On Monday, the City Council of Plymouth (Devon, SW England) published a video on Twitter with the following message: "We're declaring a War on Weeds". The video shows an "army" of men dressed in herbicide spraying equipment, holding big machinery in manly poses, with the aim to fight an "old enemy". It also includes shots … Continue reading Plymouth’s “War on Weeds” and the debate on urban nature
Since launching the More Than Weeds project in 2020, I have been asked this question at least a dozen times: just how many plants live in our cities? The answer? Well, it's complicated! Those of you living in a seaside town may be able to observe a range of unique, salt-tolerant flora on buildings and … Continue reading Just *how many* plants live in our cities?
The 2021 "City Nature Challenge" has started! This annual worldwide event is aimed at documenting the biodiversity that lives in our cities, because they are much more than "concrete deserts"... The Challenge consists in two parts: April 30 - May 3: take as many plant or animal pictures as you can in your cityMay 4 … Continue reading The City Nature Challenge has started – take part!
I was delighted to take part earlier this month in an event entitled The Habits of Weeds, organised by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art as part of their "Gardening the Mind" series. Aimed at showing how urban plants, often cast aside as ‘weeds’, can be beneficial to both our ecosystem and our health, the … Continue reading “The Habits of Weeds” – an online event for BALTIC
EDIT: The video of my talk is now available on BSBI's Youtube page! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKdJT1xfoAU One year after launching "More Than Weeds" , I will be presenting an update about the project at the Annual Exhibition Meeting of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, tomorrow at 11:20am. There will also be a virtual exhibit if … Continue reading “More Than Weeds” – an update for BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting
I gave a talk on the flora of London's pavements on Thursday, October 15, as part of London Natural History Society's series of Virtual Natural History Talks. The pavements and tree pits of London are home to hundreds of plant species. Often dismissed as “weeds”, these plants form a key part of urban biodiversity, supporting … Continue reading The flora of London’s pavements, a talk on October 15
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 … Continue reading “Green Pavements” on BBC Radio 4
I was delighted to be invited to talk on Radio New Zealand's "Saturday Morning" programme yesterday about More Than Weeds. While the flora of the country may be very different to ours in the UK, the challenges faced by cities - biodiversity loss, climate change, residents lacking access to nature - are the same. Adapting … Continue reading More Than Weeds…on the other side of the world!
As my local country show, Lambeth Country Show, had to go virtual this year, I gave a short talk on "weeds" in our cities, and on how learning to live with wild plants could benefit us in many ways. Watch it here, and please feel free to send me your comments! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvbbniiIrnE&feature=emb_title
On June 16, I'll be giving a virtual talk on my favourite topic...of course, that's pavement plants! Hundreds of plant species are thought to be growing on the pavements of London. These plants are often dismissed as “weeds”, yet they form a key part of our urban biodiversity. I will introduce some of the common … Continue reading “Nature beneath our feet” – a virtual talk on June 16