Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/77

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BOTANY' T f | ^HE county of Surrey is included within parallels 51 5' and 51 31' north latitude, and longitude o 5' east and o 31' west of Greenwich. It is bounded on the south by the county of Sussex, on the east by Kent, on the west by Hampshire and Berkshire, while on the north the bed of the river Thames is taken as the limit, although strictly speaking a small portion of Surrey extends north of that river near Chertsey, while Middlesex encroaches on its southern bank at Walton Bridge. For botanical purposes the county has been divided into ten districts (two of which are sub-divided) founded on the river basins, this system being regarded as the most desirable in all respects, except perhaps that it is not always easy to fix the exact limits of a given drainage area. It is believed that this system of subdivision leads to the most valuable scientific results ; at the same time, in a small county like the present, in which the geological strata run in such remarkably parallel bands from east to west, while the streams run transversely to them, so that each of the principal rivers has its share of each of the formations, it is perhaps obvious that the general scenic features of the different parts, the charac- teristics that strike the eye, dependent as they must be on species or groups which are plentiful, will follow rather the soil than the particular river valley. Notwithstanding therefore that my observations have been almost entirely made from the river basin point of view, I shall en- deavour to give a sketch of the county regarded in the above aspect, dealing with the districts later on. According to the Agricultural Returns (1900) Surrey has a total area of 461,791 acres, of which 2,907 acres are under water, leaving a land area of 458,884 acres distributed as follows : Acres Corn crops 55,974 Green crops 34,877 Clovers, etc 22,208 Permanent pasture * 5 5,993 Hops and small fruit 2,6 1 1 Bare fallow 6,142 277,805 Woods and plantations 54,437 Heathland used for grazing 12,981 345,223 1 In 1 884 I undertook the compilation of a Flora of the county of Surrey, and the following account of the Botany of the county is drawn up from notes gathered together for that purpose, mainly 35