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Friends of Hartlebury Common
The Flora of Worcestershire
by
Roger Maskew

The Flora of Worcestershire is the first comprehensive account of the flora of the county since The Botany of Worcestershire by Amphlett and Rea in 1909. The Flora is the result of over twenty years of recording by a team of local botanists as well as extensive literature and herbarium research which has uncovered much previously unpublished historical information. The area covered is the present-day administrative county, plus additional areas in neighbouring counties which were originally included in the Watsonian vice-county of Worcestershire v.c. 37. It thus includes a sizeable area of South Birmingham and part of the Black Country.

Although a small county (596 tetrads) Worcestershire has a very varied geology and an associated diverse range of habitats which cover the built-up areas and the sandstone heaths in the north, the river valleys of the Avon, Severn and Teme, the limestone hills of the south-east and the Malvern Hills and Commons in the south-west. It also includes a large part of the Wyre Forest which has a rich flora with a number of the scarcer plants on the edge of their range.

The large Flora of over 800 pages includes introductory chapters with information on geology and soils, climate, changes in post-war land use, important habitats and sites, extinctions and changes in status of many of the less common species, and the history of botanical recording in the county.

Based on some 650,000 records the species accounts cover over 600 pages and include over 2400 species. Full details of habitat, frequency and distribution, temporal changes and history are given for the less common and declining species and information on local variation and infraspecific taxa (sub-species and varieties etc.) is included. The special attention given to the critical plant groups and the alien flora is a major feature of the accounts. Maps showing meaningful patterns of distribution are included as well as over 500 photographs of landscape and scenery and plants in their typical habitats.

The publication is the most thorough and extensive undertaken by any natural history, conservation or closely associated body in the county and is an important reference for everyone who has a regard for Worcestershire’s countryside as well as providing important details of its flora for botanists, conservationists, students and town and country planners alike.

The Flora was published privately in 2014 with financial support from local and national organisations and is available at a price of £40.

Anyone interested in purchasing a copy should send a cheque payable to Roger Maskew to Coppice House, Bannalls Lane, Stoke Bliss, Tenbury Wells. WR15 8RZ.
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