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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Field Guides & Natural History  Botany  Vascular Plants  Grasses, Sedges, Rushes & Ferns

Start to Identify Grasses

Field / Identification Guide
By: Faith Anstey(Author)
20 pages, 43 colour photos and colour illustrations, 2 b/w illustrations
Start to Identify Grasses
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  • Start to Identify Grasses ISBN: 9780993493324 Paperback May 2018 In stock
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About this book

See our interview with the author here.

This booklet was originally put together for a BSBI Scotland workshop and allows reader to identify the twenty most common grasses on neutral (as opposed to acidic) grasslands in the British Isles. It is aimed at absolute beginnners and therefore contains no identification keys. There is no need for a microscope either to carry out the identification steps described here, a 10× hand lens should be adequate.

There seem to be three things that make identifying grasses difficult. In the first place, they don't have petals you can count, colours you can categorise or leaves that are easily distinguished – they are at first sight so samey. Secondly, the keys used for identifying them have a whole new glossary of terms, and initially appear to be extraordinarily complicated. And finally, there are just so many of them to contend with – about 160 native British grass species.

This booklet introduces you to a mere twenty grass species: those you are most likely to find in neutral grassland. That is, the terrain is grassland as opposed to woodland, heath, bogs, saltmarshes or rocky mountains. It might be a meadow or rough grazing, roadside verge, forest clearing, clifftop, neglected garden, churchyard or similar. And the habitat is neutral as opposed to particularly acid (peat bog, moorland etc.) or particularly base-rich (chalkland, limestone pavement and so on).

These twenty are far and away the most commonly encountered in this sort of habitat. So much so, that if you find anything that is not dealt with here, then it is well worth studying further either the grass or the habitat, or both. One advantage of a sound knowledge of these 20 is that you will immediately be aware when something is nof one of these. Then you may have to embark on keys, or the advice of an expert, to decide which grass it is.

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Small print makes this book difficult to use
    By Frances 16 Aug 2018 Written for Paperback
    This book looks ideal for beginners, if only the text and diagrams were bigger.
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Field / Identification Guide
By: Faith Anstey(Author)
20 pages, 43 colour photos and colour illustrations, 2 b/w illustrations
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