RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 416/PRO/7
Extent15 boxes (102 folders), 4 lever arch files, 3 ring binders, 2 box files, 2 envelopes, 1 volume, 1 cassette tape
TitleFlora Britannica
DescriptionFlora Britannica was a project launched by Richard Mabey with the support of Common Ground, which ran from 1992 to 1996. The project sought to discover the diversity and distribution of plantlife in Britain, as well as to record and explore the historical and contemporary associations and uses of plants, including information about customs, stories, recipes, remedies, and games. It had two aims: to produce a major book concerning the cultural flora of modern Britain, and to start a process of popular interest and activity at the local level, carried out by people all around the country. Invitations for people to send in their personal knowledge of local plants were circulated by national and local television and radio broadcasters, newspapers and magazines, and Common Ground received responses from individuals, organisations and groups all over Britain.

The major output of this project was Richard Mabey's encyclopedia of wild plants of the UK, which was entitled 'Flora Britannica' and published by Sinclair Stevenson in 1996. In addition to scientific botanical information, it recorded vernacular cultural information sent in by over 3,000 people from across the country. In addition, throughout 1994, 1995 and 1996, Common Ground encouraged people to reinforce and renew their affections for everyday plants through initiatives the charity named 'local floras', which included a pilot project in Northamptonshire. Other related publications published in the course of this project include two pamphlets in 1992 and 1995 entitled 'Flora Britannica: The Handbook' and 'Local Flora Britannica', as well as a Flora Britannica newsletter named 'Woodbine'. People who worked on this project include: Richard Mabey (author), John Newton (Project Coordinator), Daniel Keech (Assistant Project Coordinator), Sue Clifford (Co-Founder and Joint Coordinator of Common Ground), and Angela King (Co-Founder and Joint Coordinator of Common Ground).

Material in this section of the archive includes project administration files; correspondence; papers relating to the pilot project in Northamptonshire; papers relating to publications and promotional material; and press clippings and publicity material.
FormatVarious formats
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsPlease note that access to some files is restricted subject to Data Protection legislation. Access may only be provided on a case-by-case basis and upon completion of a Data Protection form.
ArrangementThe files in this section of the archive were originally kept together by Common Ground; however, they have been rearranged into series to reflect the different activities within the project and to provide contextual information for users. The original order within each file has been preserved. Duplicates have been removed and disposed of wherever possible within these files, but three examples of each document have been retained. Most files in this section were stored vertically in inadequate card folders or office spring transfer files. For preservation purposes, these papers have been repackaged into acid-free folders and boxes.
Creator_NameCommon Ground; arts and environmental charity (1982-)
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