The cowslip is declining. In the past this flower was picked for May Day celebrations, dug up for gardens, and harvested to make cowslip wine and herbal medicines. Cowslips declined dramatically between the 1940s and 1980s because of the intensification of agricultural farming; this saw the increase in the use of herbicides and chemical fertilizers, and brought about the ploughing of old grasslands. Today, cowslip meadows are a great rarity, with this species only surviving on roadside verges and nature reserves.
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