Posts Tagged ‘Yorkshire’

Canals, Plants and People: a Yorkshire Perspective by Ray Goulder.

February 3, 2019

Regular readers of Forum publications will be familiar with the work of Ray Goulder, author of this new book (Please note that we’ve not received a review copy so the information provided here is that which was received from Ray as author)

Canals, Plants and People: a Yorkshire Perspective

Which, according to the flyer we’ve received

This book is aimed at readers who enjoy and relax in the ambience of canals. It will appeal to botanists, ecologists, geographers, natural historians, and to boaters, and to those who walk or cycle along towing paths or take a wider interest in the countryside.

The author explores how water plants in and alongside Yorkshire canals interact with human activity. Contents include:

  • A record of the plants found.
  • The impact of boating on plants and vegetation.
  • Plants in derelict and disused canals.
  • Effects of restoration of disused canals.
  • Relationships between plants and maintenance and management of canals.
  • Rare plants, native plants that are beyond their natural geographic range, and alien plants.
  • Impacts of leisure activities on plants.
  • The future of plants in canals.

The author has worked extensively as a volunteer for the Canal & River Trust and has become increasingly focused on how the distribution and abundance of plants are related to the many ways in which people use and enjoy canals.

The book is scientifically rigorous with a wealth of plant records in appendices. Over 200 references are cited and there is a comprehensive index. There are vi + 222 pages and the author’s colour photographs are used to illustrate the text.

Canals, Plants and People: a Yorkshire Perspective (2019) is published by the People, Landscape and Cultural Environment Education and Research Centre (PLACE)*.

To obtain a copy send a cheque for £13.50 (£10.50 + £3.00 p&p) per copy to Dr Margaret Atherden, PLACE Office, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York YO31 7EX. Cheques to be payable to PLACE.  Remember to include your name and address, email & telephone number.

*For more information about PLACE publications click here 




Iolo for PM?

July 3, 2013
Species rich haymeadows - a thing of the past, a declining habitat?

Species rich haymeadows – a thing of the past, a declining habitat?


Rarely do we hear such eloquent music plead for the environment as has recently been sung by the ‘Welsh bard’ Iolo Williams and posted on u-Tube following his appearance at the launch of the State of Nature launch.

I don’t know who uploaded the film but a big thank you!  It has had an incredible number of viewers and comments and I’d certainly recommend watching or just listening to the clarity of purpose resonating in his voice, music to campaigners ears.  A call to arms.

Iolo rightly points out that the failure thus far is a disgrace.  One could be forgiven for wondering what ever happened to the much heralded 2010 “Making Space for Nature” Report?   Where are all the promised improvements?

Conversely, in an open and refreshingly honest way  The State of Nature Report certainly appears to evidence ever diminishing space that is left for nature, it is a catalogue of decline of habitats and species.  He’d get my vote to to organise a ‘cull’ of inefficiencies and surplus fat cats more bothered about their pensions than the legacy for our grandchildren.  His merciless lambasting of the politicians and the inactivity of organisations who have failed to stem the tide is sheer music.  He certainly didn’t mince his words with his interpretation of the new name given to the organisation which is pedalled as being the agency which will be looking after the countryside in Wales.  Honesty – absolutely wonderful, delightfully refreshing!

The self confessed unashamedly proud Welshman laments the loss of haymeadows and moors and being of that same era I too can recount similar losses here in the Humberhead Levels and across the wider Yorkshire.  There have been campaigners fight to conserve our precious countryside, the likes of the late Wm Bunting and the late Stephen Warburton but they are sadly no longer amongst our number and the natural regeneration is in decline.  Real campaigning conservationists are also a rare species now, these days it seems that too many are happy to take mitigation crumbs and ‘build biodiversity’ instead of conserving it.

Haymeadows with their luxuriant hedgerows – yes I’ve seen them disappear and what precious few are left here in South Yorkshire and the Humberhead Levels we’ve had to fight for, the image above is evidence of a small success.

Then take the ‘battle for the bogs’ or lowland raised mires to give them their correct name at Thorne and Hatfield Moors are another example of beleagured habitats abandoned by those charged with statutory responsibilities for their conservation.  Instead it’s been down to local communities to challenge, and like Iolo I wonder where the next generation are and what they will be left with consequential of the continual erosion and degradation of our natural environment.  Thank you Iolo for the timely clarion call reminding us of so many things that we should be doing ….

Well said cariad bach as my Grandfather used to say, and thank you too from a Yorkshire lass!

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Mark Avery

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a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

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