The first Flora of Birmingham and The Black Country is an essential record of the vegetation of Britain's second conurbation. It covers the metropolitan districts of Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton and has records from 715 monads in three vice counties. This publication provides a crucial understanding of the key fectors controlling biodiversity in this urban area and tells a positive story about the unsung beauty and vitality hidden in the urban landscape.
The Flora was produced with the help, support and close cooperation of the Staffordshire, Wanwickshire and Worcestershire vice county Recorders, Natural England, site wardens, local authorities, the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust allotment associations, parks officials, golf course staff and countless land owners large and small.
Records included in the maps and descriptions cover the period 1995-2012 and include reference to over 236,000 records of 1820 vascular plant taxa, with full accounts of 1449, most of which are mapped at the one kilometre square level. There are also checklist-style treatments of 1118 fungi, 221 lichens and 170 bryophytes prepared by local and national specialists.
The Flora has been written to be enjoyed by all, with sound ecological description and analysis presented in accessible manner. It includes a huge range of photographs, line drawings, distribution maps and botanical walks, designed to allow anyone to enjoy and celebrate the botanical richness of our area, Some of the more interesting sites and habitats of the conurbation are introduced in a selection of detailed botanical walks, whole City and Borough itineraries and comprehensive lists of locally and nationally scheduled ecological and geological sites. The Background chapter covers geology, climate, relief, drainage, soils, hydrology, habitats and vegetation, the garden habitat climate, relief, drainage, soils, hydrology, habitats and vegetation, the garden habitat and the history of human occupation. We have adopted a landscape approach to analysing the monad data and consider that the study has implications for our understanding of ecology and conservation both in Birmingham and the Black Country and in other urban areas.
"[...] This mighty and engaging flora is the first to record the wild plants of the Greater Birmingham area, that is the metropolitan districts of Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. [...] [it] has been designed and published to a highly professional standard by Pisces Publications. It is a model of what a modern flora should be and an example of what can be done when local enthusiasm is harnessed to masterly leadership and organisation."
- Peter Marren, British Wildlife 25(1), October 2013