The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora (2002) is the definitive current account of the distribution of our wild flora. The result of four years’ fieldwork and nine million records collected by volunteers, it provides maps showing the occurrence of 2412 native and introduced flowering plants and ferns.
The text demonstrates the huge amount of change in plant distribution since publication of the first such Atlas in 1962, including the dramatic spread of many non-native species such as Buddlejia and the devastating loss of many native flowers like Burnt Orchid.
An online version with species maps and accounts is available here.
Publisher: Oxford University Press (2002)
Produced to coincide with a Channel 4 series of the same name, The Wild Things brings to life the stories of change in our flora as identified in the New Atlas. Written by me and with contribtions from my fellow presenters Chris Myers and Sally Eaton, it includes beautifully illustrated maps showing the distribution of plants now and in 1962 along with accounts and experiments that examine why the changes have taken place.
From the dramatic spread of Danish Scurvy-grass along motorways and A-roads due to the spreading of salt, to the loss of Prickly Poppy from our cornfields through the use of herbicides and fertilizers, this is an engaging and entertaining book for those that want to learn a bit more about how plants are changing in our landscape.
Although out of print, second-hand copies are available from sites such as Ebay and Amazon.
Publisher: Channel 4 Books for Transworld Books (2013)
This delightful photographic guide is the perfect introduction to wild flowers. Written by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham (with a foreword by myself as botanical consultant), it includes descriptions of over 50 common species of wild flowers, with illustrations and additional information for 130 more.
One of the many titles in the wonderful Little Book of… series, it has lovely flower galleries at the front and back to help with quick identification, and is small enough to slip into your rucksack for a day out hunting wild flowers with the family. Suitable for anyone aged 7 years and above.
Publisher: Fine Feather Press (2021)
To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, HRH The Prince of Wales called for the creation of new wildflower meadows across Britain. The Coronation Meadows project, led by Plantlife in partnership with The Wildlife Trusts and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, realised this goal.
With photographs of the meadows and flowers brought alive with text by myself, this book takes us on a journey through some of the most beautiful Coronation Meadows, from the Viking meadows of Muker in Yorkshire to the unique culm grass meadows of Cornwall.
A range of rare wild orchids are also featured, including the monkey, bee, man and lady orchids, encouraging us to discover our rich botanical heritage and unique meadows.