Field Meetings

This Meetings Diary is of BSBI field meetings for 2017, including all national meetings and some of the meetings held across Britain and Ireland by county recorders and local groups.

Please also check your county page for more details of meetings in your area. 

The meetings summary  is updated regularly by Field Meetings Secretary Jon Shanklin, so please check it for any changes to published schedules. Details for national field and indoor meetings are given in full below. 

Please click on these links to find out more about the BSBI Annual Summer Meeting and indoor meetings such as the BSBI Recorders' Conference and BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting; and don't forget our New Year Plant Hunt

Meetings 2017

Details for some meetings are provisional and subject to change. Many more meetings for 2017 are planned; some have provisional dates in the summary. Updates and full details will be posted when available.


Sunday 1st to Wednesday 4th January (General)

New Year Plant Hunt 2017

Location: anywhere in Britain or Ireland

More info here.


Friday 10th to Sunday 12th March (Training)

Recorder’s Workshop

Kindrogan, Perthshire (v.c. 89)

With sessions on plants and plant ID using early fresh material and herbarium material, as well as sessions on technology. Details when available. For more information and to book e-mail Jim McIntosh, BSBI Scottish Officer.


Friday 5th to Monday 8th May (Recording/Specialist/Training)

Taraxacum training and recording workshop, Rothesay, Isle of Bute (v.c.100)

Leader: John Richards, Organiser: Angus Hannah

Bute is a varied and botanically rich island with a wide range of potentially rewarding Dandelion habitats. It is hoped that this meeting will help to remedy the worst remaining gap in recording for the forthcoming Flora of the island.

The meeting is based in Rothesay (the only town on Bute), where we have the use of St Paul’s Church hall (with small kitchen) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. There is a range of the usual types of accommodation on the island, including hotel, B&B, a backpackers’ hostel (no dorms) and some good self-catering cottages: details on-line.  Early booking is advised since this is a busy holiday week-end.  Ferries from Wemyss Bay (hourly, car c.£25 return, no bookings) or from Colintraive (very short crossing) if coming from north.

Informal outings may be arranged on Friday, but otherwise meet at St Paul’s hall, Deanhood Place, Rothesay at 7.30pm for introductory workshop.  Visits will be made on subsequent days to different habitats such as coastal, hill flushes, hedgerow and urban.  The island is relatively small and most parts are quickly accessible.  We will meet in the hall on Saturday and Sunday evenings for further tuition and discussion and for preparing and pressing specimens.  A small sum will be collected to cover hall costs and tutor expenses.  

Contact Angus Hannah for further information or to book. (Booking is essential as numbers will be limited to 18)


Saturday 13th May (Recording)

South Hayling, Hampshire (v.c.11)

Leader: Martin Rand

Surprisingly, given that it is a botanical 'hot spot', the hectad in the vice-county that is currently least well recorded for Atlas 2020 is SZ79, which includes just 3 coastal part-tetrads. This is the first of two field meetings in 2017 intended to remedy that situation. Shingle beach, saltmarsh, coastal heath and Hampshire's largest area of sand dune (not to mention suburban verges and waste ground) ensure plenty of interest amongst both native and alien plants. 

This meeting will be run jointly with the Hampshire Flora Group. You don't need to be an expert to participate; recording teams will be organised to cater for a mix of abilities. If you are travelling from some distance and staying over in the area, there will be a chance to participate in a Hampshire Wildlife Trust botanical walk on the New Forest the following day (modest donation to the Trust requested).  For further details and booking, contact Martin Rand after January 8th 2017.


Saturday 13th May (Recording)

North-east Galway – Glenamaddy area (v.c.H17)

Leader: Chris Peppiatt

This meeting will focus on recording in hectads IM65 and IM66 in the vicinity of Glenamaddy, north-east Galway (H17). Glenamaddy turlough and/or Kiltullagh Lough, along with areas of local raised bogs and also esker (either near Glenamaddy or at Richmond Esker, which is not too far to the south, in hectad IM55) are the habitats to be visited. Rain gear, wellies or boots, food and water are essential. Please Contact Chris Peppiatt at or 00353-86-3125356 if you wish to attend and for details of meeting points and times.


Saturday 20th May (Recording)

City of Glasgow (v.c.77)

Leader: Michael Philip

This is an opportunity to hunt for 'refinds' for Atlas 2020. The urban area of Glasgow has a surprisingly rich flora and the area selected for this event is in the north-east sector (Riddrie and Provanmill). This is a microcosm of the City as a whole, with built-up areas, motorways, a railway and industrial sites, as well as open spaces and parks. Participants will be briefed on the existing records (all pre-2000) and we will then see how many we can rediscover on the day. Contact Michael Philip by email: for full details, time and meeting point.


Saturday 27th May (Recording)

Co. Leitrim – Lough Rinn area (v.c.H29)

Leaders: Michael Archer and Michelle Molloy

This meeting will visit areas of deciduous woodland and lakeshores in south-east Leitrim to improve coverage for Atlas 2020.

Meet at 10.30am at Dromod train station (Grid ref N05558995). Please Contact Mike Archer at or 00353-86-1716286, or Michelle Molloy 00353-89-2452559 for further details.


Thursday 1st to Monday 5th June (Recording)

Dingle Penninsula and Tralee, Kerry (v.c.H1 & H2)

Leaders: Rory Hodd and Caroline Mhic Daeid

This event will focus on both the mountainous uplands of the Dingle peninsula and the adjacent lowlands and coast, and will be based on the north side of the peninsula, west of Tralee. On most days, forays will take place into the rich uplands of Dingle, which include the famous Mt Brandon, with gentle lowland options also on offer. This will be one of our main recording events this year, and so is not to be missed. We will suggest a location for people to stay, and establish a ‘base camp’ there. There will be activities additional to day-time recording. This is one of the most stunning parts of the country – so keep your eyes and ears peeled for further details early in 2017.

Contact Rory at or 00353-87-7692001 for details.


Saturday 3rd June (Recording)

Upland country east of Abington (v.c.77)

Leader: Michael Philip

The vice-county of Lanarkshire includes large tracts of beautiful hill country and there are still some substantial areas where no botanical recording has ever been done. We will survey a tetrad which includes moorland, forest, river and some habitation. The terrain will include damp ground, riverbanks and hillsides as well as roadsides, paths and forest tracks. Here is an opportunity to record where no-one has done so before: even the most familiar plants will thus have a special significance! Contact Michael Philip by email: for full details, time and meeting point.


Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June (Recording)

Cessnock Water and Woodlands South of Kilmarnock (v.c.75)

Leaders: Carol Crawford & Dave Lang

This meeting will contribute to Atlas recording in a less visited Ayrshire hectad, focusing on woodland including the Carnell Estate on the Cessnock Water, where Equisetum hyemale (Rough Horsetail), Neottia nidus-avis (Bird’s-nest Orchid), Paris quadrifolia (Herb Paris) and Primula veris (Cowslip) have been found in the past. Meetings will start each day at 10 a.m. Participants will be advised of exact locations nearer the time (by telephone or e-mail). Lifts will be available from Ayr and/or Kilmarnock (depending on need) both of which are well served by public transport from Glasgow.  For further details or to add your name to the list of attendees, please contact Dave Lang at or on 07766 505253.


Monday 5th to Thursday 9th June (General/Recording)

Annual Summer Meeting and Welsh AGM, Holywell, Flintshire (v.c. 51)

Planning is underway for the meeting, which will be held in Flintshire, a small county with a wide range of habitat types.  There will be a coach excursion, tetrad recording, talks, ID sessions and the Welsh AGM. The meeting is based at the Stamford Gate Hotel, which has some accommodation, but the majority of participants will need to book their own accommodation.  Evening meals will be available at the hotel.  There will be a flyer and booking form in the January issue of BSBI News, with further details on the ASM web page as available.


Saturday 10th June (Specialist/Training)

The Sedges of Tarn Moor (Westmorland) (v.c.69)

Leader: Mike Porter

The lime-rich flushes of Tarn Moor make this one of the finest areas in Cumbria for wild flowers and sedges and the period from the end of May to the middle of June is probably the best time to visit and appreciate its delights. Among the sedges we would expect to see are Carex elata, C. diandra, C. capillaris, C. dioica, C. lepidocarpa, C. hostiana, the hybrid between C. hostiana and C. lepidocarpa and C. echinata. On the surrounding limestone hills we should see C. ornithopoda and, if the season is late, C. ericetorum and, in the more acidic areas, C. binervis and C. pilulfera. Non-Carex sedges are also very fine with Eriophorum latifolium, Blysmus compressus and Cladium mariscus taking pride of place. Orchids are frequent and Primula farinosa (Bird’s-eye Primrose) should be at its best at the time of our visit.

The number of places is limited to 15 to minimise damage to sensitive habitats. All sedge-enthusiasts are welcome, whether experienced or not. Tarn Moor is exposed and wet underfoot so windproof clothing and waterproof boots are essential. Please bring packed lunch as this is a full day meeting. The distance covered will be no more than 5 miles in total but the going may be rough in places. There are no facilities at Tarn Moor but we could take a midday break at nearby Orton where there are cafes, a hotel, a shop and toilets.

Meet at 10.30am in the parking area at NY671073, west of Sunbiggin Tarn on the minor road between Orton and Little Asby. Please share transport if possible; I will send out a list of participants nearer the time to facilitate this.

To book a place or request more details contact Mike Porter, preferably by email, ; landline 016973 43086; mobile 07803 349861.


Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June (General, Recording)

East Donegal (v.c.H34)

Leaders: Oisín Duffy, Mairéad Crawford and John Conaghan

A range of under-recorded areas in the centre of the vice county will be visited with the aim to record for Atlas 2020. Habitats will include bog and heath.

Meet both days at 10:00 in Ballybofey at the car park beside McElhinneys Department Store (Grid ref H14269466). Bring appropriate footwear and lunch for both days. Contact Oisín at or 00353-86-0526161 for further details and to confirm attendance.


Friday 16th to Sunday 18th June (Recording)

North Roscommon (v.c.H25)

Leaders: Robert Northridge and John Earley

North Roscommon contains a good range of natural habitats with raised bog and lake areas especially frequent. This meeting will aim to improve recording coverage in the north of the county for Atlas 2020. As with similar targeted recording events, we will break into small groups and head off in pre-assigned directions. This maximises recording coverage, but also ensures that all participants are in the thick of the action and learn lots!

Meet at the entrance to Lough Key Forest Park (G839023) each day at 10.00. If you wish to attend please email Robert Northridge at or John Earley at .


Saturday 17th to Saturday 24th June (Recording)

West Cowal Recording Week, Kames (v.c.98)

Leader: Angus Hannah

A week’s recording will focus on the south western corner of the Cowal peninsula, between Loch Fyne and the Kyles of Bute, at the southern extremity of the vice-county of Main Argyll.  West Cowal is a scenically attractive area, with a long and varied coastline which will be the main subject of our attention. The interior is largely afforested, but with some craggy hills and ravines likely to be of interest.

Very little recording has been done in the area since the last Atlas. VC98 is very large, and VCR Carl Farmer lives in the northern part of it, more than 80 miles by road from Kames. Earlier recording was at 5km precision, so this will be the first time the area has been systematically recorded in tetrads. We will go out each day in groups of three or four to target particular localities, selected for their interest and variety, mainly within hectads NR96, 97 and 98.  A visit could be made to the serpentine crags in Glendaruel, where Dryas octopetala (Mountain Avens) and Arabidopsis petraea (Northern Rock-cress) grow, the latter at its most southerly Scottish site.

Six members will be based in a cottage at Kames, and others are invited to find their own accommodation nearby.  There is a wide choice of cottages, chalets and B&B in and around the villages of Kames and Tighnabruaich, easily found on-line.  If you wish to take part please contact Angus Hannah . Further details will be sent to those expressing interest.


Friday 23rd to Monday 26th June (Recording)

Poolewe, Wester Ross (v.c.105)

Leader: Duncan Donald

The aim of this meeting is to survey under-recorded sites in central West Ross for Atlas 2020 – in particular hectads NG97 and NG98 (Fionn Loch and Beinn Airigh Charr/Beinn Lair): spectacular scenery, with low-level as well as high-level options.  Target species include Asplenium septentrionale (Forked Spleenwort), Poa glauca (Glaucous meadow-grass), Saxifraga nivalis (Alpine Saxifrage) and Sibbaldia procumbens (Sibbaldia). There is a wide range of accommodation available in Aultbea, Poolewe and Gairloch, but early booking is advisable.  To book to attend the meeting, please contact Duncan Donald, 16 Midtown of Inverasdale, Poolewe, Wester Ross IV22 2LW; ; tel. 01445 781717.


Saturday 24th June (Recording)

Fortrose (v.c.106)

Joint meeting with the Botanical Society of Scotland

Leaders: Brian Ballinger and Mary Dean

This joint meeting will be mainly devoted to the flora of this small town with its ancient ruined cathedral. The aim is to update records for the BSBI Atlas and to contribute information for the Botanical Society of Scotland’s urban flora project.

We will visit various habitats in the town including streets, old walls, waste ground, woodland, shore and harbour. The walls are rich in Asplenium species and Astragalus danicus (Purple Milk-vetch) grows on the shore nearby.

If time allows we may extend our visit to go to a neighbouring small town such as Avoch.

This 10km square NH75 still has many species that have not been seen again since 2000 and we will be looking out for some of these, including Corallorhiza trifida (Coralroot Orchid), Fumaria purpurea {Purple Ramping Fumitory) and Anthriscus caucalis (Bur Chervil).

We will be walking on mainly good surfaces and should not cover more than three miles.

Contact: Brian Ballinger or 5, Shaftesbury Park, Dundee DD2 1LB


Saturday 24th June (General, Recording)

Ballymacoda and Knockadoon Head, Co. Cork (v.c.H5)

Leaders: Edwina Cole and Finbarr Wallace

Records will be collected for Atlas 2020 from various habitats, including coastal grassland, dunes and hedgerows. Walking boots/wellingtons, raingear, sunblock and a packed lunch required.

Meet at 10.30 a.m. in the carpark at Ballymacoda (X077711). Contact Edwina at or Finbarr at for further details.


Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July (General, Recording)

South-east Galway (v.c.H15) and Roscommon (v.c.H25)

Leaders: Micheline Sheehy Skeffington and John Earley

This meeting will focus on recording in under-recorded monads in and around the River Suck, with a focus on early summer flowers.

Meet at the car park of the LIDL supermarket in Ballinasloe (M854308) at 10.00am on both days. Please contact Micheline at to confirm your attendance.


Thursday 6th and Friday7th July (Specialist/Training/Recording)

Brambles of the Central Chilterns (v.c.24)

Leaders: Tony Marshall and Rob Randall

This itinerary includes visits to woodland, scrub and grassland sites on calcareous and acid soils, including relics of former heathland and some "classic" sites for rare species. The main aim is to try to rediscover some of the local rarities and provide a chance for beginners to learn something about the complicated world of brambles. It is led by Rob Randall (BSBI brambles specialist) and Tony Marshall (who knows the area but is a neophyte batologist). As the sites are separated, cars will be used for short distances between them, sharing cars as much as possible. Starting-point for each day will be 10.30am at Tony Marshall's house (parking in road available): 49 Lodge Lane, Prestwood HP16 0QG (SP87850030).  For further detail and booking contact Tony Marshall  01494 864251.


Sunday 9th July (General)

Crosby Coastal Park, Merseyside (v.c.59)

Leaders: Philip H. Smith and Patricia A. Lockwood

Despite its urban setting, Crosby Coastal Park is remarkably rich in vascular plants with over 350 taxa recorded. Of particular interest are at least six different Oenothera (Evening-primrose) taxa, all of which should be in flower in early July. A rich duneland flora includes what is arguably Britain’s largest population of the endemic Coincya monensis ssp. monensis (Isle of Man Cabbage) and what may be the only extant UK locality for Artemisia campestris ssp. maritima (Dune Wormwood). Also noteworthy is a recently discovered colony of Elytrigia atherica (Sea Couch), thought to be the only population in Northwest England north of the Dee Estuary. Another uncommon coastal grass here is Festuca arenaria (Rush-leaved Fescue). Wetland plants of interest include Eleocharis uniglumis (Slender Spike-rush), Potamogeton pectinatus (Fennel Pondweed) and a spectacular abundance of Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Southern Marsh-orchid). Meet at Crosby Baths carpark (SJ307988), Mariners Road (c. 600m from Blundellsands & Crosby railway station), at 13.30 hrs. Easy walking. Contact: Phil Smith:  


Sunday 9th to Sunday 16th July (Recording)

Atlas 2020 Recording Week, Torridon, West Ross (v.c.105)

Leaders: Jim McIntosh & Duncan Donald

West Ross is one of the biggest, remotest and most mountainous Vice-counties. This meeting aims to help the Recorder with Atlas 2020 in the Torridon area.  The meeting will also provide a great opportunity to help improve field identification skills and to see nice plants in nice places and have a lot of fun in the process!  As the area is mountainous, a reasonable level of fitness will be required but we will aim to offer a range of different ability routes every day.  At some point during the week we will take some time off, to give you a chance to explore on your own.

We will be based at the New Lodge, Ben Damph Estate.  The Lodge accommodates 14 in total but it is mostly in two rooms with four single beds in each, so participants should expect to share.  Hilary Hawker has kindly agreed to cater for us.

For further details and to note your interest please contact Jim McIntosh, BSBI Scottish Officer .


Saturday 22nd to Sunday 23rd July (General, Recording)

Leenane and Maumturk Mountains, West Galway (v.c.H16)

Leader: John Conaghan

The northern half of the Maumturk Mountain range and the Leenane area will be the main focus of recording at this meeting. Areas of salt marsh, blanket bog and heath habitat will be visited. Rain gear, walking boots, sunblock and lunch are essential. Please Contact John at or 00353-87-2239858 if you wish to attend and for details of meeting points and times.


Saturday 5th August (Recording)

Derry (v.c.H40)

Leaders: Sharon Spratt and Maria Long

This meeting will be based in the Sperrins Mountains in mid-Ulster. We will most likely visit Carn Daisy Glen - a lovely wooded glen with a rich spring ground flora. This leads up to Slieve Gallion, the highest point in the area, with upland habitats interspersed with agricultural fields and nice traditional field boundaries. There are other interesting sites nearby which we may also explore. Contact: Sharon Spratt at for details.


Sunday, 6th August (General/Training)

Ferns Training Workshop, Benthall Edge Wood, Shropshire (v.c. 40)

This is a meeting for anyone who wishes to either start learning about, or improve their knowledge of, the more widely distributed ferns.  It is a rerun of last year’s workshop at Froghall in Staffordshire in a somewhat different habitat and with a rather different selection of ferns – including more Dryopteris for the hardy plus Polystichum and the possibility of some hybrids.  We will meet at the car park at SJ672033, on the opposite side of the river from Ironbridge, at 1030.  Booking:  Contact Martin Godfrey at 


Sunday 6th August (Recording)

Inverpolly, Wester Ross (v.c.105)

Leader: Duncan Donald

Join the Inverness Botany Group on their annual visit to West Ross, tackling the west side of Cul Beag (NC10J/NC11F) – target species Dryas octopetala (Mountain Avens), Equisetum hyemale (Rough Horsetail) and Polystichum lonchitis (Holly-fern). Or, if time allows, perhaps come early or stay late and help cover a wider part of this recently under-recorded area.  To book to attend the meeting, please contact Duncan Donald, 16 Midtown of Inverasdale, Poolewe, Wester Ross IV22 2LW; ; tel. 01445 781717.


Saturday 12th August (Training)

“Introduction to Botanical Keys” (v.c.H)

Workshop with Richard McMullen

Many people wishing to know the names of our native wild plants are daunted by the terms used in botanical keys, e.g. how does an ovary differ from a carpel, how does one differentiate a superior ovary from an inferior ovary, a palmate leaf from a palmatifid leaf, etc. This workshop aims to demystify and explain the terms used in botanical keys so that it is possible to track down a species definitively rather than just flick through an illustrated flora. (It is very satisfying to arrive at a rock-solid identification!) We will have a wide range of botanical structures to demonstrate in the session and by the end, we should be well on the way to using keys effectively.

If you have it, bring a copy of Webb's 'An Irish Flora' (8th edn) and a hand lens, though we will have some of both on hand.

Note that places will be limited for this workshop, and there may be a small charge to attend. Further details available next year. Please contact Richard McMullen for queries on content and Maria Long to book a place.


Saturday 19th August (Recording)

Eastern Westmeath (v.c.H23)

Leader: Con Breen

This meeting will focus on recording in hectads N55 and N56 in the eastern end of Westmeath. Lough Lene/Sheever and Lough Adeel are located at the northern end of this area, and there are many under-recorded habitats to be explored. Details will be refined closer to the time.

Bring: Wellies, water-proofs, suncream, lunch and ID books will be required on the day. Contact: Con at or 000353-86-3539295 if you wish to attend and for details of meeting points and times.


Sunday 3rd September (Recording, Training)

Drinagh, Wexford Town (v.c.H12)

Leader: Paul Green

The aim of the day is to look at and learn how to identify coastal Atriplex and their hybrids. This hopefully will include 5 species and 5 hybrids. One of the hybrids being Atriplex longipes (Long-stalked Orache) x Atriplex littoralis (Grass-leaved Orache), a new hybrid to the Irish flora in 2016. Will also look at other saltmarsh species. May have a chance to see Puccinellia fasciculata (Borrer's Saltmarsh-grass).

Meet at 10.30 a.m. on roadside of industrial estate (T052190) on opposite side of road to Omniplex Wexford. Enquiries to Paul at or mobile 00353-87-7782496


Saturday 9th September (Recording)

South Hayling, Hampshire (v.c.11)

Leader: Martin Rand

This is the second visit in the year to the hectad in the vice-county that is currently least well recorded for Atlas 2020 (SZ79), which includes just 3 coastal part-tetrads (see 13th May for the earlier one). The two meetings are intended to remedy that situation. Shingle beach, saltmarsh, coastal heath and Hampshire's largest area of sand dune (not to mention suburban verges and waste ground) ensure plenty of interest amongst both native and alien plants. 

This meeting will be run jointly with the Hampshire Flora Group. You don't need to be an expert to participate; recording teams will be organised to cater for a mix of abilities.  If you are travelling from some distance and staying over in the area, there may be a chance to participate in a Hampshire Flora Group identification workshop for saltmarsh plants on Hayling the following day (numbers limited, modest fee applies).  For further details and booking, contact Martin Rand after January 8th 2017.


Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September (General, Recording)

Kinsale and Oysterhaven, Co Cork (, H4)

Leaders: Clare Heardman (H3) and John Wallace (H4)

This weekend is located across the boundary between two Cork vice counties and is aimed at collecting records for Atlas 2020. Habitats covered will include brackish marsh, saltmarsh, coastal heath/grassland and hedgerows. Walking boots/wellingtons, raingear and packed lunches required. Day 1: Meet 10.00am in the car-park by the toilets at Garrylucas beach W609432. Day 2: Meet 10:00am at the Charles Fort car-park W655495 Contact Clare at 00353-87-6781613 or John at for further details.


Our field meetings are a great way to get involved in  botany. Most are open to anyone, although members have priority.

If you want to book on a meeting, please contact the leader well in advance because they will fill up - do not just turn up on the day. The field meetings list on this page is the most up-to-date version, superceding the one in BSBI News

Country Field Secretaries

Ireland: John Conaghan

Scotland: Angus Hannah

Wales: Sarah Stille 

Information for leaders of field meetings