Naturalist Peter Marren, and Keble Martin's Concise British Flora
"I'm delighted that Keble Martin is something of a local hero in Woodbury
and is remembered so fondly after half a century. You are obviously doing
a wonderful job in keeping his memory alive."
Naturalist and author Peter Marren grew up with The Concise British Flora and rates it as the best field guide he knows -
"The flora to beat all floras... a thing of beauty, as well as an easy portal into the world of flower-spotting."
In 2018 - just as Woodbury Wide Awake was being planned - Peter published Chasing the Ghost: my search for all the wild flowers of Britain, which describes his quest to find ALL the plants in Keble Martin's book that he had not already ticked off. He wanted this to be attractive to people who are not usually particularly interested in this topic, believing that wild flowers are generally ignored not just by the media, but even by most naturalists.
The wildflower charity Plantlife have very kindly given us permission to reproduce below the article Peter wrote for the
Spring 2018 edition of their magazine. Plantlife is a British conservation charity set up 30 years ago, under the chairmanship of David Bellamy, in recognition of the fact that wild flowers, plants and fungi are not only the life support for all our wildlife but also that this priceless natural heritage is in danger of being lost. Plantlife works nationally and internationally to save threatened wild flowers, plants and fungi. They own nearly 4,500 acres of nature reserve across England, Scotland and Wales, which contain examples of over 80% of the UK’s wild flowers.
Peter Marren has recently written to support Woodbury Wide Awake, saying:
"I’m so glad you are celebrating Keble Martin at Woodbury this year. As you will have seen in Chasing the Ghost, he has been my botanical hero and constant companion since I first opened the Concise British Flora 54 years ago. Without him I would never have embarked on that mad quest to see all the flowers. I wish your festival well.... I'm delighted that Keble Martin is something of a local hero in Woodbury and is remembered so fondly after half a century. You are obviously doing a wonderful job in keeping his memory alive."