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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vegetation explained
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,...
Published 19 months ago by J. Holden

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3.0 out of 5 stars One positive is copious excellent photographs. Book most disappointing for a New Naturalist ...
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.
Published 2 months ago by ge


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vegetation explained, 7 May 2013
By 
J. Holden "Myxomage" (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on British Vegetation, 7 Jun 2013
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Much in little.., 7 Sep 2014
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant new book on ecology and plant communities., 10 Mar 2014
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Mr. J. Butler (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Review, 28 July 2013
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars British vegetation overview, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Vegetation of Britain and Ireland (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 122) (Paperback)
A thorough account and a really interesting read too. Lovely photographs of sites & plant life. This is an excellent support for geographer, botanists and geologists.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A quality read., 30 Jan 2014
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars One positive is copious excellent photographs. Book most disappointing for a New Naturalist ..., 12 Oct 2014
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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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-class book, 5 April 2013
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Brilliant overview of the vegetation of the British Isles with enough environmental background to enable readers to appreciate the dynamic nature of plant communities and the impact of human activity.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Sep 2014
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great book. Excellent service.
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