no cost

Example Timetable

This Natural History Live virtual events is a bumper Arable Plants special and 90 minutes in length (rather than the usual 60 minutes), including:

  • short intro by the FSC BioLinks project team
  • talk presented split between the 3 guest speakers
  • speaker Q&A session hosted by the FSC BioLinks project team

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

Before You Attend

Please note that after booking on to the event:

  • You will need to download the Zoom software before we start. This is free and you can do so here:
  • You can sign into the Zoom test meeting any time before to test if everything is working for you here: