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Flora and fauna from Cornelius Brown

A long post, but an interesting read into the history of flora and fauna in Nottingham, sections taken from “A history of Nottingham” by Cornelius Brown…


THE county of Nottingham has an exceptionally brilliant record in the botanical branch of its natural history, as no less than three county floras have appeared, one of them being among the earliest of British local floras. As long ago as 1738, Dr. Charles Deering published a work consisting of 231 octavo pages, entitled, ‘Catalogus Stirpium, &c.; or, A Catalogue of Plants Naturally growing and commonly cultivated in divers Parts of England, More especially about Nottingham.’ Although written at a time when botanical nomenclature was very different to what it is at present, the work must be acknowledged as a valuable record of the flora of the district. Its pages may be searched with interest to see the enormous changes which have taken place during the century and a half which have since elapsed. It may further be observed that it will always possess a more than local interest, because in it the two Nottingham meadow crocuses are for the first time introduced to the British flora.

The number accredited to Notts as truly indigenous is just under 750 species; that is, including the flowering plants and vascular cryptogams… The number given for the whole of Britain is 1,428 species, so that, if we accept 750 as the total for Notts, it will show a proportion to that of Britain of little over one-half. Probably this is too low an estimate, and considering the great advance made in our knowledge of British botany during the last half-century, and the changes effected in the district by the exigencies of cultivation, the breaking up of waste land, and the drainage of bogs and swamps, it seems desirable that a systematic re-examination of the county flora should be undertaken by local botanists, in order to supplement the work so well begun by Deering, Ordoyno and Howitt.


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