The Rebel Botanists
The Rebel Botanists are a group of people, based in and around Plymouth, who are passionate about wild flowers and the crucial part they play in the biodiversity of wildlife and our own lives. They are not qualified botanists but want to raise awareness of the flora and fauna all around us. From the lone dandelion finding its way through a crack in the pavement to the mighty oak that has towered over people for centuries and the huge myriad of creatures that rely on them.
Nature in decline
Wild flowers, in particular, are in massive decline. Over 97% of our wild flower meadows and grasslands have been lost since the 1930s. This means a loss of food and habitat for insects and creatures that we take for granted, which has itself led to a devastating decline in insect numbers. Through our varied outreach programme we aim to enlighten, enthuse and encourage others to help and care for the nature around them.
Starting back in April this year (2020) it was a response to lockdown and a renewed awareness within the general public about their surroundings. As the traffic stopped and people had more time to notice the nature around them we hoped to capitalise on this by encouraging them to stop and think carefully about the impact of our actions upon wildlife. It began by regularly using chalk to label wildflowers with both their common name and scientific name. At first, this was done individually in the parks and on the pavements of Plymouth. Later, they did the same in groups. The response they got was always very positive. It still is! Now, they have a number of fabulous artists who have joined the group and are able to extend the creativity of their awareness raising. Currently The Rebel Botanists are embarking on a number of projects to help improve the biodiversity within small sites across Plymouth, in the hope that this will provide a catalyst for further education.
You can find out more about what The Rebel Botanists do and find information on the events they are running by looking at their Facebook page.