Thursday, 15 December 2011

Book - Experts publish first book of county’s plants (South Yorkshire)

BOTANICAL experts have put together a new South Yorkshire Plant Atlas which they say is the ‘first comprehensive collection to celebrate the region’s plantlife’.
The publication has been created by the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union and Yorkshire and the Humber Ecological Data Trust, and details species found across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
The project has taken 90 botanists, natural history societies and other institutions over a decade to put together.
Geoffrey Wilmore, coordinator, said: “It has been very much a team effort with enthusiasts using their skills together on field trips or making information available from their own records or data centres.”
The book also draws on earlier data from 300 sources dating back over 200 years. In total, over 200,000 individual plant records have been collected since 2001 from 1,665 square kilometres surveyed.
Each finds a place in the atlas, with a description of its habitat.
The book is lavishly illustrated and, for 1,000 plant species, there are coloured maps showing where they occur.
It also includes guided tours around some of the region’s botanical ‘hotspots’ so readers can explore the diversity of the county’s plant life for themselves.
The book describes the vegetation found in the diverse landscapes from the high Pennine moorlands in the west to the limestone country and peatlands of the east and the farmland, woods and wetlands between.
It also reveals how even urban and industrial wastelands and waysides have revealed some surprising and interesting finds.
Jeff Lunn, one of the book’s editors said: “A detailed record of the plant life of a region is hugely interesting to amateurs and experts alike, and plays a vital role in the local government planning process, in helping to protect our countryside and green spaces in a time of increasing human impact and environmental change across the region.”
The book has been released as the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union marks its 150th anniversary.
■ Copies of the book can be bought from Summerfield Books, online at or by calling 017684 84909 priced at £54.50 including post and packing.

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