Cornwall Fern Book

UPDATE: The book is now available at The Wadebridge Bookshop – Cornwall’s leading independent bookshop – ask Anna or Rob to reserve a copy – 01208 812489 – £20

‘Ferns, Clubmosses, Quillworts and Horsetails of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’


A new and long-awaited book ‘Ferns, Clubmosses, Quillworts and Horsetails of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’ written by Rosaline Murphy, Christopher Page, Rosemary Parslow and Ian Bennallick has just been published.

Within the British Isles, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have a remarkably rich and varied fern flora, and this book is the culmination of many years of study of these enigmatic plants by the authors. An invaluable guide to over 70 ferns, clubmosses, quillworts and horsetails, this book covers species (both native and introduced), subspecies, varieties and hybrids. Each account has a short description of the plant where relevant; the distribution in Europe (including the British Isles); and habitats and distribution in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Maps show distribution by a 2km x 2km square (tetrad) basis in Cornwall, and at a finer resolution (by six-figure grid references) in the Isles of Scilly. Scanned images of actual specimens are given where these help and colour photographs are included throughout. The introduction covers the various habitats in Cornwall, the climate, soils and geology and the effects of such activities as mining and china clay workings, and the special conditions on the Isles of Scilly.

  • Introduction with habitat notes
  • Accounts of sites of special fern interest
  • Species distributions of native and on-native species, hybrids and varieties
  • Distribution maps at 2km x 2km level (and six-figure grid references for the Isles of Scilly)
  • Checklist of all ferns, clubmosses, quillworts and horsetails of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Full bibliography and references

Many interesting records have been made in the last few years and are continuing to be made. This includes the very recent 2012 finds on the edge of Bodmin Moor: populations of Marsh Clubmoss, a species that has always been extremely rare in Cornwall and is now Nationally Scarce and Endangered, together with Stag’s-horn Clubmoss, a species previously considered extinct in the county. This book will no doubt spark new appreciation and interest in ferns and encourage more people to record this often overlooked group.

Published by the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS), which is based at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, it has been sponsored by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation of Biological Recorders (CISFBR), the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) and the British Pteridological Society (BPS).

If you would like a copy by post please send your name and address and a cheque made payable to ‘CISFBR’ for £25 (£20 plus £5 p&p) to Ian Bennallick, Lower Polmorla, St Wenn, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5PE. For more details email  or phone 01726890384 or 07714738189.

The book is also available to buy from the ERCCIS office (based at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, TR4 9DJ) priced at £20 – SEE

Alternatively you can buy a copy through PayPal for £25 (postage to a UK destination included). For orders to destinations outside the UK, multiple orders or any queries please contact Ian Bennallick –



Download the PDF of the latest flier here –

Download Sample of Book (PDF, 3.11MB)


Download Sample of Book (PDF, 1.48MB)