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Vegetation of Britain and Ireland (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 122) Paperback – 14 Mar 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (14 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002201496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002201490
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 3.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

‘It is simply magnificent […] Michael Proctor’s knowledge of our wild habitats and their plants – mosses and lichens, as well as flowers, trees and ferns – is possibly unequalled […] It will probably be our senior guide on wild vegetation for the rest of our lifetimes.’
British Wildlife

Praise for the New Naturalist series:

‘Taken either individually or as a whole, they are one of the proudest achievements of modern publishing’ The Sunday Times

'The series is an amazing achievement.'
The Times Literary Supplement

'The books are glorious to own.'
Independent

About the Author

Michael Proctor is an Honorary Research Fellow (and until his retirement in 1994 was Reader in Plant Ecology) at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter. He has wide interests in ecology and botany, and has published many scientific papers on a variety of ecological topics, as well as two previous New Naturalists (The Pollination of Flowers and The Natural History of Pollination). He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Holden on 7 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the first books on British vegetation that I read was the outstanding book by Sir Arthur Tansley, "Britain's Green Mantle" (2nd ed 1968, revised and updated by Michael Proctor. This in itself was an abridged version of Tansley's 1939 two-volume "British Isles and their Vegetation". Our vegetation has changed significantly during the ensuing years, not usually for the better, and while knowledge and understanding of our vegetation has increased as well, the information is not always readily accessible to the general reader. The present volume is therefore doubly welcome in bringing a much needed update to the subject, together with a useful list of references for further reading. However, when we consider that the recently published "New Naturalist" just on Woodlands was a hundred pages longer than this volume, it is impossible to escape the suspicion that the subject has perforce been treated a little superficially. None the less, the author writes with the authority gained from a lifetime of study of the British vegetation, and, as expected, the illustrations are superb (if somewhat biased to the south-west of England), producing a book that is well worth reading and then dipping into time and time again over the coming years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Mole from the Ministry on 7 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has taken some time to read through the whole book, but I tend not to review items until I have become more familiar with them. It is an excellent overview of the multiplicity of plant habitats / ecosystem types. Michael Proctor does a fine job of carefully analysing the impact of a wide variety of physical and human factors that affect or influence these plant communities, and, indeed, how these communities modify their own environments. The author's 'forte' seems to be upland vegetation and bogs, though all section are interesting in content. To unpick successfully such a complex web of factors and explain it accessibly is an achievement in itself. Above all else, though, geology seems to come through as the single most important influence. The huge geological variation of the British Isles is reflected in the huge diversity of plant communities. The book is copiously illustrated with photos from the authors extensive library of photos, and many relevant and informative diagrams. Names familiar from the 'Biogeography' component of my degree course (many years ago!) such as Tansley, Raunkier, Braun-Blanquet are frequently referred to - quite nostalgic!

Alongside Michael Proctor's more scholarly and analytical approach, I would recommend readers to read this alongside books such as "Flora Brittanica" by Richard Mabey, and Sarah Raven's "Wild Flowers", since these provide additional socio-cultural / spiritual / aesthetic /economic perspectives to the vegetation of our islands.

For a small group of islands, the British Isles pack in a huge diversity of landscape and plant communities - 'multum in parvo'....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Prof John Grace on 7 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a 'must buy' for any British ecologist/botanist. Great writing, comprehensive coverage, and excellent illustrations; the result of a lifetime's work by Michael Proctor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Butler on 10 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An authorative account of the vegetation of Britain. Quite technical and one for the dedicated botanist or ecologist. Very thorough and comprehensive accounts of each type of vegetation - such as seashores, woodland, grassland, peatland etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Boulton on 28 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a clearly written account of vegetation giving all the goelogical and climatic conditions effecting the growth of plans. a very useful book and full of facts about individual plants.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Starts well, but declines rapidly after first chapters. Skimpy descriptions of communities, inconsistant nomenclature. One positive is copious excellent photographs. Book most disappointing for a New Naturalist series book.
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By dogsbody on 30 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well detailed introduction to the scenery of this country, particularly good about western Britain, but decent about other areas. For the traveller around this country this book is almost a 'must have'.
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