Woodland Flowers: Colourful past, uncertain future (British Wildlife Collection) (Hardcover)

Woodland Flowers: Colourful past, uncertain future (British Wildlife Collection) By Keith Kirby Cover Image

Woodland Flowers: Colourful past, uncertain future (British Wildlife Collection) (Hardcover)


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A scientifically robust but highly readable account of the wood beneath the trees.

More often than not, we don't see the wood for the trees. Observing the plants of the forest floor--the flowers, ferns, sedges and grasses--can be a vital way of understanding the nature of British woodland.

For centuries, woodland plants have been part of our lives in practical ways, as food and medicines, and as the inspirations for poetry, perfume and pub signs. They tell us stories about the history of woodland, its past management, and how that has changed--not always for the better. They can also be a visible sign of progress when we get conservation right.

In this insightful and original account, Keith Kirby explores how woodland plants in Britain have come to be where they are, how they cope with living in the shade of their bigger relatives and tolerate the attentions of grazing herbivores, the challenges they face with changing conditions throughout the seasons, and how they respond to threats in the form of storms, fires, droughts and floods. Along the way, the reader is introduced to the work of important botanists who have walked the woods in the past, collecting information on where plants occur and why, while profiles of some of our most important and popular ground flora species provide extra detail and insight.

Keith Kirby is currently a visiting researcher at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, where his main areas of work include analysis of long-term woodland changes and rewilding. Before that, he worked as a woodland ecologist with the government conservation agencies for many years, first with the Nature Conservancy Council and then its successor bodies, English Nature and Natural England. Keith was awarded the Royal Forestry Society Gold Medal for Distinguished Services to Forestry in 2011, and the CIEEM Medal for his outstanding, lifelong contribution to the advancement of ecology, forestry and woodland management in 2014. He has written widely for both refereed and more popular journals and the press, as well as co-editing the book Europe's Changing Woods and Forests and co-authoring the Woodland Survey Handbook.
Product Details ISBN: 9781472949073
ISBN-10: 1472949072
Publisher: Bloomsbury Wildlife
Publication Date: October 13th, 2020
Pages: 400
Language: English
Series: British Wildlife Collection

“An informative and enlightening book for those who love woodlands but seek a deeper understanding of the myriad plants that clothe the forest floor” —Gardens Illustrated

Woodland Flowers offers wonderful insight into these other-worldly habitats” —English Garden

“Kirby's extensive knowledge is presented in a volume that is both accessible and detailed, in a format that will appeal to both the ecologist and anyone who simply appreciates and wants to learn more about woodlands and its flora” —BBC Wildlife

“Beautifully illustrated. Woodland Flowers is a must for anyone who appreciates and wants to
learn more about British woodland and its plants.” —Countryside

"There is much to enjoy in Keith Kirby's writing style as his language is straightforward and accessible" - Clive Chatters, British Wildlife

"Thought provoking, personal and richly illustrated" - Rob Fuller, BTO

"I would highly recommend it for the Christmas list for any forester with an interest in woodland conservation" - Tim Hall, Trees magazine, the Institute of Chartered Foresters

"Very well-informed with up-to-date research, relieved by personal reminiscences, unexpected
snippets, lively prose and informative accounts of individual species" - George Peterken, Quarterly Journal of Forestry