A catalogue of the records for Cambridgeshire has been made
to form the basis of a Historical Flora of Cambridgeshire consisting of a transcription
of published records since 1538, including those from W Turner and J Gerarde and
encompassing all the floras of the county. All the records from the herbaria at
Cambridge, Saffron Walden, Reigate, Wisbech and York have been catalogued from
the original sheets, together with the Red Data Book species in the BM and Kew.
Wherever possible, transcriptions of manuscript material previously unpublished
in our Floras have been transcribed from the originals.
Part I deals with about 360 Rare Species and Part II with about 1,100 Alien Species
in the county. (Since the corrections and additions made in October 2002 to Part
I were not added to the downloading facility, this has now been done.) Species
which are already in Part I are added to Part II if there are recent additions
and corrections and a link is provided between Parts I and II. Part III consists of all the remaining species under the general heading of Common and Uncommon species (about 790 species and hybrids).
A printed-out version has been deposited in the library of the
Natural History Museum at South Kensington; The University Library at Cambridge;
The University Botanic Garden and the Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge; and the Cambridge Collection section
of the County Council Library at the Lion Yard, Cambridge.
When the facility of freely down-loading was made, it was decided that there would
not be any need for a CD-Rom and this was therefore never made.
In the 1950s recorders in Cambridgeshire began to use printed cards of species
lists and these were then mechanically sorted. These records were published in
the Atlas of the British Flora (1962) and A Flora of Cambridgeshire (1964), the
latter including a list of all 10Km squares/species. This resulted in subsequent
recorders such as Robert Payne and Graham Easy, sending in only records for new
10Km squares. Such records were sent in on individual record cards
with full details, and then passed on to BRC for the national database. However,
with the advent of recording on a tetrad basis introduced by Richard Pankhurst
in 1972, this kind of detailed record was not kept.
At present the records made on printed cards as well as individual records are
transferred to the Cambridge Flora Groups database on Recorder. These records
have been incorporated into the Catalogue but when there are more than 50 records
for a species in the database, only the total number is given.The Catalogue therefore
does not give an up to date distribution (particularly not of the common species)
of the flora. This information will be found in the printed maps of the New Atlas
of the British and Irish Flora, 2002 and in the Vice-county recorders (Nick Millar)
copy of Recorder.
The records for Cambridgeshire are so numerous that it seems unlikely that all
of them can ever be published in book form and the Internet seems to be the only
way of making this information freely available. The aim is to make this enormous
archive of records available, so that it can be used by anyone in any manner they
wish, and also to leave room for corrections and additions so that the catalogue
can be corrected and kept up to date.
I am particularly indebted to my collaborators in Part II, Graham Easy and Alan
Leslie, who between them have made perhaps 80% of the alien records and have also
read through and corrected the text.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped me over the last 10 years. In particular
I am grateful to David Briggs, Peter Sell, Gina Murrell and Richard Savage for
facilitating work in the herbarium and the library at the Department of Plant
Sciences, Cambridge; Jill Rayment and Robert Bell at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum;
Len Pole and Maureen Evans at the Saffron Walden Museum; Brian Webster at the
Northampton Central Museum; Sandra Apps at the Holmesdale Natural History Club,
Reigate; David Antill at York Museum and Roy Vickery at the Natural History Museum.
I am also greatly indebted to Colin Hill and Philip Oswald for their translations
of text in Latin; Roger Vaughan with drawing my attention to Leonard Jenyns
Journal of Natural History; Peter Sell and Chris Preston for their help with taxonomic
problems; Ann Rees and Edna Norman with topographical help; Erica Swale, Ann Rees,
the late Derek Wells, Hilary Belcher and Chris Preston for their help with transcriptions
and cataloguing the Herbarium at Cambridge; Bridget Smith and Jane Bulleid for
help with proof reading; the late Martin Ware for his invaluable help with editing
and proof reading as well as working on cataloguing the Herbarium at Cambridge,
and to the late David Coombe for help with many difficult problems.
I am grateful to The Syndics of Cambridge University Library for their permission
to reproduce extracts from Leonard Jenyns Journal of Natural History and
from other manuscripts. Likewise to the Cambridge Record Office for permission
to print extracts from the Maynard manuscripts. I am also grateful to the Editorial
Board of Nature in Cambridgeshire for permission to publish extracts from articles
in that Journal and to the Cambridge Natural History Society for permission to publish the records in the card index (which had been started by David Valentine when he was curator of the Herbarium before the war). I am also indebted to Mrs F Prime and Wheldon & Wesley Ltd. for permission to quote from Ray's Flora of Cambridgeshire Translated and edited by AH Ewen & CT Prime. 1975.
I am also greatly indebted to the owners of annotated floras, from which they have allowed me to transcribe the annotations, including Mrs PJ Bourne, Lady Rosemary Fitzgerald, PH Oswald, CD Preston, Mrs Pumphrey, Norman Villis and Richard Ward.
Lastly I would like to take this opportunity to thank Max Walters and David Allen
for all their help with sources of new material, my co-recorders, for allowing
me to use records in their Recorder database, and lastly, I am immensely grateful
for the generous and invaluable expert help given by Bill Walston of Systems Suppport
and Martin Hodge of MNL Consultants, without whose kindness these records would
still be locked in my computer, and now the resulting website has become noted
for its clarity and ease of use.