Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Coming soon: Wild Flowers of The Isle of Purbeck, Brownsea & Sandbanks, 2nd. ed.

Early Spider-orchid:
a Purbeck speciality
Image: Edward Pratt
Botanists have a treat coming up - a second edition of The Wild Flowers of The Isle of Purbeck, Brownsea and Sandbanks is about to be published and BSBI members will be able to benefit from a discounted special offer on the price. Author Ted Pratt tells us a little more:

"This is not a Flora of the usual kind, but it is a book which is perhaps the first of its style, in that it directs readers precisely to the less common plants – of which there are many in this area. It describes where they may be seen on land which is open to the public - by roads, bridleways, and paths, and in open access downland, woods and heaths, of which there are plenty in Purbeck. Sites are often given to the nearest 10 metres!  - except for a very few of the rarest species which might be dug up.

"Twenty-four hand-drawn maps show all the location reference points used in the lists of sites for a species, e.g. “SE side of road through Great Wood in several places”; also use is made of the county council parish numbering scheme for bridleways and paths, e.g. “E of path 13 75m S of junctions of paths 13 and 14”. The book was written for beginners as well as for others, so map references are only used when really necessary, for example in the middle of a heath.

Hand drawings of Turkey Oak
leaves from the forthcoming book.
Courtesy of Edward Pratt
"The first edition was published ten years ago, and, after being enthusiastically reviewed in various publications, it has sold out! It covered over 1200 species; in the second edition 81 more taxa have been added to those. There are several other additions, including a Quick Guide to finding a species, and location maps both of the 39 flower-rich sites described in the introduction, and of the 48 special seasonal sites (sites with a Wow! factor), and of the 22 suggested walks.

"Although it is not primarily an identification book, help is given with distinguishing similar species, e.g. of Zigzag Clover Trifolium medium it says “It has shortly stalked heads (compare Red Clover above), and leaves hairless on the upperside. Stems are only slightly zigzag and usually hidden by other vegetation.” There are occasional hand drawings of points not found in identification books, e.g. a drawing of five different shapes of Turkey Oak Quercus cerris leaves, and another of eight different shapes of Grey Willow Salix cinerea leaves, and another showing the shapes of Adria and Trailing Bellflower leaves Campanula portenschlagiana and C. poscharskyana, and another showing how to identify Hybrid Reedmace Typha x glauca. There are also 129 colour photographs.


Autumn Lady's-tresses
Image: Edward Pratt
"The author has received a number of expressions of appreciation from those who have brought the book on their holidays in this beautiful part of Britain".

Many thanks to Ted for telling us about this forthcoming title. If you are not a BSBI member you will still be able to buy a copy of Wild Flowers of The Isle of Purbeck, Brownsea and Sandbanks 2nd. ed. from all reputable natural history book-sellers but you won't be able to benefit from the discount. 

There are several other titles due for publication this year for which a discount will be offered to BSBI members so if you'd like to find out more about all the benefits of BSBI membership, head over here.