Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


Roy Vickery is available to give talks and lead walks, for further information see the Compiler page of this website, or e-mail

Note: The listed events are arranged by a variety of organizations many of whom might want to charge a fee, or take a collection in aid of their funds. The list includes all of Roy’s upcoming plant events, some of which will have little or no folklore content.

Roy is occasionally available to provide one-to-one walks, or walks for small groups, in the London area, in exchange for a donation to the South London Botanical Institute.


Thursday 9 February 2023:  Visit to the Lichen Herbarium at the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, Roy Vickery and Gothamie Weerakoon, starting at 2 p.m. and continuing for c. 90 minutes; a repeat of the successful visit made on 23 November 2022, which was fully booked.  Details on the South London Botanical Institute website –  Fully booked.

Sunday 19 March 2023:  Signs of Spring plant walk, Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandworth, meet at the junction of Tooting Bec Road with Dr Johnson Avenue, at 2.00 p.m. and continuing for c.90 minutes.  Organised by the Friends of Tooting Common; free.

Friday 31 March 2023:  Weeds & Other Ignored Plants, walk around the Roupell Park Estate, London Borough of Lambeth, meet outside the Streatham Quaker Meeting House, Redlands Way, SW2 3LU, at 11 a.m., and continuing for about 90 minutes.  Organised by the South London Botanical Institute – – for which a collection will be taken; no need to book.

Saturday 1 April 2023: Joint event organised by the Linnean Society of London and the South London Botanical Institute, incorporating session on plant folklore, Green Park, City of Westminster, details to be confirmed.

Sunday 16 April 2023:  Plant survey of West Norwood Cemetery, London Borough of Lambeth, with Amanda Tuke and Roy Vickery.  Another of the South London Botanical Institute’s meetings to record the plants growing in the Cemetery.  Meet at the main entrance in Norwood Road at 10 a.m., and continuing for about two hours; all abilities welcome.

Monday 22 May 2023:  Learning about our Local Flora, a walk around St Mary’s Cemetery, Bollingbroke Grove, London, SW11, examining and celebrating local plants.  Meet at the Bollingbroke Grove entrance to the Cemetery (this is the entrance which leads to the chapel), at 11 a.m., and continuing for c.90 minutes; suitable for wheelchair-users.  The South London Botanical Institute’s contribution to the Wandsworth Heritage Festival.  All welcome, voluntary collection in aid of the SLBI.

Saturday 24 June 2023:  Midsummer Wild Flower Hunt in Brockwell Park, London Borough of Lambeth.  Meet at the Clock Tower, near Brockwell Hall, SE24 9AF, at 7 p.m., anc continuing for c.90 minutes.  Organised by the South London Botanical Institute – – for which a collection will be taken, no need to book.

Sunday 25 June 2023:  Botanical Field Meeting on Tooting Common, 2.00 – c.5.00 p.m., a joint London Natural History Society and South London Botanical Institute event, exploring and recording plants on a site where almost 700 species have been found.  Meet at junction of Tooting Bec Road with Elmbourne Road, SW17 (c.10 minutes walk from Tooting Bec tube station); beginners welcome.  Enquiries to

Friday 14 July 2023:  Urban Plants are Exciting, a wheelchair-friendly stroll, around Spring Gardens, Vauxhall, London Borough of Lambeth.  Meet at the junction of Glasshouse and Vauxhall Walks, SE11 5ER, at 11 a.m. and continuing for about 90 minutes.  Organised by the South London Botanical Institute – – for which a collection will be taken.  Booking not needed.

Saturday 15 July 2023:  Herbal Heritage – Folklore & Uses of our Garden Plants, Amersham Museum, 49 High Street, Amersham, Buckinghamshire; details to be confirmed.

Sunday 8 October 2023:  Recording Allotment ‘Weeds’, another in a series of such days when the London Natural History Society and the South London Botanical Institute record the wild plants growing on a south London allotment site; beginners welcome.  Venue to be decided (suggestions welcome).

Feedback on past events                                                                                                                                                                NEGATIVE FEEDBACK WOULD BE APPRECIATED SO THAT FUTURE TALKS AND EVENTS CAN BE IMPROVED.    For more recent feedback see reports of individual events on the Blog page of this website.

‘What an absolutely wonderful talk! … I had a blast’ [Zoom talk on the folklore an uses of hedgerow plants, for the Shropshire branch of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, 12 January 2022].

‘A wonderful experience – it has inspired me to look further at the overlooked wild flowers I come across daily – and, I should add, Roy was a delight!’ [Wandsworth Heritage Festival plant walk, 11 June 2021].


‘Thank you so much, that was fantastic’ [Festival of the Great North Wood on-line talk, 14 April 2021].

‘Very engaging’, [St Leonard’s, Streatham, Herbal Heritage walk, 23 September 2020].

‘Thanks for yesterday.  Me and my friends had a blast.  Can’t wait for the next stomp’ [Tooting Common tree walk, 29 August 2020].

‘Thanks for the very informative talk last night.  Everyone said how interesting it was’ [talk to Dulwich, Peckham & Crystal Palace Rotary Club, 26 August 2020].

‘Roy was warmly thanked  for an excellent and entertaining talk’ [report on the London Natural History Society’s Botany Section  2018 AGM talk, London Naturalist, 98: 21, 2019].                                                                               

 ‘Roy provided a master-class. You simply cannot buy that experience’ [Camberwell Old Cemetery Plant Walk, September 2019].

‘Thanks very much for … your exceedingly interesting talk’ [Leigh-on-Sea Horticultural Society, 5 January 2019].

‘Thank you so much for your walk and talk yesterday Roy, it was much appreciated and has prompted ideas for future activities’ [Friends of Stambourne Woods, 8 September 2018].

‘I just wanted to write to say how much my partner and I enjoyed the walk in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park today.  It was a fascinating tour and got me thinking about local names and stories about plants …  it has certainly left me wanting to learn more’ [5 August 2018].

‘Thanks for an enjoyable and so interesting walk on Cranham Marshes last evening’ [12 July 2018].

‘Roy was very insightful and cleared up some doubts I had about some of the weeds’ [National Weed Appreciation Day, 28 March 2018].

‘Being in Roy’s company and having an opportunity to soak up his knowledge’ [most enjoyable aspect of Plant Folklore for Walk Leaders, South London Botanical Institute, 21 February 2018].

‘Many thanks for your very entertaining and informative talk at the FOTC AGM yesterday – much appreciated’ [Friends of Tooting Common, 13 November 2017].

‘I really enjoyed the [Poppies – beyond Flanders Fields] talk’ [South London Botanical Institute, 10 November 2017].

‘Thank you for your talk yesterday afternoon.  I find folklore to be a fascinating subject, and was very interested to hear of the examples which you spoke about’ [Purley Townswomen’s Guild, 8 November 2017].

‘Really enjoyed the walk’ [Streatham Park tree walk, 23 September 2017].

Images: upper, discussing hemlock, Conium maculatum, Spring Gardens, Vauxhall, London Borough of Lambeth, March 2021, © Melat Negash;  middle, Signs of Spring plant walk, Tooting Common, London Borough of  Wandsworth, March 2022, ©Peter Ramell; lower, discussing Weeds & their Uses, Railside Community Garden, Streatham, London Borough of Lambeth, August 2021, © Amanda Waite.

Updated 30 January 2023.