CHRIS  CHADWELL - lecturer, botanist, specialist gardener, plant photographer & conservationist

Freelance Lecturer with more than 30 years experience speaking to wide-variety of clubs and societies around the UK, 4 lecture tours in North America, one tour in New Zealand, plus presentations in India, France, Switzerland and Norway; Field-Botanist - leader of 24 botanical and plant hunting expeditions along the Himalaya; Co-Founder (in 1990) and Editor of the 'Himalayan Plant Association Journal'; Proprietor of Chadwell Seeds; Travel & Plant Photographer. Independent Research Scientist & Investigative journalist.


Chris beside the stunning SALVIA HIANS


This web-site can be viewed and enjoyed at different levels (intensities). Use the Navigation Bar on the left to locate topics of interest. Why not, to start with, just relax by savouring images taken during Chris' travels - whether of wild flowers, gardens, scenery or local people, in different parts of the world then delve more deeply into the serious matters raised about plant conservation around the world.  The present situation, beyond the developed world is dire - the truth is not being told.

Chris' NEW albeit very small CHADWELL SEEDS catalogue (September 2017) is now available upon request, as a pdf.   See: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/seed-catalogue-1

Chris cares deeply about the plants, environment and peoples of the Himalaya - a trustworthy person of integrity, who has devoted his adult life to studying the flora of the Himalaya both in the wild and cultivation along with Himalayan species utilised in Tibetan Medicine.  Regrettably,  compelled to draw attention to the fact that the present situation is FAILING Himalayan flora, Himalayan habitats and the peoples of the Himalaya.  Measures adopted both nationally and internationally in recent years, far from helping conserve the flora of developing countries, is in reality damaging it.  The world SHOULD be concerned by what Chris is exposing but instead, this inconvenient TRUTH is being ignored. His knowledge and expertise is unrivalled in the Indian sub-continent, indeed any country and exceeds that of the major institutions in the UK - he should be respected and listened to.  Yet his proposal to turn parts of Ladakh's desert environment green along with a suggestion of how, at minimal cost, improvements could be made to soil stability in parts of Nepal have been ignored. Funny old world.... 'Politics', as ever ... There is a lot of talk about conservation, with "crocodile tears" shed, yet famous individuals and organisations, who appear remarkably ill-informed and naïve as to the realities in the Himalaya, instead provide glowing recommendations which lead to large sums of money being donated and completely wasted by FAKE conservation charities! Yet I am never consulted nor supported.  A few year's ago I asked, one of the most senior and experienced local figures in the 'transHimalaya' what they thought of a certain FAKE charity which produces nothing but reports.  There response was, "Bull-shit".  Their assessment was correct.  Why are senior figures, national and international organisations "taken in"?  Why are they not street-wise?  Perhaps part of the problem is that the world relies too heavily on journalists without knowledge, training, expertise or integrity with tabloid-style, sensationalist output......  The media who employ such journalists do not deserve our trust.  Similarly, we are too willing to 'trust' famous figures.....  The world is too reliant upon a quick google search and "swallows" whole everything it finds.  I can assure everyone reading this, that much of the content is misleading, a significant proportion incorrect.  The world will be a better place if we collectively question more.  We all have a responsibility in this respect.

Dhaulagiri - the 'White Mountain', Nepal Himalaya


Outspoken critic of floras littered with misidentifications and incorrect data, not-to-mention fraudulent claims, along with associated hypocrisy within botanical science and conservation in too many parts of the world..... Learn the truth, whilst discovering a fresh, scientifically sound approach to identification of North-West Himalayan flora (which could be utilised world-wide) combined with reliable information, see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/fowh/.  Major changes are required, as it is IMPOSSIBLE to conserve plants in the wild or cultivation unless they are RELIABLY identified in the first place (other than in the UK and a few other developed countries, this is not happening) with extensive, accurate surveys undertaken by experienced and skilled field botanists. Making FALSE claims about supposed 'rarity' - especially over-use of 'critically' endangered, 'endemic' and 'new-to-science', when these species are no such thing, should not be accepted.  Those in senior positions in too many countries are in denial, attempting to prevent exposure of what has been going on. International organisations need to examine closely their activities.  BLINDLY accepting such bogus submissions pollute science causing serious damage.  Such deleterious hoaxes waste a lot of time and resources - which are strictly limited - whilst genuinely rare and endangered species are ABANDONED to their fate.  Relying upon reference sources which are between 100-150 years out-of-date, cannot be tolerated.  International collaboration is essential and MUST be encouraged at a governmental level, instead of being actively discouraged.  How can inexperienced 'scientists' with no relevant training decide they have discovered a species NEW-TO-SCIENCE, in a location widely visited before, beside a track, without consulting specialists in the West!  These individuals often do not understand variation within and between species, being completely out-of-their depth.  Why is it left to me, with no resources and at best operating on a shoe-string budget, to be the whistle-blower?  Should not this be the responsibility of those in senior positions at major institutions?  For evidence to support my claims, see the lower sections of the left-hand-side navigation bar. I shall be adding many more examples in the months and years to come.  I consider it my duty to do so.

Chris continues his long-standing studies (begun in 1980) into Himalayan plants including those utilised in Tibetan Medicine; Currently preparing a series of photographic guides to genera in the Himalaya - starting with Primula, Androsace, Geranium, Iris, Clematis, Rhododendron, Saxifraga, Delphinium, Salvia (to be available as digital pdfs); he offers a free service to identify Himalayan flowers (available to both foreigners undertaking treks and local botanists or local amateur plant enthusiasts);  He has re-started his 'Digital Flora of the North-West Himalaya' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/fowh/) - setting the standard & an example for others to follow (all round the world) as printed floras, regional and national, will increasingly become a thing of the past; advocate of digital photography as a means of revolutionising the identification of plants in the wild and cultivation (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/fowh/impatiens-1 which displays 46 images of the important characteristics of this 'Himalayan Balsam' close-up, showing just what a modest digital camera can do.  In time, these cameras can become an indispensable tool for field-botanists, as a hand-lens currently is, but with the huge advantage of providing a permanent record, which can then be scrutinised in detail on screen, then compared with other species.  IF this approach is adopted, the level of accuracy and reliability of plant identification will be transformed.  When Chris started taking a serious interest in photographing plants (in the mid-1980s), all one could afford to do was take one, perhaps two, general photos of each plant using slide film with the best close-ups he could secure using a macro-lens and tripod, not bringing results remotely close to what can be achieved, with practise and effort, from today's modestly-priced  compact digital cameras. The botanical and indeed horticultural worlds are yet to appreciate this!


Chris with Lamas (Buddhist monks) at a Monastery in 'Little Tibet' (Ladakh)



'West Himalayan Blue-poppy' (MECONOPSIS  ACULEATA)





TALKS/DIGITAL PRESENTATIONS

Chris has proven to be a popular and versatile public-speaker, having delivered hundreds of entertaining and informative lectures around the UK.  His latest digital presentations appeal to garden clubs, specialist horticultural societies along with more general audiences such as National Trust Centres and U3A groups.  He has undertaken lecture tours and speaking engagements in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, France, Ireland and India.  Audiences now regularly remark that the images he shows at his lectures are amongst the best they have ever seen. 

Why not suggest him as a speaker to a club or society you belong to?

(See: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/topics-fees-expenses 

section of this web-site for details of the topics he offers, his availability and fees) 

Title slide of Chris Chadwell's digital presentation about Kashmir

Title slide of Chris Chadwell's digital presentation about Plant Introductions at National Trust Properties



Chris Chadwell delivering the key-note speech at the Kohli Commemorative Event in Delhi in 2009

HIMALAYAN PLANT ASSOCIATION

Cremanthodium decaisnei

Why not join and learn more about the cultivation, study and conservation of Himalayan flora?  See:

 https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/latest-situation

WHAT IS CHRIS/THIS WEB-SITE REALLY ABOUT? 

TRYING TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE..... 


CHRIS IS 'A FRIEND OF THE PEOPLES OF THE HIMALAYA' AND THE WORLD'S FLORA.  THEY BOTH NEED A VOICE.  NATURE CONSERVATION REMAINS IN ITS INFANCY IN TOO MANY REGIONS OF THE WORLD. INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION BODIES NEED TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS IN THEIR APPROACH. BOTH LOCAL PEOPLE AND RARE FLORA ARE BEING "LET DOWN".  THE PRESENT SITUATION IS UNSATISFACTORY AND CAN ONLY IMPROVE IF THIS IS FACED UP TO.... INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE NEEDS TO BE APPLIED.  SHAME ON THOSE WHO IGNORE WHAT CHRIS IS DRAWING ATTENTION TO...... 


Chris discussing plants used in Tibetan medicine with a Lama (Buddhist monk) in Ladakh

 Chris outside a trekking lodge in Nepal

The admirable sentiments above of India's first prime minister after Independence in 1947, inscribed below his statue in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.  The world would be a better place if every nation and individual citizen in the world, adopted such a philosophy. How many Indian or foreign tourists passing by this statue, actually read it or appreciate the significance of the words? I wish to see India become MIGHTY as Nehru intended her to be, almost 70 years ago.  Why not begin with a BETTER approach to studying Himalayan flora and its conservation? Why not actively take advantage of the expertise foreigners like Chris Chadwell have to offer?  We ALL need to collaborate internationally.

Let me end with an image of a cute Nepali girl taken a few years ago (highly intelligent and full of enthusiasm for life - who was rightly unimpressed that whilst she could speak English, my Nepali was minimal) holding one of my business cards, whilst looking after her younger brother. Let us celebrate and help protect their charm and innocence.  She and the people of Nepal deserve better in the future   We can do "our bit" by making sure aid monies are spent more effectively than they have been in the past....   Why not find out more about the ways I and others try to "put something back" in the Himalaya?  Take a look at the different sections of this web-site and then help me or directly support charities I can recommend - which are genuine.  I can be trusted, as a person of integrity - the same, sadly, cannot be said for everyone 'pitching' to you on the internet....including some well-known figures and organisations you think you can trust!   

 BE 'STREET-WISE' AND SUPPORT THE BEST CHARITIES AND PROJECTS WHICH, AS THE BRITAIN-NEPAL MEDICAL TRUST STATES, HELPS    

EMPOWER THE PEOPLES OF THE HIMALAYA.....   

Namaste from the girl's younger brother - thanking all those who have made donations following the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015.

'UGLY' PLANT PRESERVATION 'SOCIETY'

ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA, THIS 'SOCIETY' IS PRIMARILY A COMEDY NIGHT WITH A CONSERVATION TWIST, FOUNDED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY BIOLOGIST, WRITER AND TV PRESENTER SIMON WATT TO RAISE THE PROFILE OF ANIMAL SPECIES WHICH LACK TRADITIONAL AESTHETICALLY APPEALING CHARACTERISTICS.  IT IS PRIMARILY BASED UPON THE BELIEF THAT CONSERVATION OF CHARISMATIC MEGAFAUNA (LARGE ANIMAL SPECIES WITH WIDESPREAD POPULAR APPEAL, OFTEN USED BY ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS TO ACHIEVE ENVIRONMENTALIST GOALS SUCH AS GIANT PANDA, ELEPHANT, LION, BENGAL TIGER, LEOPARD, BALD EAGLE, POLAR BEAR, GREAT WHITE SHARK, HUMPBACK WHALE)  ATTRACT DISPROPORTIONATE AMONTS OF FUNDING THAT COULD BE BETTER SPENT ELSEWHERE.  THE ORGANISATION AIMS TO PROTECT LESS ATTRACTIVE ANIMALS SUCH AS THE PROBOSCIS MONKEY WHICH ALSO FACE THREATS.



PHOTOGRAPHS ON THIS WEB-SITE

Please note that I currently do not 'water-mark' the photos on this web-site (or restrict their down-loading), for aesthetic reasons nor do they carry an individual copyright notice. BUT they are MY photos (unless indicated otherwise and for those named photographers, they are shown 'on my behalf').   It is my expectation that EVERYONE viewing images on this site agrees to abide by this relaxed, old-fashioned approach. Permission MUST still be sought from me at: chrischadwell261@btinternet.com if you wish to utilise any of them in ANY way.   In most cases I shall agree. I always TRY and behave as a gentleman, treating people with respect and trust others will do likewise.  A decidedly old-fashioned and perhaps somewhat naïve approach but I always try to set an example which others should adopt.  

UNFORTUNATELY, MY RELAXED APPROACH TO COPYRIGHT, HAS BEEN ABUSED A NUMBER OF TIMES - IN SOME CASES I WAS SHOCKED.  IF THIS CONTINUES, I SHALL BE FORCED TO ACT.  I MAY EVEN DECIDE TO DELETE THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE CONTENT ON THIS AND MY OTHER SITE AND STOP MY RESEARCH, STUDIES AND CONSERVATION PROJECTS.    I WAS TREATED ATROCIOUSLY BY AN ORGANISATION, FOLLOWED BY A SOCIETY, DURING 2016.  IN LIGHT OF THE DISHONESTY OF THOSE INVOLVED, I HAVE STOPPED FUND-RAISING FOR 'THE BRITAIN-NEPAL MEDICAL TRUST'.  IF THE DETAILS WERE KNOWN, THIS WOULD BE CONSIDERED A PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDABLE RESPONSE.  INSTEAD, I AM ACTING AS A FREELANCE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, WORKING TO EXPOSE THE VAST AMOUNT OF INCORRECT AND DOWNRIGHT FRAUDULENT INFORMATION ABOUT HIMALAYAN FLORA PUBLISHED, ON-LINE, IN PRINTED JOURNALS AND BOOKS BY SCIENTISTS AND SO-CALLED 'CONSERVATION' ORGANISATIONS......

 © Chris Chadwell 2017