Team-leader survey of riverside vegetation, Wales (UWIST)

For further information of Chris' first job as a field-botanist, two years after he graduated (he spent less than a year as a police offer, worked a part-time gardener, salesman in the tree & shrub department of a garden centre & bar-man at the appropriately-named 'Gurkha' pub. He was selected as team-leader of a survey of riverside vegetation in central Wales, then on completion of the year's contract, he was hired for a further month to produce a report, 'Vegetation and habitat features of river corridors of Upper Wye, Upper Severn & Upper Usk' (University of Wales Institute of Science & Technology; Nature Conservancy Council; Royal Society for protection of Birds; Otter Haven Project; Welsh Water Authority; Powis County Council) which led to him being appointed as a field surveyor for the Wales Field Unit of the Nature Conservancy Council, after leading the 'Kashmir Botanical Expedition 1983'. Upon completion of his NCC contact, in autumn 1984 he became a freelance lecturer, botanist & seeds-man, establishing 'Chadwell Seeds' (in association with P.Kohli & Co.)

For further information about the riverside vegetation project see:

The project was based at the Lysdinam Field Studies Centre (see:; The then Director, Dr Fred Slater, deserves credit, as supervisor of the project (see:; He had a paper published in Biological Conservation, with me as one of the co-authors (my one and only paper published in a scientific journal - though I do have quite a number of articles which were published in specialist horticultural journals and a chapter in a book devoted to me), see:


Dr Slater has made available his, 'FROM BLACK TO GREEN: Midlands to Mid-Wales (& The World) Through a Countryman's Eyes' on-line (see: He never mentioned that he had visited Pakistan - rather surprising as towards the end of my time as Lysdinam, I was making final preparations for a botanical expedition to Indian-controlled Kashmir (the Pakistan-controlled part is know as 'Azad Kashmir'). Those interested in the Indian sub-continent, especially the culture shock of a first-timer, should read Chapter 4 - A world of difference - Pakistan pp. 91-104).

Chris is indebted to Ray Woods, then a Regional Officer for the Natural Conservancy Council (NCC), who recommended him for the position with the NCC the following year, See:;; Was this the one and only time he was head-hunted?

Chris was not much of a photographer during this period, so has hardly any photos and the ones he does are of a poor quality. It was not until his1985 Kashmir Expedition that he purchased an albeit still modest Ricoh camera with wide-angle lenses plus a cheap zoom. In time he managed to progress to an Olympus OM-20. with a macro-lens. In those days a tripod was needed when using a macro-lens.