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The composition of lowland grasslands in Britain and Ireland has changed radically in the last 80 years. Following a foreword by George Peterken and an introduction describing the history and types of lowland grassland and the reasons for change, the main focus of Grassland Plants of the British and Irish Lowlands concerns those plants currently considered to be of greatest conservation concern, assembling in one place everything you could ever need to know about over 100 of our most threatened species, from Orchids to Lady's-mantles, Maiden Pink to Meadow Thistle, Pasqueflower to Pennyroyal.
Each meticulously researched species account provides valuable information about identification, including similar-looking plants with which it may be confused, typical habitat, biogeography, a comprehensive ecology section, known and potential threats, and management requirements. Accounts are illustrated with a colour photo of the species, its typical habitat, and an up-to-date distribution map.
The information contained in these accounts is essential reading for both amateur and professional ecologists alike, and will be especially useful to land managers and others who are responsible for the care and conservation of our wild flora.
"There is nothing unnatural about grassland. To hear Monbiot and other pundits, you would suppose that all grassland in Britain was created by mankind, and that our natural state is wall-to-wall woodland. In which case where were all those elephants, aurochs and wild horses living before mankind came along and wiped them out? Not in dense forest, that is for sure. Flying the flag for natural grassland has been left largely to botanists. [...] Add a lovely art cover by Carry Akroyd, the latest national dot maps, and an introduction on the history, factors affecting plants and why some species fare worse than others, and you have here something of a botanical masterpiece. Some idea of the care that has gone into it is suggested by the slip of paper in every copy apologising for a minor error on page 298! Aimed squarely at field botanists and conservation land-managers, the authors hope, by providing all this information in an accessible and visually gorgeous way, to improve the prospects of our grassland flowers. I hope so, too."
– Peter Marren, British Wildlife 31(3), February 2020