Maps & accounts: introduction

[Still ‘in development’. Illustrations and current comments are awaited for most entries and will be uploaded in stages in future updates.]

If this is your first visit, do check out the Guide section below
…  and
the main species-page is here

For the following genera only, follow these links:
Cotoneaster, Cotoneasters  –  Hieracium, Hawkweeds  –  Rubus (subgenus Rubus), Brambles  –  Taraxacum, Dandelions
(In A Flora of Cumbria these have significant introductory accounts, and keys, by Geoffrey Halliday. Since their formats could not be accommodated in the main species-page they have their own pages.)

Note: a hundred or so historical (nineteen and early twentieth century) records mentioned in A Flora of Cumbria are here.

With grateful thanks…

  • Geoffrey Halliday for passing over copyright for A Flora of Cumbria to enable us to utilise the species-accounts here.
  • Stephen Trotter and Cumbria Wildlife Trust for their most generous contributions towards the setting up of the site – by which the project got off to a ‘flying start’!
  • the Flora of Cumbria group team mentioned below. (The team’s initial title was ‘Advisory’ Group – but there was a certain inevitability in its evolution via ‘Steering’ Group to ‘Working’ Group, as it remains!)
  • Chris Cant for his enthusiasm, and persistence: in particular of course the implementation of the coding which does the hard work of combining all the elements of the page and generates the mapping.
  • James Drever and B.S.B.I. for exchanges and the download of map data from the ‘DDb’ – the Distribution Database.

The Ordnance Survey designations in the following account are as follows: hectad is a 10×10km square, tetrad is a 2×2km square, and monad is a 1×1km square. (A few older records are at quadrant scale, 5×5km.)
There is more information on recording at these different scales here
Note the top two items in the upper menu, ‘All species’ and ‘All records’. Both are extremely useful! [Note that depending upon your download speed, these take some time to load for the first time (hence the caution “Please wait”), but are more rapid on repeat.]
When ‘All species’ has loaded, select any square, zooming in if required. Note that by checking/unchecking the checkboxes you can select for any combination of hectad, tetrad, monad or quadrant to be shown or hidden.
Select one square to bring a popup with the number of species and the year-range of the records. Just below the map, the species recorded are listed!
(Select out all, or any part, of the list and Copy-and-paste into a text-editor. If desired, convert to an actual list using Find-and-replace: search for “ | ”  and replace by a line-feed or a return character appropriate for your system.)
In ‘All records’, select the hectad/tetrad/monad scale you want, to see the number of records and year-range in the popup. (The latter is a very useful indication of how recent, or not, is the information for that square.) Note that, for hectad and tetrad squares, the number of records displayed is for records at that scale, and does not include records at the finer monad scale (e.g. tetrad NY45S reports 414 records, whilst monad NY4654, one of the four monads within that tetrad, reports 700 records).

Select either of the dropdown menus labelled “{select}” and make a choice. The upper has scientific names; the lower has vernacular names. Scroll, or (with keyboard-access) simply type (without pausing!), over the dropdown menu until at least the genus is selected, then it’s often quicker to scroll to the desired species. On a smartphone, use the menu scroll-bar to greatly speed up scrolling.
Use the checkboxes to limit or expand the scale of the squares to be shown.
pastedGraphic.pngSelect a square at any scale to find the number of records of the species and the year or year-range.pastedGraphic_1.pngAs you zoom in on the map, the resolution of the underlying map display increases. (If the ‘grid’ checkbox is selected, a one-kilometre grid appears after a certain zoom-level.)
The ceremonial boundary of Cumbria is indicated in black. The internal boundaries of Vice-county 69, Westmorland (to the southeast) and of Vice-county 70, Cumberland (to the northwest) are indicated in blue. Sedbergh parish, actually in Vice-county 65, North-west Yorkshire, is in the south-east portion of Cumbria.

The range 1974–1997 covers the recording survey for A Flora of Cumbria. (Years 1998–9 were something of a break after the intense years of the Flora survey; these years have been appended to ‘the Flora years’.)
The ranges 2000–2019 and 2020–present are the years of the previous and current recording cycles of the BSBI.
In general terms, if ‘tetrads’ only is selected the map will show (within a close approximation) the survey results from the Flora, in blue. Tetrad was the scale used for much of the recording in those years. Selecting ‘monads’ will show, in the great majority of cases, the two more recent year-ranges, in red or green, as the change from tetrad- to monad-recording was introduced gradually through the 2000–2019 period.
NB: where there are records straddling several year-ranges, the tint of the resultant square (of whatever scale) reflects only the most recent range.

These are still being brought together and will be loaded in batches going forward. Where there is an illustration, the button(s) at lower left indicate how many images are available. Click/tap/swipe as appropriate to cycle through them. The small ‘four arrows’ icon at the lower right expands the image to full-screen. ‘Escape’ to return.

If there is a species-account in A Flora of Cumbria for your selected species – as there is for the majority of species – this appears below the map, after any illustrations.
The last line of the Flora account, such as ‘Map 1109 1687  LWFCY’ references i) its distribution map in the Flora; ii) the number of tetrads in which it was recorded during the Flora survey years; and iii) the vice-counties within which recorded in that survey (C = Cumberland, v.c.70; F = Furness, v.c.69b (part of VC69); L = part of West Lancashire, v.c.60; W = Westmorland, v.c. 69; Y = part of North-west Yorkshire, v.c. 65).

Current comments
Texts for this pane, after the Flora account where there is one, or directly after the map, are being gathered and will be installed at intervals.

Back-story …
Extending the Cumbria Botany website for individual taxon accounts and distribution maps arose from two considerations.
1: Geoffrey Halliday’s matchless account of the county’s vascular flora A Flora of Cumbria has passed its quarter-century. Published in 1997, it reports and records the state of the county’s flora based upon a survey carried out in the years 1974–1997, with detailed and illustrated introductory chapters by several authors on many aspects related to the county’s flora, and approaching 1800 species-accounts. A Flora of Cumbria is out-of-print (albeit available in the secondhand marketplace).
The great majority of these species-accounts still have full relevance today, and online availability gives them a new audience, and longevity anew.
2: For Cumbrian recorders (after a couple of years of well-earned respite, post-1997!) the B.S.B.I.’s twenty-year cycle of recording, years 2000–2019, usefully re-focussed efforts, and in the latter years of that round, a very large amount of re-recording was Cumbria’s contribution to the landmark publication in March 2023 of Plant Atlas 2020 – as a two-volume printed tome and also, with a slightly different set of parameters, online. Plant Atlas 2020 online offers mapping to tetrad (2×2km) scale, and much else besides, and is a hugely useful resource.
Enquiries with B.S.B.I. confirmed that we could request a complete download of the current set of mapping data for the county, to monad (1×1km) scale, and consisting of well over a million individual records.
This brought the possibility of creating species-pages populated by:
i) the up-to-date monad-scale map;
ii) the accounts from A Flora of Cumbria (obviously with indications where relevant of taxonomic alterations, plus additions to the county list since 1997, etc.);
iii) comments updating the 1997 accounts where deemed necessary, or for species lacking Flora accounts);
iv) images of the species taken within the county.

A great deal of work through 2023 and to date (April 2024) by a team from the Flora of Cumbria Recording Group initially decided on issues such as hosting, copyright, and generating interactive maps. There was then the large task of extracting the species-accounts from A Flora of Cumbria into digital format.

We are delighted to be able to work with Chris Cant (PHD Computer Consultants Ltd.) who has set up the mapping page, and whose coding generates the maps from BSBI mapping data. (This is the same coding already in use in the mapping in the ‘Resources’ sections of Cumbria Lichens and Bryophytes, and (since January 2024) interactive maps for the British Lichen Society.

Jeremy Roberts April 2024