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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue update on Britain's Wild Orchids!, 18 Aug. 2005
By A Customer
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This review is from: Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide (Paperback)
An excellent textbook/field guide including the latest names and up-to-date re-classifications for many species, sub-species and varieties. Well illustrated throughout with good quality photographs labelled with date and county. I feel the range maps may have been more meaningful had they been able to give an outline indication of either modern County or Vice-county boundaries, but this is rather nit-picking. I suspect the Site Guide section at the end of this book may prove to be of somewhat limited use but, sadly, due to delays in publication, it is too late to put it to the test this year! This book is a must-have for anyone interested in our wild orchids but it may turn out to be a bit heavy to be carried about in the field and end up more as a reference book on the shelves at home. I also have to wonder how long it would last in a "field use" situation before falling apart, or at least parting company with its cover...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Guide to British Orchids, 11 Jun. 2009
By 
V. Batten (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide (Paperback)
What a fantastic Book. This wasn't the first book I bought on the subject but it is the best. Fantastic photos are accompanied by detailed but clear information written with enough technical detail to satisfy most people without baffling us with too much scientific terminology. This book is either by the side of my bed or in my rucksac and I refer to it at least once a week.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Hair Splitting, 10 Jan. 2006
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide (Paperback)
This relatively large "field guide" is perhaps better described as a "coffee table book"...it's far too nice to be subjected to the rigours of the field. The numerous pictures are well worth the purchase price alone, to take just one example, the Frog Orchid photos are the best I've ever seen in a published work of this unspectacular species, a difficult plant to capture on film.
The site guide part of the book seems comprehensive, but could have featured more places, perhaps that only have a couple of species, the sites featured are mostly those that have several species present.
My only real gripe with this generally excellent book is the authors' reliance on "genetic evidence" to determine the status of the various species.Two examples : "until recently Burnt Orchis was...in the genus Orchis, but genetic studies have resulted in its transfer to the genus Neotinea..." Since Burnt Orchid is, to say the least, similar to other Orchis species, this seems a bit like suddenly deciding that the Black Headed Gull isn't a gull at all, but a species of penguin. Similarly the split of Fragrant Orchid into three separate species is shown to be an exercise in hair splitting by the table on page
258.
Although this is a work for the general reader, generalisations like "Recently DNA evidence has shown...", in my opinion, must be at least partly elaborated on to justify the counter-intuitive arguments they support.
Having said that, the status of species and subspecies of British Wild Orchids is always debated hotly in books on the subject, and this guide has lots to recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orchid watch in the UK, 14 April 2011
This review is from: Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide (Paperback)
For virtually anyone interested in native orchids in the BI this is a fantastic book for helping identify them, and more iportantly (and no other book does this), where to go and see them. Some people may disagree with giving locations of where these beautiful flowers grow at their best, but 99.99999% of readers of the book will want to help protect them, not destroy them. The book also gives the most detailed information about past and present distributions, and thus how many have suffered drastic losses in the past 2 centuries. Very good indeed - would die for a similar book that covered orchids say in the Med islnds, France or many other countries for that matter!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book with technical detail where needed., 17 Mar. 2011
By 
. "Paul" (Northampton UK) - See all my reviews
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Very good book, good pictures, text can be rather technical, but full of detail. Maps show and describe where to find the rarer types. Too large to carry in the field. The only concern is the binding does not seem built to last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide, 20 Jun. 2010
By 
John R. Pellatt (Kent England) - See all my reviews
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As far as I was concerned I found this an excellent Guide especially for sites.
Recognition has been excellent but the book is a little bulky for on site work. The book gave me a good insight as to what to look for. I found that used in conjunction with a camera and then comparing later in the car before leaving site worked very well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for photographers of orchids, 4 Aug. 2014
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A delightfully written informative book . I now wonder how I managed to locate and photograph orchids without it .
A few orchids to locate this month. Then cannot wait until next May when I can start exploring sites I knew nothing of .
I wish that they had a similar book fungus . Just bought Simon's book on wild glowers
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best UK Orchid Guide, 22 Jun. 2014
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Without doubt the most thorough & complete guide to British Orchids so far. Superb photographs.
I do wish the taxonomists would leave the names alone though !!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, 11 July 2013
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Probably more than I really need, but I like collecting natural history books. It's a book for the shelf to dip into as and when
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4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Orchids, 20 May 2013
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C. Brooks (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you like Orchids then this is a must have book. Full of colour images, informative text and lists of the best places to go and find some. It's a bit more than a field guide though, more of a reference book but a great one it is to. Thoroughly recommended.
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Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide
Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide by Simon Harrap (Paperback - 21 July 2005)
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