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 organisations 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 Folklore Society –  – or the South London Botanical Institute –


Wednesday 19 June 2024: Prison Bank Wild Flower Hunt, Wandsworth Common, our annual visit to the flower-rich site beside Trinity Road, meeting at 7.00 p.m. and continuing for c.75 minutes.  Organised by the Friends of Wandsworth Common – – booking necessary.

Thursday 20 June 2024:  Midsummer Wild Flower Hunt, Brockwell Park, London Borough of Lambeth, meet at the Clock Tower at 7.00 p.m. and continuing for c.90 minutes. Organised by the South London Botanical Institute –  All welcome.  Fully booked.

Saturday 22 June 2024:  Wild Flowers and their Folklore,  two walks, both lasting for about an hour, one starting at c.11.30 a.m. and the other at c. 2 p.m.,  in Brompton Cemetery, London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea; a contribution to the Beatrix Potter Society’s – – Garden Open Day.  All, including wheel-chair users, welcome.

Thursday 27 June 2024:  Summer Trees, walk starting at the Woodfield Pavilion –   -Tooting Common, London Borough of Lambeth, at 11 a.m. and continuing for 60-90 minutes.  Free, and booking unnecessary.

Saturday 6 July 2024:  Common Flowers, walk on Mitcham Common, London Borough of Merton, starting at 3.15 p.m. and continuing for c. 90 minutes, a contribution to Friends of Mitcham Common Open Day.  Meet at the Mill House Ecology Centre, Windmill Road, CR4 1HT.

Wednesday 10 July 2024:  Remembering Uses of Local Plants, walk starting at the Mill House Ecology Centre, Windmill Road, CR4 1HT, at 7 p.m. and continuing for c.90 minutes, Mitcham Common, London Borough of Merton, organised by the South London Botanical Institute – in partnership with the Mitcham Common Education Trust; booking necessary.

Thursday 18 July 2024:  Summer Plant Hunt: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Wandle Park, Colliers Wood, London Borough of Merton; meet at the Merton High Street entrance to the Park (c.10 minutes walk from Colliers Wood tube station) at 7.00 and continuing for 75-90 minutes.  Cash collection in aid of local Green Parties.

Saturday 20 July 2024:  Plant Survey, West Norwood Cemetery – see 15 June for details.

Sunday 21 July 2024:  Ecology Walk led by Jane McLauchlin and Roy Vickery, Norwood Grove and Nettlefold Field, London Borough of Croydon, meet at the junction of Gibson’s Hill with Beulah Hill, at 2.00 p.m. and continuing for c. two hours.  Jointly organised by the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society – – and the South London Botanical Institute –  All welcome.

Thursday 25 July 2024:  Summer Flowers, walk starting at the Woodfield Pavilion, Tooting Common, see 27 June for details.

Thursday 25 July 2024:  Exploring our Flora, Unigate Wood Local Nature Reserve, Streatham, London Borough of Lambeth, meet at entrance to Wood off Namba Roy Close, at 2.30 p.m. Organised by Friends of Unigate Wood; due to narrow paths the number of participants is restricted to 10, consequently booking is necessary, contact (Event originally scheduled for 21 June).

Thursday 1 August 2024:  Urban Botany, walk around Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, meet at 11 a.m. at junction of Vauxhall Walk with Glasshouse Walk, London Borough of Lambeth, organised by the South London Botanical Institute – http://www/ –  booking necessary.

Wednesday 14 August 2024:  Tales of Flora: The Folklore of Wild Plants walk, in the Castle grounds, Whitstable, Kent, starting at 2.30 p.m. and continuing for about an hour; a contribution to Wild About Whitstable, details to be confirmed.

Thursday 22 August 2024: Pavement Plant Prowl, meet at the South London Botanical Institute, 323 Norwood Road (c.10 minutes walk from Tulse station), London Borough of Lambeth, at 11 a.m. A South London Botanical Institute event; booking necessary.

Sunday 1 September 2024:  Plant walks as contributions to the Friends of Brompton Cemetery Open Day, Brompton Cemetery, Earls Court, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; details to be confirmed.

Saturday 7 September 2024:  Herbal Heritage, a stroll around St Leonard’s churchyard, Streatham, London Borough of Lambeth, discussing former uses of wild plants, starting at 11 a.m. and continuing for c.45 minutes.  A contribution to the Lambeth Local History Fair; free, booking unnecessary.

Tuesday 8 October 2024:  Fifty Years of Collecting Plant-lore, an on-line Folklore Society  –  talk, 6-7.30 p.m.

Thursday 10 April 2025:  talk to Sanderstead Horticultural Society. Details to be confirmed.

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, start of  plant walk, Streatham Cemetery, London Borough of  Wandsworth, June 2023, © Guy Eaglesfield;  bottom, discussing Weeds & their Uses, Railside Community Garden, Streatham, London Borough of Lambeth, August 2021, © Amanda Waite.

Updated 15 June 2024