Wild Things

Series 1 - Episode 1

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Review

This may be the first TV series to give a full-time presenting berth to a lichenologist. Sally Eaton says things like “This is lecanora conizaeoides” in a cheery sort of way, as if introducing an old friend.

The idea of the programme is to get us more familiar with our native vegetation: it’s botany for dummies, filmed in a faux-Super 8 home-movie style and backed with indie music. There’s an interesting piece about why Danish scurvy grass (full of vitamin C) is spreading along motorway verges, a paean to the smell of bluebells, and best of all, an introduction to amazing lichen-dwelling creatures called tardigrades.

Summary

Garden designer Chris Myers is joined by botanist Trevor Dines and lichenologist Sally Eaton to investigate the ways in which plants offer an understanding of changing British wildlife, examining what grows where and why. In the opening episode, they explore the hard shoulders and soft verges of Birmingham's road transport network, revealing how Danish scurvy grass has become the fastest moving plant in the UK and why a very familiar native flower has come under threat from an imposter.
Nature