THE Stonehenge landscape will be transformed with wildflowers as part of a restoration project.

This is thanks to the addition of seeds collected from Salisbury Plain.

It is over 15 years since the start of one of Europe’s largest grassland restoration projects in the Stonehenge landscape and National Trust’s tenant farmers are continuing to improve the quality of the land and diversity of the wild flowers.

Catherine Hosie, the National Trust’s estate manager for Stonehenge Landscape, said: "There are a few areas looking a bit brown just now but they will soon recover.

"Late autumn is the ideal time to get the work done."

The National Trust cares for more than 800 hectares of land at Stonehenge, of which 242 hectares were included in the grassland reversion project, taking it out from under the plough and beginning the process of creating flower rich chalk grassland.

The seed mix used brought back species such as cowslip, yellow rattle, pyramidal orchid, bird’s foot trefoil fairy flax and sainfoin.

This provides important food plants and nectar sources for insects including bees and butterflies such as the meadow brown and marbled white - and skylarks

Work is continuing to bring in more grassland areas and new plant species and create conditions suitable for a wider range of species, including less common butterflies such as the Adonis blue and marsh fritillary.

Five fields have been chosen covering a total of 22 hectares (54 acres) - the equivalent of about 25 football pitches.

"It has been an ambitious project and one which is continuing. The work is all being done by our farm tenants; it wouldn’t be possible without them sharing our commitment to restoring the grassland at Stonehenge," said Catherine.

The work has been carried out by the Trust’s tenants at Stonehenge funded through Agri-Environment Grants schemes working in conjunction with the Trust’s ambition for improving the grassland at Stonehenge to restore it to species rich chalk grassland to support more wildlife.

Plants which will be introduced include small scabious, kidney vetch, devil’s-bit scabious, autumn gentian, betony and eyebright, with further species such as horseshoe vetch and harebell which establish better as small plug plants added by the National Trust rangers and volunteers to ensure a diverse mixture is created.