In partnership with the Environment Agency - the government body responsible for pollution prevention and control in England and Wales, and for the management and use of water resources including flood defences, fisheries and navigation - English Nature has produced a Species Action Plan (SAP) for this plant. As part of English Nature's Species Recovery Programme, survey and monitoring work has been carried out to discover more about the conditions required by the ribbon-leaved water plantain.
As well as looking at ways to manage the sites where the plant is currently found, plans to re-introduce it to former sites have been investigated. The single known site in Norfolk lies in the area known as Breckland, where the species has been recorded once in one of the ephemeral meres. The Breckland meres are bodies of shallow water that rise and fall annually with the ground-water table.
When the water level has been low in these meres, the soil bed has been disturbed in places by rotovation. It is hoped that by creating this disturbance, dormant seed may be stimulated to germinate and the plant re-appear.
Other possible sites to experiment with managing this species have been investigated and seed from the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place, part of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, have been germinated in nursery conditions. If natural regeneration programmes prove unsuccessful, cultivated plants will be introduced into suitable sites and new populations established.
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan
for this species is available at UK BAP