RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 416/PRO/7/2
Extent10 boxes (66 folders)
TitleCorrespondence from members of the public relating to local flora, organised alphabetically by place
DescriptionThis series comprises files of correspondence from members of the public all around the UK sharing information on historic and contemporary popular associations and uses of local flora. The files also include some related material, originally enclosed with the correspondence, such as notes, photographs, press clippings, photocopied extracts from articles or books, leaflets, postcards, artwork, and pressed specimens of flora. Many of the letters and papers have been highlighted with a pen, indicating information that Richard Mabey (the author of Flora Britannica) or Common Ground found particularly interesting.

Most of the correspondence is addressed to Richard Mabey, but many letters are addressed to team members at Common Ground, who put calls out for and collected information to pass on to Richard Mabey. In addition, some letters are addressed to 'Countryfile' or John Craven, as requests for information for 'Flora Britannica' were often made on the BBC television programme 'Countryfile'. Some correspondents also refer to other forms of media through which they have heard requests for information, including magazines, newspapers, radio and television. Particular calls for information that received a high number of responses from the public concerned holly, wild daffodils, edible greens (nettles, hawthorn, garlic), arable weeds (corncockle, field marigold), fig trees, mistletoe, churchyard plants (snowdrops), black polars, hedgerows, orchids, mulleins, giant hogweed, wild service, sweet chestnuts, and ivy. The files also include replies to some letters from Richard Mabey and the project coordinators at Common Ground, John Newton and Daniel Keech.

The correspondence appears to have been organised by Common Ground or Richard Mabey into files according to place, with some files labelled with the names of counties, regions, cities (Bristol, Leeds, London, Manchester) or countries (Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales). The correspondence was numbered and the original folders were labelled with the date on which the correspondence was organised into chronological order. Some folders were marked with a note of when 'RM' (Richard Mabey) returned the file, indicating that all correspondence received by Common Ground and Richard Mabey concerning 'Flora Britannica' was returned to Common Ground upon completion of the book.
FormatVarious formats
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsPlease note that access to files in this series 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 original order of each file has been maintained but, for preservation purposes, the office transfer spring files in which the correspondence was orginally stored have been removed and the correspondence has been repackaged into acid-free folders. Any notes on the original folders have been recorded in the description field of each file.
Creator_NameCommon Ground; arts and environmental charity (1982-)
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