A SCHEME to empower nature lovers to help save a flower from extinction has been given the go-ahead after securing lifeline funding.

Plantlife Scotland said the project will help “turn around the fortunes” of rare plants including the Highland twinflower.

The species once flourished in Scotland and was an emblem of the country’s ancient Caledonian pine forests but due to habitat loss and fragmentation has become so isolated it cannot interbreed and faces being wiped out.

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The conservation charity has been awarded a £224,300 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to set up the project, involving training volunteers to take part in targeted reintroduction schemes as well as grassland and meadow restoration.

Alistair Whyte, head of Plantlife Scotland, said: “The Cairngorms are home to some of our rarest and most threatened wild plants.”