New #EnglandRedList shows that ~5th of wildflower species now threatened @BSBIbotany pic.twitter.com/e93DxbLbXS
— BRC (@___BRC___) September 17, 2014
The launch of the Red List was also a celebration of the contribution of David Pearman to British botany. His name might ring the loudest bell to many as co-editor of the 2002 New Atlas (now rather expensive, apparently because Defra pulped all of the left over copies -- the less said about that the better). However, David has also contributed a huge amount to many other areas of botany, including several interesting pieces encouraging a more critical perspective on the impacts of alien plants. For example, see this article for a stimulating read! His views on the native statuses of British plants have also been very influencial: see this paper for a host of fascinating examples.
|David Roy of BRC and David Pearman at his eponymous celebration and Red List launch|
Of course, we have known for a long time that particular habitats have been under a lot of pressure in England, but it is fantastic to have the broad, volunteer-led distribution data revealing the same thing as smaller, habitat-focused studies. It all helps to form a compelling picture of ecological change that should convince politicians and funding bodies that plant conservation is both necessary and really worthwhile.
Oh, and whilst you can purchase the Red List (a fascinating read with lots of nice photos) at Summerfield Books, you can also take home a nice shiny pdf immediately! I have to admit to not having read mine probably yet, but this is far more than just a list, there are around 60 pages of text, analysis and photos, with the list (covering all native plants in England as far as I can tell) covering another ~110 pages. GB Red List designations are also included. I'm looking forward to settling down with it and learning a lot more about the British flora!