Friday, 30 January 2015

England Red List in action

Pete Stroh at Kew for the England Red List launch
Image: BSBI Publicity Team
Lots of people are talking about the England Red List for Vascular Plants right now. 

The List was published last September, launched at Kew, and is co-authored by a team of 12 top British botanists from 6 leading organisations, led by BSBI's Scientific Officer Pete Stroh. 

Today, Miles King said of the England Red List "For anyone interested in conservation or natural history it is worth reading. It is an extraordinarily powerful piece of research" 


Great Sundew Drosera anglica
Red List status: Endangered
Image: L. Campbell
He also very kindly referred to BSBI as "an organisation I have worked with for the past 25 years; and the pre-eminent authority on the status of British wild plants". 

These comments came in Miles' latest blogpost about Rampisham Down, where he refers to 7 species on the List which occur at the site and are classified as Near Threatened on the List, and 2 further species classified as Vulnerable. 

As Pete Stroh points out in his 'Last Word' column for the spring issue of Kew Magazine. "We hope that our results will help to highlight some of the underlying processes influencing our flora and our landscape, and will assist in conserving and restoring some of our most fragile and threatened species".  Kew Magazine is subscription only, sorry - here's the link if you want to subscribe. 

Two recent articles about the England Red List which you can view are this one from The Plantsman and this one from the Orchid Review. Many thanks to journalist/BSBI member Jean Stowe for these.

From left: David Pearman, Chris Preston (England Red List, 
co-authors) & Trevor Dines (Red List for Wales, author)
 Image: L. Marsh
And a reminder that you can buy the England Red List, a BSBI publication, from Summerfield Books here or you can download it free of charge from this page as either a pdf or as an Excel spreadsheet. 

So next time you hear about a development proposal, and are wondering whether to cheer or protest, you can assess site quality by checking any species recorded on the site against the England Red List and make up your own mind, based on which plants grow there and their respective conservation statuses under IUCN's internationally-recognised classifications and criteria. Have a great year, botanists ;-)