Flora of Derbyshire

The Flora of Derbyshire - Checklist, Maps and Sample Accounts

About the Flora Project



The Botanical Society of the British Isles met in Derbyshire in 1998 to help our Flora Group survey parts of northern Derbyshire.


The Derbyshire Flora Project began life in 1994 when botanists across Britain responded to a proposal from the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) to produce a new national atlas of vascular plants covering the whole of Britain and Ireland. Derbyshire's botanists joined forces to help, and began recording the distribution of this county's wild plants in a scheme they called Derbyshire Flora 2000. Their work ended in December 2000 and the UK Atlas itself appeared two years later (Preston et al, 2002).

The second aim of the Derbyshire Flora Project was to collect enough data to publish a completely new book on our own wild plants, offering coloured distribution maps and accounts of each species. It would take the name of the previous work - The Flora of Derbyshire - which last appeared thirty years before (Clapham, 1969).

Clapham's 1969 Flora was followed by two later supplements, the second of which appeared in 1980. But since that time there have been significant and often devastating losses in habitat diversity across many parts of Derby and Derbyshire, mostly through urban development or intensification of farming practices. A number of gains to our flora have also occurred, and many introduced species are now routinely recorded by botanists, whereas in the past they were mostly ignored.

It was felt that a new county flora was needed to record all these changes. It would be of interest to botanists, students, general naturalists, professional ecologists and workers in the conservation field. Since 1997 the project has been led by two people. Dr Alan Willmot is Derbyshire's County Plant Recorder for the BSBI, and a recently retired lecturer in biology at The University of Derby. Computerisation and preparation of data has been overseen since the project's inception by Nick Moyes, Keeper of Natural Sciences at Derby Museum & Art Gallery. Both have undertaken much of this work in their own time, working closely over the years with around 100 volunteer recorders and data inputters. Follow this link for detailed acknowledgements and credits: Acknowledgements.

Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) Cressbrook Dale SK1774. An attractive component of many limestone dale sides in spring

The first task was to compile a Checklist, clearly indicating all the species ever recorded in Derbyshire. This was to form the basis of what should and should not be included in the published Flora. A Checklist of the Plants of Derbyshire was published in 2002, with an update appearing in December 2007.

Although many species accounts were drafted in 2003/4, progress with the Flora slowed through pressure of other work and one of the project members other commitments. Work is still proceeding, but in summer 2007 it was decided that we should attempt to make available some of the considerable amount of work that has already been done.

Rather than replace a published book, we hope this online database will spur us on to extra effort to produce a new Flora of Derbyshire in the years ahead, and that it will generate interest in the flora of one of the most beautiful counties in England.

Please feel free to contact us by emailing floraofderbyshire@gmail.com, or use the feedback form on our Contacts and feedback page.


This online Flora of Derbyshire would not have been possible without the knowledge, skills and time given by numerous people, amounting to well over 10,000 hours of unpaid labour over the last ten years.


In particular we would like to acknowledge help from the following botanists, all of whom have made a significant contribution to the recording of Derbyshire’s plant life. Each submitted at least 1,000 records apiece, with those in bold supplying over 10,000.

Balkow K; Barnacle K; Bousie A; Branson R; Brassley P; Brown P& M; Bryce M; Burns A; Court D; Croll N; Cuttell B; Dale V; Derby NHS; Derbyshire Wildlife Trust; Dupree D; Emerson J; Frost R; Gilbert O; Glasscock J; Hawksford J; Hewitt M; Higginbottom C; Hirons G; Hodgson J; Hollick K; Huston K; Hyde R; Jackson J; Joyce J&P; Kay G; Kearns E; Law N; Longbottom P; Loy T; Luft H; Lyme NHS; Mallon D; Martin R; Merritt R; Metcalfe H; Morgan A; Moss Valley Wildlife Group; Moyes N; Natural England; Noaks B; Patrick S; Precey P; Read M; Roberts L; Scott D; Slack L; Slaney R; Smith C; Smith M; Smith M; Smith R; Smyllie W; Sorby NHS; Storer L; Taylor T; Thickitt J; Thomas R; Thompson W; Thorpe E; Trotter S; Tryner L; Turner J; Wheeldon G & G; Willmot A.

Data Inputters

A stalwart band of volunteers has worked away behind the scenes at Derby Museum helping to put the last 300 years of Derbyshire’s plant records onto a Recorder 3 database. This flora database could not have been achieved in the same timescale had their help not been available. The following have computerised over 1,000 records, with those in bold inputting at least 15,000 apiece.

Branson A&R; Brown A; Cauldwell C; Davison-Fenn R; Dodd A; Eastwood S; Emerson J; Higgins J; Laver S; Lynam R; Martin R; Metcalfe W&H; Morton P; Patrick K; Poll P; Rana J; Roberts L; Shaw A; Wabeke T; Wheeler A.

Special thanks must go to K Patrick who has computerised over 140,000 records since 1994, and remains a loyal helper today.

IT Credits

Dr A.Morton gave considerable help over the years, and made special modifications to his DMAP mapping programme to allow us to include overlain symbols (www.dmap.co.uk). Thanks to C. Roper for advice with inserting map images into Access reports.

Other Credits

The Flora of Derbyshire project would not have begun at all had not Mr Roy Smith, the county plant recorder for Derbyshire until 1997, taken up the challenge of starting to organise the systematic botanical recording of our region. R.Branson gave help in extracting local plant names from Grigson (1975), whilst he and his wife worked tirelessly for two years to extract herbarium data from the Derby Museum collections. J.Emerson, J Higgins and F. Jackson kindly extracted records from various past Floras for us. Our long-suffering families must be thanked for their patience as we worked on this scheme, and we wish to record thanks to our employers, past and present, for the encouragement and support they have given to this important project.

To those whose data we might have missed or mangled along the way, or whose help we may have ommitted to acknowledge here, we offer our apologies. We did our best with the resources available to capture as much data as possible, and as accurately as possible.

Flora of Derbyshire

Maintained by Kevin S. Hutchby