Locally-run, conservation charity, the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, confirms the first flowering Dwarf pansy (Viola kitaibeliana) on the uninhabited Island of Tean after 17 years absence, as a result of long-term habitat restoration work.

In 2014 the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust began a programme of habitat restoration, focused on restoring the dune and maritime grassland areas of Tean; removing encroaching Bracken, coarse grasses and scrub in an effort to see the return of Dwarf Pansy to its former sites. 

Since the Trust's regular management started, 7 years ago, increases in plant species such as Western clover, Lady's bedstraw, Changing forget-me-not, Portland spurge, Bird's foot-trefoil and Stork's-bill have all been seen; as a direct result of the twice annual cuts, which take place at appropriate times of the year.

This year the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust can finally add Dwarf pansy to this growing list of smaller, native, delicate plant species!  (Picture of first Dwarf pansy found on Tean in 17 years taken by Ranger Darren Hart).

The Dwarf pansy has historically grown in three key locations in the Isles of Scilly; Rushy Bay on Bryher, Appletree Banks on Tresco and on the uninhabited Island of Tean.  It is a very small, native, annual flowering plant which you will not find growing anywhere else in mainland Britain.

Whilst the Rushy Bay population has regularly produced sightings and records in recent years (including 2021) the Tresco & Tean populations haven't fared so well.  It has been indicated that plants were possibly present on Tean in 2010 but the last confirmed Dwarf pansy sightings, on the uninhabited Island, were in 2004; suggesting that this minuscule marvel has been absent for around 17 years!

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust are delighted to confirm, the sighting and record of, the Dwarf pansy's return; made by the Ranger Team during their most recent visit to carry out work in April 2021.

On receiving the news from the Team on location Head Ranger, Darren Mason, who is responsible for the development and implementation of the Ranger Teams work programme, stated; "...well done everyone, that is a tremendous effort over the last few years!  I can't believe it...I'm well stoked!! 😃😃😃😃😃"

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust hope to continue this valuable work, keeping Scilly special now and for future generations.  Becoming a Friend of Scilly Wildlife means that they will be able to do just that and so much more!

Want to know more? 

  • Find out more about the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust's ongoing work which has seen the return of the Dwarf pansy to Tean this year in the recent Blog "Tean's Teeny Tiny Tenants";
  • Further details regarding the Dwarf pansy can be found in Scilly's Special Species;
  • Tean is one of 24 Sites of Special Scientific Interest that the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust are responsible for; designated features include the Dwarf pansy and Orange bird's-foot.

  • Picture above, Dwarf pansy on Rushy bay with pencil to show size; © BareFoot Photographer & Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust)

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