London’s Natural History
This website is about conserving nature in London, UK. It contains information about London’s natural history, and includes relevant links. I am the Conservation Officer of the London Natural History Society (LNHS), and worked (until retiring in 2005) as an ecologist for the London Borough of Haringey. I have a particular interest in the flora of urban areas.
I am particularly interested in gathering information about the flora of urban areas and the spread of introduced species (see, for example Bevan and Gilbert, 1997). I am currently compiling data on the incidence of hybridization between native and introduced plants in urban areas. In many London woods, for example, the Highclere Holly (Ilex x. altaclerensis) is now widespread, and most urban bluebells are hybrids between the introduced Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) and the native species ( H. non-scripta). Far less widespread, but characteristically urban in its distribution is the fabled London Rocket Senecio x londinensis (the cross between Oxford Ragwort (Senecio squalidus) and Sticky Groundsel (S. viscosus), and one of the very few organisms to be named after the Capital. There is a comprehensive account of such hybrids in Stace & Crawley, 2015. Stace calls such hybrids neonatives and lists around 140 examples. I would welcome details other such examples of our urban flora.
Gilbert, O.L. and Bevan, (1997). The effect of urbanisation on ancient woodland. Br. Wildlife 8: 213-218.
Stace, C.A.and Crawley, M.J.(2015). Alien Plants. William Collins.
The Haringey Flora – Queens Wood NEW!
Each is illustrated with slides, and lasts approximately one hour. A variety of relevant literature and occasional live plants can be displayed.