BBC Radio 4’s Open Country programme featured an episode entitled “Green Pavements” yesterday, August 6. In the company of journalist Jane Perrone, naturalist Phil Gates and botanist Trevor Dines, embark for a safari on urban flora!
Why do the weeds in our pavements deserve our attention? Helen Mark presents a pavement safari in search of our urban flora. French botanist, Sophie Leguil decided to start chalking the names of plants next to them to draw people’s attention to the downtrodden. Others, like Jane Perrone began to do the same thing, and gradually the urban flora is gaining a new respect. But this isn’t the first time these plants have attracted interest, botanist Phil Gates tells the story of weeds, walking and worship as he reveals how some 90 years ago a young Edward Salisbury, (who was later to become Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew) discovered how seeds could be picked up and transferred vast distances on the soles of our shoes. So has the time come to show the downtrodden a little more respect? Trevor Dines of Plantlife certainly thinks so, and argues that we should be protecting our grass verges, reducing the frequency with which they are mowed and allowing the wildflowers that line our roads to grow which would enrich our environment and our well-being. Producer Sarah Blunt
You can listen or download the podcast here: