West Highland Flora

The Botanist on Skye

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The new (2005) edition of "The Botanist in Skye and Adjacent Islands" can be obtained from the following address:

John Birks
Department of Biology
University of Bergen
Allegaten 41
N-5007 Bergen

A UK bank cheque for 14 UK pounds made out to HJB Birks (Skye) should be enclosed.

This is the third edition of the book, and it has been expanded to include the Small Isles so that the whole of Vice-county 104 is now covered.  For each vascular plant species that occurs in the area, there is a text entry describing the plant's habitat, distribution, local varieties and any other points of interest, followed by a list of the 10 km grid squares in which it occurs, and a note of the islands (Skye, Raasay, Rona, Scalpay, Soay, Muck, Rum, Eigg and Canna) where it is found.  The book also has 31 pages of introductory articles and maps, and four pages of photos.  It has appendices covering old records that are now omitted, planted species growing in estate woodland and forestry, and botanists in the area past and present.

A great many new records have been added since the previous (1980) edition, including several species that have only been discovered on Skye and the other islands since that date.

Anyone who made as much use of the 1980 edition as I did will be in urgent need of an upgrade anyway as their existing copy will be falling apart.  To anyone who has not yet seen this book in any form, I can only say it is a botanist's dream.  If you've never visited Skye and you buy this book, your first visit will not be long delayed.

Now will somebody please do the same for lichens, mosses, fungi, beetles, moths...


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