Tuesday 9 April 2019

First ever Flora for the Isle of Bute

This month sees the publication of the first ever county Flora for the Isle of Bute, or indeed any part of the Clyde Islands (vc100).

I asked author Angus Hannah, who has lived on Bute since 1978 and been County Recorder for the Clyde Islands since 2002, to tell us more about his Flora. 

Over to Angus: 

"The outcome of 20 years intensive research by the author on this scenically varied and botanically rich island, which until now has been largely overlooked. With 360 pages, full colour throughout with 90 photographs, the Flora contains: 
  • A thorough introduction to Bute and its plants, a history of recording on the island and a full account of how the survey data were gathered and analysed for presentation. 
  • A catalogue of 1,039 taxa with historic records, location details and discussion of distribution, status, habitats and ecology, with 500 maps showing both presence and abundance at monad scale and 530 text-boxes of locally derived ecological information on all the commoner species.
  • 11 Appendices with additional information on a range of topics including recent arrivals and possible extinctions. 
  • Gazetteer, bibliography and index (including English names).
Heath dog-violet Viola canina on Bute
Image: A. Hannah
"Although as comprehensive as possible, the Flora cannot claim to be definitive. Much work remains to be done, especially on hybrids and critical genera. To quote the author’s preface "it is not an end but a beginning... I hope my readers will share something of the pleasure I have had in exploring the flora of Bute over the last twenty years, and that some may be moved to continue that exploration."

"An essential companion for any botanist visiting Bute, its original methods of data analysis and presentation should make it also of interest to anyone looking for fresh approaches to studying the flora of their home area".

Rocks with juniper, north of Clachanard
Image: A. Hannah
The author acknowledges the assistance of a BSBI publications grant towards the cost of producing this Flora. You can view a sample page from the Isle of Bute Flora here.

The keen-eyed reader, even if they have never visited Bute, will recognise Angus's name. He is also editor of the Scottish Newsletter, one of BSBI's range of very popular periodicals covering botany across Britain and Ireland. 

Many of our periodicals are available free of charge to everyone, regardless of whether or not you are a BSBI member. You will be able to download the latest issue of the Scottish Newsletter from the BSBI's Scotland page in the next few weeks. 

And of course BSBI members will benefit from a pre-publication offer on the cost of the Isle of Bute Flora, which represents a saving of £5 on the RRP. There will be a print copy of the flyer for the pre-pub offer inside the April issue of BSBI News, you can view it below (click on the image to enlarge it) or you can download the electronic version hereThe offer will be open until the end of May. For non-members, the Isle of Bute Flora will be available at full price from Summerfield Books, so if you'd like to know more about the plants found on the Isle of Bute, order your copy today! 

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