Modern-day Plant Hunter, Freelance Lecturer, Botanist,
Himalayan Consultant, Travel and Plant Photographer
Leader of 29 expeditions to the Himalaya
Proprietor of Chadwell Seeds since 1984
Chris beside the stunning SALVIA HIANS - who wouldn't like this in their garden?
* ARE THERE ANY PLANT ENTHUSIASTS LIVING IN SOUTH-EAST OF ENGLAND WHO WOULD WELCOME SPENDING A DAY BOTANISING AND PHOTOGRAPHING BRITISH WILD FLOWERS WITH CHRIS CHADWELL? THE MONTH OF THE YEAR IS IRRELEVANT, THOUGH THE BEST PERIOD IS APRIL TO AUGUST? CHRIS DOES NOT DRIVE BUT CAN EASILY MAKE HIS WAY TO A CONVENIENT RAILWAY STATION AND WOULD BE HAPPY TO SHARE PETROL COSTS FOR ANY OUTING. WHETHER YOU ARE EXPERIENCED FIELD BOTANIST OR A BEGINNER, WHAT MATTERS IS BEING INTERESTED. HAVING ACCESS TO A CAR WOULD ALLOW CHRIS TO VISIT PLACES WHICH ARE VERY INVOLVED AND EXPENSE TO REACH BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT. DO GET IN TOUCH IF THIS APPEALS. CHRIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN HAPPY TO SHARE WHAT HE KNOWS ABOUT IDENTIFYING PLANTS AND PHOTOGRAPHING THEM - PLUS MORE THAN WILLING TO LEARN FROM ANY EXPERTS. THE QUICKEST, MOST EFFICIENT AND ENCOURAGING WAY TO PROGRESS, IS TO LEARN FROM OTHERS. CHRIS HAS LED WILD-FLOWER WALKS FOR IVER & DISTRICT COUNTRYSIDE ASSOCIATION IN THE PAST, SO DON'T BE INTIMIDATED IF YOUR KNOWLEDGE IS LIMITED. SUCH OUTINGS WOULD BE MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL.
YOU CAN STILL GET A COPY OF THE 2015 CHADWELL SEEDS CATALOGUE BUT I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND EUROPEAN OR NORTH AMERICAN GARDENERS BUYING NOW. INSTEAD, REQUEST A COPY OF MY JANUARY 2016 CATALOGUE (FRESH SUPPLIES OF 2015 HARVEST SEED):
INSTEAD, HOW ABOUT TAKING A SHARE IN MY 2015 EXPEDITION SEED-COLLECTING TO THE HIMALAYA THIS AUTUMN? (seed is posted out in December but shares must be paid for in advance) FURTHER DETAILS : https://sites.google.com/a/chadwellseeds.co.uk/main/prospectus
Dhaulagiri - the 'White Mountain', Nepal Himalaya
WHAT DOES CHRIS CHADWELL OFFER?
AUTHENTIC seed for DISCERNING and ADVENTUROUS gardeners
ENTERTAINING, INFORMATIVE digital presentations for clubs and societies
SCIENTIFIC, CONSERVATION and EDUCATIONAL projects
CHRIS HAS THREE INFORMAL BLOGS
'FLOWERS OF THE HIMALAYA':
and 'WILD FLOWERS OF IVER & DISTRICT':
Long-standing CONSERVATION CONCERNS led Chris to start THREE campaigns in 2015:
1) SAVE our planet's RARE PLANTS; 2) SAVE our FIELD BOTANISTS; 3) SAVE our HERBARIA
without 2 & 3, one cannot achieve 1.... Do you know what a herbarium is for? Can you RELIABLY identify plants in the wild or garden? VERY FEW can in the UK - in some countries the number is more or less ZERO How can plants be CONSERVED if we do not know which species they are, where they are and in what quantity?
In MANY countries we DO NOT KNOW! ..... Even in Great Britain, which has long set an example for the world to follow, the situation is deteriorating. IT IS TIME TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THIS DIRE SITUATION.
(see bottom of this home page for more information).
WEST HIMALAYAN BLUE POPPY (Meconopis aculeata)
Fine peeling bark of HIMALAYAN BIRCH (Betula utilis) shown by Farooq Ahmed in Kashmir
As Proprietor of CHADWELL SEEDS (Established in 1984) Chris offers an exceptional range of rarely available seed of rockery subjects, herbaceous perennials, climbers, shrubs and trees from various parts of the world for discerning and adventurous gardeners. See CHADWELL SEEDS section for further details.
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 DIGITAL PRESENTATIONS FOR CLUBS and SOCIETIES section of this web-site for
details of the topics he offers, his availability and fees)
Title slide of two of Chris' digital presentations
SCIENTIFIC, CONSERVATION and EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS in the Himalaya and UK
CHRIS IS A PASSIONATE 'ADVOCATE' OF THE TRUE POTENTIAL OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TO BECOME AN INDISPENSABLE TOOL TO STUDY PLANTS - WHICH COULD TRANSFORM FAMILIARITY WITH AND RELIABLE IDENTIFICATION OF, WILD AND GARDEN FLOWERS ALL OVER THE WORLD.
THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF 'CONCERN' EXPRESSED ABOUT PLANT CONSERVATION BUT UNLESS PLANTS ARE ACCURATELY IDENTIFIED IN THE FIRST PLACE, THEY CANNOT BE CONSERVED!!
CHRIS IS SETTING AN EXAMPLE BY COMPILING A DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE TO THE FLORA OF THE WESTERN HIMALAYA (arranged in alphabetical order by genus and species). THIS IN ESSENCE, IS A MODERN 'FLORA' COMBINING DIGITAL IMAGES OF HERBARIUM SPECIMENS WITH MANY PHOTOS OF EACH SPECIES TAKEN IN THE WILD AND CULTIVATION (plus any other line-drawings and useful information available). IT REPRESENTS A CONSIDERABLE ADVANCE ON THE WRITTEN DESCRIPTIONS WITHIN A TRADITIONAL FLORA AND PROVIDES ACCESS TO CLOSE-UP IMAGES, GREATLY REDUCING THE NEED FOR COSTLY VISITS TO HERBARIA AROUND THE WORLD. THESE ARE INCREASINGLY FEW-AND-FAR BETWEEN THESE DAYS BUT ARE ESSENTIAL.
Surely what matters is not the 'prestige' of publishing a guide-book, check-list or flora but the use to which they are put. The best guide (it is NOT a flora) to Himalayan plants is 'FLOWERS OF THE HIMALAYA' (Polunin & Stainton) but this is typically used badly, leading to frequent misidentifications. Very few of those who buy a copy know how to use it properly - and the version most often purchased is the CONCISE, which contains much less information.
In 2010 Chris established the FLOWERS FIT FOR A DALAI LAMA Plant Conservation Project, offering long-term advice on the cultivation and identification of Himalayan plants used in Tibetan Medicine. See: https://sites.google.com/a/chadwellseeds.co.uk/main/introduction
Through awards of the KOHLI MEMORIAL GOLD MEDAL, on behalf of the Himalayan Plant Association, recognition is brought to individuals (past and present-day), along with Institutions which have made a significant contribution to the study, cultivation or conservation of Himalayan flora. SEE: https://sites.google.com/a/chadwellseeds.co.uk/main/introduction-1
Chris honouring Prem Nath KOHLI during commemorative event in Delhi, India in 2009
Chris has helped raise meaningful amounts over a period of more than twenty years for a number of organisations and charities operating in the Himalaya, particularly The Britain-Nepal Medical Trust (BNMT) and wishes to draw attention to this and others which he judges to be worth supporting. Donations should be directed towards the best charities operating in the Himalaya- with a proven record.
Matthew Chadwell, Chris' eldest son visiting the BNMT's Kathmandu HQ in 2010
Following recent terrible events in Nepal, Chris Chadwell is now offering IN RETURN FOR A DONATION TO 'The Britain-Nepal Medical Trust', to deliver digital presentations on Nepal. See: https://sites.google.com/a/chadwellseeds.co.uk/main/topics-and-availability
WHAT IS CHRIS/THIS WEB-SITE REALLY ABOUT?
TRYING TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE.....
DESPITE THE VERY STRONG CRITICISM VOICED ON SOME PAGES OF THIS SITE, 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 THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT AND TOO MANY OTHER REGIONS OF THE WORLD. HE IS ASSUMING THIS ROLE AND TAKES HIS RESPONSIBILITIES VERY SERIOUSLY. BOTH LOCAL PEOPLE AND RARE FLORA ARE BEING "LET DOWN". THE PRESENT SITUATION IS A 'SHAM' AND CAN ONLY IMPROVE IF THIS IS FACED UP TO.... INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE NEEDS TO BE APPLIED. SHAME ON THOSE WHO IGNORE WHAT HE IS DRAWING ATTENTION TO...... A COUNTRY WITH FUNDS AND SUFFICIENT EXPERTISE FOR A SPACE PROGRAMME AND WHICH PRODUCES WORLD LEADERS IN OTHER AREAS OF SCIENCE AND COMPUTING, COULD TRAIN ITS BOTANISTS PROPERLY - BUT IS FAILING TO DO SO. FURTHERMORE, THOSE BOTANISTS SPEND LITTLE TIME IN THE FIELD... ONE CANNOT DISCOVER THE ABUNDANCE OR NOT OF SPECIES FROM AN OFFICE..... EVEN IF AN INDIVIDUAL IS KEEN, DUE TO LACK OF INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION, INDIA'S HERBARIA DO NO CONTAIN SUFFICIENT QUALITY REFERENCE SPECIMENS TO PERMIT ITS BOTANISTS TO RELIABLY IDENTIFY THE COUNTRY'S PLANTS! SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN SINGULARLY UNWILLING TO SEEK INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION TO IMPROVE THIS UNSATISFACTORY SITUATION.
Chris discussing plants used in Tibetan medicine with a Lama (Buddhist monk) in Ladakh
Chris outside a trekking lodge in Mustang District, 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 nature conservation?
Let me end with an image of a cute Nepali girl (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 (in 2012). 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 site and then help me or directly support charities I can recommend - which are genuine. I can be trusted, as a person of integrity - they same, sadly, cannot be said for everyone 'pitching' to you on the internet.......
BE 'STREET-WISE' AND SUPPORT THE BEST CHARITIES AND PROJECTS WHICH AS THE BRITAIN-NEPAL MEDICAL TRUST STATES IN ITS LITERTAURE, HELPING
"EMPOWER" THE PEOPLES OF THE HIMALAYA.....
Namaste from the girl's younger brother - they thank all those who have made a donation following the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015.
PHOTOGRAPHS ON THIS WEB-SITE
Please note that I currently do not 'water-mark' the photos on this web-site, 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: email@example.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.
© Chris Chadwell 2015
CHRIS IS FOUNDER OF THE FOLLOWING CAMPAIGNS:
'SAVE OUR PLANET'S RARE PLANTS'; 'SAVE OUR FIELD BOTANISTS'; 'SAVE OUR HERBARIA' - which are interconnected
In many parts of the world plant conservation projects are a farce - completely FAILING to identify, let alone protect, rare and endangered plant species. Some countries do not have a single botanist who can RELIABLY identify plants - instead they publish false information about plants which are not rare, let alone endangered! And conduct "mickey-mouse', tabloid-level science, 'discovering' large numbers of species they CLAIM are new to science - when many are NOT! Meanwhile, the genuinely rare plants have been abandoned.... Something needs to done, as a matter of urgency. Even in the UK 'field' botanists who are ESSENTIAL to reliably identify plants in the wild and cultivation, are a dying breed... HOW CAN PLANTS IN THE WILD OR IN GARDENS BE CONSERVED UNLESS EXTENSIVE AND THOROUGH SURVEYS HAVE BEEN UNDERTAKEN BY SKILLED FIELD BOTANISTS WHO CAN CORRECTLY IDENTIFY THEM (SUPPORTED BY PLANT TAXONOMISTS WORKING IN HIGH QUALITY HERBARIA)?
Yet the "powers-that-be" sit quietly by, accepting savage cuts in funding and a lack of training in plant identification skills. Visit almost any herbarium in the UK or USA and you will find staff numbers have been decimated since I began taking a serious interest in the flora of the Himalaya in the 1980s. Nowadays, few people can RELIABLY identify plants EVEN IN THE UK - they do not know how to! They do not know what a herbarium is for! HOW CAN WE EXPECT THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO BE BOTHERED ABOUT THIS SITUATION, WHEN FEW GARDENERS, HORTICULTURALISTS, NON-FIELD BOTANISTS OR OTHER SCIENTISTS UNDERSTAND WHAT HERBARIA ARE FOR OR WHAT HERBARIUM BOTANISTS ACTUALLY DO. THEIR ESSENTIAL ROLE IS NOT KNOWN!
I have started my own PRIVATE 'on-line digital herbarium for FLORA OF THE WESTERN HIMALAYA' - which, despite a shoe-string budget, sets an example for others to follow. I have, for some years now, been in a position (with input from others) to compile the BEST and most useful floras EVER compiled - starting with Ladakh and then the Western Himalaya as a whole, yet CANNOT get any funding. I shall continue to do what I can, in splendid isolation, STARVED of resources. This seems a crazy situation to me.
I CARE ABOUT THE WORLD'S FLORA - the only explanation I can arrive at is those in senior positions, who could "make a difference", do not care.... What limited finances that are available are going to waste! Why has it been left to me to SPEAK OUT?? Well, 'THEY' can no longer claim NOT TO KNOW - as I present clear evidence within this web-site, exposing what has gone on for decades. But I won't be holding my breath in anticipation of being contacted by those senior figures.... They SHOULD enlist my help IMMEDIATELY but most likely will ignore me. Strange old world we live in..... AT LEAST THOSE INDIVIDUAL GOVERNMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL BODIES WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IT IS, SHOULD STOP 'PRETENDING' CONSERVATION MEASURES ARE BEING TAKEN, WHEN THE TRUTH IS THEY ARE FAILING IN MANY COUNTRIES. SHAME ON THEM.
RECENT SITE ACTIVITY
If you look at the bottom of the side-bar, you will see which sections have been up-dated/amended recently