Monday, 11 February 2013


Natives Good, Aliens Bad?

 We can hear David Pearman challenging this preconception on Radio 4 this week. David was interviewed for 'Costing the Earth', going out on Tuesday 12th February, at 3.30 pm and Wednesday 13th at 9.00pm, and then on iPlayer.

The programme is called 'When Nettles attack!' and David will be helping Tom Heap investigate how domestic invasive plant species, including nettles, brambles and bracken, are "threatening the British countryside by choking other native plant growth".

They visited Goss Moor National Nature Reserve which we hear is "over-run by willows, gorse, brambles etc. with small discrete patches of alien plants!" Both Ian Bennallick, BSBI's Recorder for East Cornwall, and Natural England Reserve Warden, Phil Bowler, joined David at Goss Moor and Tom later interviewed some other notable botanists, including Andy Byfield of Plantlife and Matthew Oates of the National Trust. It will be interesting to hear what they all have to say about alien and native plants.

As co-editor of our 'New Atlas of the British & Irish Flora' and a very popular former BSBI President, David's views are always incredibly well-informed and the 'Pearman style' is distinctive - he clearly loves presenting evidence that challenges our preconceptions about native vs alien plants - so this is definitely one for the diary.

Let me know what you think about the programme and David’s comments – post a comment below: