Thursday, 29 November 2012

Wild Flowers on the Edge - The Story of North Yorkshire's Road Verges

I recommend this book

Whether you are a beginner who does not want to be overpowered by plants that do not grow in North Yorkshire, or by too much detail and botanical names, or an expert who just likes looking at pictures of old friends. (There is an appendix of Latin names in the back)

May be I will rename this post

"Ten Reasons to buy Wildflowers on the Edge"

Authors: Margaret Atherden and Nan Sykes Publication date: 2012  ISBN:978-1-906604

I bought this book last week. I attended the AGM of the YNU held at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate and one of the authors Margaret Atherdon was selling them. You can buy them online here.

I would recommend this book as a 2012 Christmas Present for many people in North Yorkshire and the north of England, because they are unlikely to have got a copy  yet and:-.

  1. It has about 10 plants and photos per page.
  2. They are arranged by habitat of by season or by "look alikes"
  3. The text for each picture is a few highlighted key points - the equivalent of one sentence or One and a half tweets (210 characters) - e.g. tips for distinguishing between look-alikes
  4. Road verges are where one often botanises  - A walk often starts from a car which is on a road. they are accessible for people who cannot walk far.
  5. In many parts of Yorkshire, much of the fields in between roads have been reseeded or heavily fertilised so now contain no (well hardly any) wild flowers: - the verge can host a relict flora from bygone days.
  6. It only includes plants from North Yorkshire - so one is not sidetracked by a plethora of other plants that only occur in different parts of Britain. This makes it much easier for beginners
  7. North Yorkshire stretches right across England from the North Sea on the east to within about 12 miles of Morecambe Bay on the West. It includes in the NW some high land mountainous habitats representing North West Britain. And it includes South East Agricultural Land. N Yorkshire has a great variety of geology -roads cut through limestone and chalk grassland, though acid moorland and bog as well as lowland arable land and places with hedgerows- so there is a good variety of plants in the book.
  8. This book has only just been published - so your friend is unlikely to have a copy yet
  9. Non botanist naturalists -  bid watchers, butterfly people(i.e. Ornithologists , Lepidopterists) might like and easily accessible book to read about what their organisms are eating or living on
  10. Experienced botanists like reading about plants they know - old friends.

If due to space problems I had to thin down books in my house, I would keep two other floras rather than this - Stace and a flora of my choice with pictures (I could recommend several).

I have not read all "Wild flowers on the edge" yet but it stays on the cupboard top and I enjoy dipping into it (when I should be doing other jobs) - looking at pictures of flowers that are "old friends", and using it as a grown up "I spy" book to see which hedgerow flowers I have not yet seen.

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