LONDON-Endangered carnivorous plants are being reintroduced to parts of England in an attempt to reverse their decline.

Botanists say the “fascinating and beautiful” great sundew is extinct in many areas, due to loss of wetlands.

With tentacles that trap and digest insects, the plant is one of a dozen or so meat-eating plants native to the UK.

Charles Darwin was captivated by the species, compiling drawings and experiments for his book, Insectivorous Plants, published around 1876. He said he cared more about the genus Drosera, which means dewy in Latin, than the origin of all the species in the world. “It’s a very rare species,” said Joshua Styles, a 24-year-old from Cheshire, who has set up his own conservation charity, the North West Rare Plant Initiative, to conserve rare flora, including the great or English sundew (Drosera anglica).

“In England it’s red-listed as endangered and it occurs in less than 20 sites and hence its rarity and status instigated me wanting to reintroduce it.”

The Red List is an inventory that shows the conservation status of different global species. It’s compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).