Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Of flowers and Ravens

I have just spent a most enjoyable and informative hour watching 'Bees, Butterflies and Blooms' on BBC2, presented by Sarah Raven. The aim of the programme (and series) was/is to highlight the plight of Britain's wild flowers - not only the fact that their decline is one that is an aesthetic loss to us, but more importantly the worry that our insect population are in freefall and that this in turn reduces the number of pollinators of many of our important crops.

It was a joy to see flower-filled meadows and actually have a botanist, on prime-time television, showing off the delights that such places harbour. I was immediately reminded to plug Sarah's latest book (pictured left). You could at first mistake it as nothing but a coffee-table book, but you would be wrong. Inside you will find stunning photography, particularly the habitat spread shots that will leave you looking deep into them for several minutes before being enticed away to read the individual species accounts, that are packed with useful information and personal observation. Sarah comes from botanical stock. Her father, John, was a well-known botanist who was co-author of one of my favourite botanical books, the New Naturalist volume 'Mountain Flowers'.

There is a lot that we can all do to help the plight of wild flowers and the insects that rely on them, and that is what this series is all about. No doubt tonights programme will be on 'catch-up' but if you don't have one of those new-fangled boxes plugged into your television set, then make sure that you watch next week's offering. If you are interested in wildlife then you really ought to...


  1. I watched it, Steve and thoroughly enjoyed it. And that was because it touched on a subject close to home, rather than the norm of programmes about exotic species from overseas.

  2. Good point Dean, it made a change from a camera shoved right up a Polar Bear's backside...