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Best Nature Identification Guides & UK Reference Books

Our favourite books for the accurate identification of plants, wildlife, & fungi.


Cassell's Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe

An excellent plant identification book for people who are serious about it (of course anyone who wants to use wild plants for food must be serious to stay alive!) this an extremely in-depth reference book packed with information and detail which has earned a permanent place in our ‘book-nook’. Mine is gradually filling up with post-it notes of extra notes and pressed samples of plants!

The plants are illustrated, but expertly so, which helps to highlight the important features that can be otherwise overlooked. There are often tiny differences that you just can't make out in other photographic identification guides. The finer details that may be hard to see in the main picture, such as seeds and flowers, are illustrated in the margin with an indication of scale and include cross-section diagrams to be doubly sure of what you’re looking at. Similar plants are grouped together on the page which makes for easy comparison.

Please note that this is not a pocket field guide; there is no information about how to use the plants if you are foraging them for food or medicine (if it did it would need far more volumes!) it is purely an identification book, and a heavy one at that.


Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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