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. 

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.


Sunday 22 May 2022:  Plant Walk, Streatham Cemetery (not in Streatham, but in Tooting, nearest tube station Tooting Broadway), 12.30 – c.13.30 p.m., meet at the Chapel, near the Cemetery’s main entrance in Garratt Lane.  Organised by the Friends of Streatham Cemetery.

Monday 23 May 2022:  Woodland Plant Walk, Burgess Park, London Borough of Southwark, 6.30-8.30 p.m.  Organised by the Friends of Burgess Park; contact

Monday 30 May 2022Fun with Flora, games with wild plants, Wandsworth Common, 11 a.m.-noon, repeated 2.30-3.30 p.m., suitable for people aged 7+.  The South London Botanical Institute’s contribution to the Wandsworth Heritage Festival.  Booking necessary, please contact

Wednesday 8 June 2022:  Not Weeds but Resources –  Folklore & Uses of Common Plants, talk to North London Organic Gardeners, Winchmore Hill Baptist Church Hall, London, London, N22.

Sunday 12 June 2022:  Plant Survey, West Norwood Cemetery, London Borough of Lambeth, 10.00 a.m. – c.1.00 p.m., led by Amanda Tuke and Roy Vickery.  A learning together event, the third of the South London Botanical Institute’s long term survey of this extensive site.  Booking necessary – please contact

Sunday 12 June 2022: Tree Walk, Streatham Park, London Borough of Wandsworth, 2.30 – c.3.30 p.m.  Meet at the junction of West Drive with Ullathorne Road.  An exploration of some of the area’s fine trees, including Samuel Johnson’s mulberry.  Organised by the South London Botanical Institute,, for which a collection will be taken.  All welcome.

Saturday 18 June 2022:  Wild Flower Walk, starting at the Ecology Centre, Windmill Road, Mitcham, at 3.00 p.m and continuing for about an hour, a contribution to the Friends of Mitcham Common Open Day, London Borough of Merton.  Contact for further information.

Wednesday 22 June 2022:  Midsummer Wild Flower Hunt, Brockwell Park, London Borough of Lambeth, 7- c.8.30 p.m.  Meet at the clock tower near Brockwell Hall.  On 1 January 2022 we were able to find 33 species of wild flowers in bloom, how many will we find in midsummer?  Organised by the South London Botanical Institute,, for which a collection will be taken.

Sunday 26 June 2022:  30 minute World Tour:  Exotic & Extraordinary Plants in Battersea Park, Battersea Park, London Borough of Wandsworth, starting at 11 a.m.  Organised by the Battersea Society.

Wednesday 13 July 2022Prison Bank Wild Flowers walk, Wandsworth Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, 7.00 – c.8.00 p.m.  Meet outside the County Arms, Trinity Road.  A repeat of our 2021 visit to this flower-rich site.  Organised by the Friends of Wandsworth Common, https:/  All welcome, but some walking on uneven ground.

Sunday 17 July 2022:  Plant walk in Brompton Cemetery, London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, nearest tube station Earls Court, a contribution to the Cemetery’s annual Open Day; time to be confirmed.

 Tuesday 19 July 2022:  Exotic Plants in Battersea Park walk, London Borough of Wandsworth, for Battersea Women’s Institute.

Thursday 1 September 2022Late Summer Flowers walk, Wandsworth Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, 10.30 – c.11.30 a.m.  Meet at the Skylark Café on the Common.  Organised by the Friends of Wandsworth Common, All welcome.

Friday 2 September 2022:  Herbal Heritage: Edible & Medicinal Plants walk, Spring Gardens, Vauxhall, 11 a.m. – c.12 noon.  Meet at the junction of Glasshouse Walk and Tyers Street (c. 5 minutes walk from Vauxhall station).  Organised by the South London Botanical Institute,, for which a collection will be taken.  All welcome.

Feedback on past events                                                                                                                                                                NEGATIVE FEEDBACK WOULD BE APPRECIATED SO THAT FUTURE TALKS AND EVENTS CAN BE IMPROVED. 

‘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 16 May 2022.