Forget about designer handbags – designer weeds are the future

How resilient are we? The world is changing dramatically – not just politically but socially and environmentally too. Resilience to change is becoming increasingly important, especially in environmental terms. We need to build the resilience of our environment, and our ecosystems, so that we can cope with ongoing changes in climate. The thing is thatContinue reading “Forget about designer handbags – designer weeds are the future”

Yes, no mebbe…does the nation care about native plants?

In Autumn every year, Scottish Natural Heritage commissions a public attitude survey about nature [1] . Scotland loves its native plants, doesn’t it? Scotland’s informal national anthem is ’Flower of Scotland’, Scotland’s national poet had a penchant for wild flowers, his wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow’r being one of many to feature in his poems, ScotlandContinue reading “Yes, no mebbe…does the nation care about native plants?”

Mind the gap

What’s the biggest threat to life on Earth today? It depends on the value you place on the quality of life. If we assume quality of life includes meeting the everyday requirements of clean water, clean air, productive soils, and access to food, building materials, it should also extend to having the freedom to experienceContinue reading “Mind the gap”

Plantlife at 25: 25 years of plant conservation in Scotland

Plantlife is 25 years old this year. On 11 March, we celebrated with an event at Stirling Castle where I cast my eyes forward, looking for the end of the rainbow… To quote Iris Murdoch: ‘people from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have suchContinue reading “Plantlife at 25: 25 years of plant conservation in Scotland”

Effective conservation of medicinal plants starts at home

In countries like the UK, conservation often follows a ‘top down’ approach where government, or a national NGO, decides that ‘something should be done’. Usually, this follows pressure from international level to set a standard or lead by example. In the UK, it usually means that there is a plethora of action plans, time linesContinue reading “Effective conservation of medicinal plants starts at home”

Why and how did a geographer get involved with medicinal plants in Nepal?

As a child I was fascinated by people, landscapes and wildlife. This was a fascination that led me, rather circuitously into plant conservation. Plants and ferns have always been a big part of my life. I was always surrounded by plants at home and when I went to university, my plants came with me. TheyContinue reading “Why and how did a geographer get involved with medicinal plants in Nepal?”

Conserving medicinal plants of Nepal

The World health Organisation estimates that about 80% of the world’s population relies on traditional plant based medicine – wild medicinal plants. This is not a bad thing. These resources are locally collected and those who collect them have a vested interest in sustainable collection. Arguably relying on locally sourced medicine, accessed through local knowledge is aContinue reading “Conserving medicinal plants of Nepal”