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Graham Calow

NatureSpot trustee

Sharp-leaved Fluellen

Kickxia elatine

Why did you choose this species?

This is a beautiful and delicate flower which needs to be examined closely to be fully appreciated.

What are the threats that it faces?

It is quite tiny and inconspicuous as it sprawls mostly at ground level. Like most arable plants it is becoming quite scarce.

What can we do to help this species and others like it?

The first step towards protecting any species is to get a better understanding of where it occurs, and I would like to encourage recorders to check untreated arable fields and field margins to see if this species has managed to hang on. The next step is to persuade farmers not to treat every inch of arable land with weedkillers and fertilisers, but to leave an area where these threatened species can survive.

What are your wider interests in nature?

I'm interested in every aspect of nature and want to identify everything I see - sadly that's not possible, but the challenge is an endless source of enjoyment.

Where is your favourite place for enjoying nature?

I am passionate about recording my own local patch - that is Sapcote parish and surrounding areas.  I'm fortunate in having Burbage Common and Woods, and also Fosse Meadows very close by.

What are your top tips for helping wildlife?

Try and get young people engaged with nature - they will have have the future of these species in their hands.