England’s National Parks are no longer fit for purpose. Even before the climate emergency, their lack of naturalness is impeding attempts to halt declining biodiversity, but now there is a real urgency to renew thinking towards our 10 National Parks. We need a new version for our National Parks, a version 2.0.
To celebrate the lives of plant hunters, like John Jeffrey, here I share some of my favourite books on botany, botanical exploration, and the often extraordinary lives of the plant hunter. Think more Indiana Jones than shy retiring pansies, as these men and women travelled the world in search of plants, valuable for their beauty, medicines, timber, smell, and any number of other benefits.
John Jeffrey , the plant hunter whose story is featured in GREEN GOLD, was first overseen by The Association for the promotion of arboriculture and horticulture of Scotland hosted by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. It was later renamed the Oregon Botanical Society so it seems fitting that the NPSO is so supportive of the book.
John Jeffrey, the main character in my latest book Green Gold, walked, paddled and rode at least 10,000 miles across North America while hunting for plants from 1850-4. During the two years I spent researching and writing the book I plotted his travels in detail and can now publish the route in full for the first time.
The same year that I started planting Paradise Wood, a new forest and centre for forestry research in Oxfordshire, I started recording a view of the former arable farm from the nearby vantage point of the Wittenham Clumps. 2015 is the 19th year of photographing the same view of the