One hundred and fifty years ago the Lake District was a world centre in botanical research. The Victorian times were the age of collecting, amateur scientists with a passion for natural history would explore their surroundings studying animals and plants.
Martindale formed friendships with other botanist in Lakeland; George Stabler of Levens 1839 – 1910 and James Martindale Barnes of Levens 1814 – 1890. Botanical collecting was a very socialable activity; the Three-legged society would meet up to discuss their findings and also politics. They often wrote letters to each other and interchanged specimens, some of the letters are stored at Kendal museum.
Their names have been used for scientific names of the species they discovered, such as Stabler’s Rustwort Marsupella stableri and Barnes’s Male Fern Dryopteris felix mas barnesii. These dedicated collectors committed years of painstaking work; they have made a highly significant contribution to natural history in the lakes, the UK and beyond.
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Where history and nature meet