Car 5

Dr Paul Binyon

Outward appearance

Aging art student? Facial stubble, pony tail, black corduroys. Desert boots, ethnic waistcoat, white jacket. Looks disgruntled, arms shoved into armpits.

Inside information

Young Turk of the gardening establishment, those authors and presenters who provide advice and inspiration to a nation of gardeners.

Dr Biynon is the author of The Exploded Garden , which advanced a radical approach to garden design. Forget Man advocated a non-anthrocentric approach to gardening, putting the needs of wildlife and fungi above people. The BBC are talking to him about presenting a final episode of Arena on the radical gardening movement.

What he is doing or thinking

Dr Binyon is contemplating ecological catastrophe. The New Zealand flatworm has finally appeared in the heartland of British gardening -- the rich southeast who buy his books.

The flatworm encoils the domestic earthworm, liquifies and then drinks it. Like one gardener to another.

No one seems to be recognizing the scale of the disaster. It's on a par with grey squirrels. The extinction of the soil-draining earthworm would mean a return of low pastures to marshland. There needs to be a national day of action. Out of the lounges, onto the lawns. Seize specimens now! His lecture today at USB is devoted to it. Is it the kind of thing that will mobilise young people?

More important, will it make good television? Can a non-anthrocentric radical gardener be seen to be campaigning against a worm? Dr Binyon considers. In fact, the imported flatworm is a prime example of human interference. Radical!

He'd better talk to the Beeb fast.

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