I’ve spent many years researching and writing about the uses people make of plants
and what plants mean to the people who use them.

There is a summary of my work and some of the projects I’ve been involved in here

Blackthorn © Aaron Parker

Blackthorn - Prunus spinosa         Photo: © Aaron Parker

Producing a magnificent display of white blossom that forms billowing clouds among hedgerows and woodland edges in early spring, often during bitterly cold spells of weather, blackthorn is a significant component of the British countryside.
Its dense growth, armoured with sharp thorns, provides important habitat and shelter for animals and birds including the nightingale. It is also a food plant for many moths and buttefly species including the rare Black Hairstreak butterfly whose caterpillars feed on Blackthorn leaves in spring.
In autumn the beautiful astringent fruit, sloes, that adorn its branches provide a delicious flavouring for gin and other alcoholic drinks, syrup and cordial as well as an ingredient for preserves.

tree of the month