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David Bevan

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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.

Research Interests

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. 

References

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.

Selected Publications

“Conserving nature in London”

“The effect of urbanisation on ancient woodland” with Oliver Gilbert

“The natural history of Haringey’s ancient woodland”

“London’s Distinctive Flora”

“London’s Exotic Flora”

Projects

The Haringey Flora – Queens Wood NEW!

Saving the Song thrush in London

Illustrated Talks

Each is illustrated with slides, and lasts approximately one hour. A variety of relevant literature and occasional live plants can be displayed.

CONSERVING NATURE IN LONDON

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE GARDEN

GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE

WILD FLOWERS IN THE GARDEN

LONDON’S WILD FLOWERS

WILDFLOWERS AND BUTTERFLIES

CREATING A BUTTERFLY GARDEN

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF HARINGEY’S ANCIENT WOODLANDS

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE NEW RIVER

WILDLIFE AT CHRISTMAS

 

Biographical Details

“Green” sites

London Natural History Society
London Wildlife Trust