I read with interest your recent article detailing the hazards of urban botany. I can certainly sympathise as I cut my botanical teeth on the brownfield sites around Sunderland and am all too familiar with the reactions to botanists and indeed other wildlife lovers. I also learned to recognize the calculating stares from certain people, assessing the monetary value of the equipment one is carrying with a view to potential robbery! I got one yesterday in Upper Teesdale of all places where a group of young men were leaping from the bridge into the river at Low Force. I made sure I didn't stop and look at any plants in this area until they had left.
I learned a lot about human behaviour in those years, it helped sharing a house with 3 psychology students who I could discuss things with (and no doubt helped them on with their degrees too).
If people are following botanists and uprooting plants to plant in their gardens or simply out of spite, I would pay more attention to nettles, thistles, ground-elder, ragwort and hogweed than they would ordinarily merit.
Thankfully, I was never in a position where physical violence was a possibility although it came close on a couple of occasions
We botanists do however get the chance for revenge, I won't spoil the stories now but, if required, I can write a follow up article for the next edition of the WFS magazine.