Flora of Derbyshire

The Flora of Derbyshire - Checklist, Maps and Sample Accounts

Coverage

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) This plant is the most frequently recorded plant in our surveys, with over 7,100 records on our Flora database.

This page gives a detailed explanation of coverage of the Flora of Derbyshire database, divided into the following categories:

Biological coverage - what's included?

Geographical coverage - what do we mean by "Derbyshire"?

Time coverage - something old, something new?

Extent of coverage - how extensive is the Flora dataset?

Accuracy of coverage - how good is the data?

Species account coverage – what is online now?

Biological coverage - what's included?

The Flora of Derbyshire database shows all species of plants found growing in a wild situation in Derby and Derbyshire, irrespective of whether they are native to the county or have been introduced here.

Only vascular plants are included. These are the flowering plants, trees, grasses, conifers, ferns, horsetails and clubmosses. Other plants such as liverworts, mosses, lichens and algae are not covered here. Garden plants and agricultural species are excluded unless they have escaped and are spreading in the wider environment, or are thought liable to spread in the near future. Deliberately planted species are excluded unless they, too, are in a wild setting.

Every plant species we know to have occurred in Derbyshire is available via the A-Z lists.

Geographical coverage - what do we mean by "Derbyshire"?

Derbyshire is located in the central part of England in the region known as the East Midlands . The exact boundary of our Flora project may seem unusual, as data is included from both the modern county of Derbyshire as well as the much older botanical vice-county (VC57). Each map shows both the modern boundary of Derbyshire as a solid line, whilst the botanical vice-county is shown dotted. The City of Derby boundary is indicated with a solid line near SK33.

County boundaries have been modified many times over the centuries, so our maps and written accounts inevitably include records of plants from well outside the modern boundary, such as south Sheffield or east Burton Upon Trent. These will still be valid, of course, for the unchanging botanical vice-county region of Derbyshire. (see References and Links for an explanation)

Time coverage - something old, something new?

The Flora project has computerised records from 1660 right up to 2007. Later records are still being collected, but are not available here. The latest known year is displayed next to each species name in the search results. First and last year information is included in the statistics box beside each map.

We define:

  • modern or "recent records" as those made after the start of 1987
  • old or "previous records" as those made anytime prior to 1987
  • a plant as "locally extinct" if it has not been recorded here since 1969.

Extent of coverage - how extensive is the Flora dataset?

This database is a summary of records collected by the Flora of Derbyshire project since work began in 1996. A volunteer team has computerised over 560,000 modern plant records, with the database at Derby Museum now containing more than 700,000 records across all date periods.

Fieldwork by volunteers since 1994 has captured 400,000 new records, with efforts directed to under-recorded parts such as towns and agricultural areas, as well as botanically more interesting regions.

Information going back over 300 years has been extracted from Linton's 1903 Flora, Claphams 1969 Flora and from the two later supplements. Records from the BSBI’s 1987 "rare plants survey" have been added, whilst datasets have been imported from a number of individual botanists. Key plant records from the Monks Wood BRC, Peak National Park and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have been captured, too. It has proved too difficult to extract records in paper form from some organisations such as English Nature (now Natural England), and, until recently, even from Derby Museum’s own herbarium!

Accuracy of coverage - how good is the data?

Some plants are easily overlooked, like this Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) on open moorland above Far Black Clough SK1298

Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, both in field recording and data inputting. Recorders are encouraged to use open spaces and public rights of way to collect plant data at a 1km level of detail, making further notes whenever rarer species are encountered.

Standard "tick list" recording cards are mostly used. Keen botanists use nationally available "RP28" cards, listing plants by their scientific name. Others preferred in-house cards, designed to show only the commonest Derbyshire plants with their English names. On high moorland areas, where very few species are encountered, special cards were given to hill-walkers to enable fast recording over multiple grid squares.

Data has been collected over the years by a number of very committed botanists and naturalist. Some took responsibility for ensuring individual 10km squares were well-recorded, whilst others preferred to survey in many corners of the county. Inevitably, individual skills and abilities vary, as does the amount of time each has been able to devote to this huge task. Some parts of Derbyshire are hard to reach, or may have no public access.

We are confident that we now have a good recording coverage across Derbyshire, but acutely aware there are still many areas and habitats left unrecorded. There is always more that can be done! We suggest you look at maps for common species to make your own assessment of how well we have covered the county. Whilst a dot on a distribution map accurately represents the presence of a plant record on our database from that area, the absence of a dot inevitably leaves some uncertainty. It may be that the species does not occur there. However, it can equally mean that it has not been found and recorded by our Flora Group, despite having grown there for many years!

The vascular plant database at Derby Museum is continually re-assessed to ensure that data inputting errors are kept to an absolute minimum, and that records of unusual species are constantly challenged. Our systems allow virtually every record to be traced back to source, if necessary. A list of previously published records that we now consider to be invalid is included in the Checklist of the Plants of Derbyshire (Moyes & Wilmot, 2002) and in the 2007 online update, downloadable from References and links.

Despite our best endeavours, we can never assert that our database is error-free. Users of this site must therefore bear this disclaimer in mind when utilising the information provided here. Neither the Derbyshire Flora Group, nor any individual recorder or volunteer can be held liable for the consequences of this data being used or interpreted.

Species account coverage – what is online now?

Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha) near Alderwasley SK3253

Accounts for most species and many subspecies are included in this site, although a few have still to be written for critical groups or recent discoveries. The majority of accounts presented here are still in "draft form" and are clearly labelled as such. Mostly were prepared between 2003 and 2005. Because all maps were prepared in 2007, some minor discrepancies between the two may be noticed. Species new to the county since 2007 will not appear on this site until the next major update. As a priority we are endeavouring to edit and update the accounts for key species. These include Red Data List species and those for which photographs are being submitted to our Flickr photo pool: Derbyshire Flora images on Flickr website.

Flora of Derbyshire

Maintained by Kevin S. Hutchby

2024