Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
A superb compendium of essentials for new ecological surveyors!
on 9 March 2014
A bit pricey but nevertheless a superb collection of key botanical and habitat information in one book. If you are a surveyor or just starting out in the business then this is one for you. Experienced surveyors will doubtless use Stace and Poland for their id work but even though I use them all the time I found that the approach and structure of this book is really handy. The key difference is that the plant collections are related to their NVC communities which is really great. I suppose the reason I got sold on the approach so quickly was that this book reflected what I was actually writing down in my field notes so it does closely reflect my approach to NVC plant and habitat survey work. There are also handy chapters summarising habitat characteristics and summary tables of NVC, Phase 1 codes and UK BAP listings. I think it only covers the top 700 species you are likely to come across but I haven't seen this as a problem yet. If you are an experienced Poland user then the keys will be a bit simple for you but nevertheless I really liked the plain english approach...and it works really well when training others. It's vegetative as well as floral which is brilliant and the illustrations are excellent. The keys for grasses, sedges and rushes work really well! A book like this makes it easier for people from all sorts of backgrounds to make serious contributions to surveys and conservation work...and for that it deserves 5 stars.