News

Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris ) - frosted but flowering #wildflowerhour

Image by James Faulconbridge

Sea Campion Photographed on Sidmouth beach 4/12/2016 by Karen Woolley

News from the Science Team

*NEW* Kevin Walker says he's been "commenting on a BTO paper on the risks and benefits of climate change for British wildlife (analysis of 17 groups including vascular plants). The full report is available here and the paper should be published in 2017 all being well".

*NEW* Pete Stroh is "editing and formatting completed species accounts for Natural Resources Wales and Natural England for a future book on Scarce Grasslands".

Kevin Walker and Pete Stroh are finalising the Introduction to their book about the Threatened Plants Project, which is "in an advanced stage of preparation". 

Pete Stroh is writing eight new Species Accounts - he is "currently drafting Medicago minima".

Kevin Walker starts working on a preliminary analysis of New Year Plant Hunt records on 10th January. 

Pete Stroh's first task in January is liaising with County Recorders in England over Annual Reports for 2016. 

Kevin Walker has been researching current distribution of Hydrocotyle ranunculoides as "it seems to be exploding due to a run of mild winters". More here.

Pete Stroh has completed the latest batch of Species Accounts and they can be downloaded here.

Kevin says: "I've been completing assessment of impacts for 14 invasive plants as part of the Non-Native Species Secretariat workshop. I'm also working on introductory analyses and chapters for the Threatened Plants Book".

Kevin Walker tells us what he's working on this month and Pete Stroh talks about surveying for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme and collecting seed for the Millenium Seed Bank.   

Kevin & Pete: "Are you interested in the results of the Threatened Plants Project? We have now completed all the accounts and are editing them for publication!"

Pete Stroh says: "I've a small project with CUBG investigating the soil seed longevity of Iberis amara. More here on the BSBI Science page." 

Kevin Walker says:" "I'm currently working on a paper outlining the development of the NPMS including how we chose the habitats, species, methods, etc. As part of this I've had to summarise all semi-natural habitats covered in one table. Quite a feat!" 

White form of Common stork's-bill blooming in Devon November 2016 #wildflowerhour Image by Karen Woolley

BSBI News, Views & Events

It’s easy to keep up with all the latest news from BSBI, share your views with other members and find out what’s happening in the botanical world:

 News & Views is the place to go for all the latest botanical news: read about BSBI’s members and activities, and keep up with news from partner organisations. 

 The Bulletin Board on the right keeps you updated on conferences, scientific papers and other botanical news items.  

 Check out what BSBI members are up to in your local area by clicking here.

 See our Twitter and Facebook pages by clicking on the icons at the top of the page. 

 Read BSBI News and New Journal of Botany - every year, members receive three copies of each.

 For media enquiries and press releases, please visit the Publicity page

Contact Louise to share your news, views and botanical stories on the News & Views page, to add an event to the Bulletin Board and for all media enquiries. 

Self-heal close-up November 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: J. Lyon 

Butcher's Broom in flower November 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: Kate Gold 

Sow-thistle 'clock' November 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: Mike Robinson 

Cowberry flowering in the Cairngorms, October 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: Karen Woolley

Sporophyte (above) and gametophyte (below) of Killarney Fern, Trichomanes speciosum. Found at a new site (a secret location in West Cork) during the #CorkRecordingEvent. September 2016. Images courtesy of R. Hodd.

Cornish Moneywort flowering in Somerset September 2016 #wildflowerhour Download the Species Account here. Image: Karen Woolley.

Ray's Knotgrass seen 21/8/2016 in Devon. Image: Karen Woolley 

Norwegian Mugwort on Cul Mor, Wester Ross. August 2016  #wildflowerhour Image: Simon Harrap

Carex magellanica in Tyrone, shared via #wildflowerhour 21/8/2016 Image: Rory Hodd. Near Threatened in England.  

Mountain avens in fruit, Durness, August 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: Ian Andrews. Download the Species Account here

Sea Clover (Trifolium squamosum) Portland Dorset 22/6/16. Image: Karen Woolley 

Bog Asphodel in South Wales, 22/6/2016. Image: Dave Steere 

Basil thyme (Clinopodium acinos) in the Avon Gorge #wildflowerhour 19th June 2016. Download the Species Account here. Image: David Hawkins.

BSBI Bulletin Board

New Flora of the Isles of Scilly: pre-publication offer

Until 31st March, you can take advantage of a pre-publication offer on the forthcoming Flora of the Isles of Scilly. Details here.

International Conference on Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions

This conference takes place in Lisbon on 4th-8th September. To register or to submit an abstract, please visit their website

Abstract submission for State of the World’s Plants 2017 is now open!

This symposium takes place at RBG Kew on 25th & 26th May. For more information, to submit an abstract or to register for the meeting, please visit: www.kew.org/sotwp-symposium 

NFBR Conference

Bookings are now open for this year's NFBR conference, which takes place in Nottingham on 5th and 6th May - more info here.

New BSBI Handbook for Violas

BSBI Handbook No. 17 is scheduled for publication in March 2017 but you can now take advantage of our pre-publication offer. Details here

Conference for citizen scientists

Thanks to Sue Townsend for alerting us to a forthcoming conference which may be of interest to citizen scientists and biological recorders. Click here to find out more about the conference which takes place at University of Reading in June. If you hear of any conferences which may be of interest to botanists/BSBI members, please email me with details.

New paper in Nature using BSBI data

BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker is a co-author on a paper published in the latest issue of Nature. Kevin tells us the paper is "based partly on David Pearman's first records database".  The paper is titled 'No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide' and you can download it here

Phone app or recording card?

Are you interested in apps for recording wild flowers on a smartphone? Or do you prefer to use a BSBI recording card and a pencil? Whether or not you took part in this year's New Year Plant Hunt, please have your say about apps for botanical recording here.  

BSBI County Recorder awarded MBE

Robert Northridge, Chair of BSBI Committee for Ireland, BSBI County Recorder for Cavan and joint County Recorder for Fermanagh, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List. More here

Conference: Plant Network

Plant Network, the national network of botanic gardens, arboreta and other documented plant collections, is holding its annual conference in April and the theme is 'Connecting gardens; engaging people'. Details here.

New Year Plant Hunt 2017

BSBI's sixth New Year Plant Hunt took place between 1st and 4th January. This year we were trialling a new app developed for us by colleagues at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Follow the results on our New Year Plant Hunt website and on Twitter. If you participated in the Hunt this year, please take part in our survey here. BSBI's Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker will be analysing the records and a preliminary analysis is due to be published in late January (we're aiming for Monday 23rd.).

22 new BSBI Species Accounts published

BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh has completed the latest batch of Species Accounts and they can now be downloaded free of charge here.

Vascular plant Red List for Ireland

A new Red List for the vascular plants of Ireland has just been published and can be downloaded here. The Red List is dedicated to BSBI's County Recorders and the foreword says: "This work could not have been undertaken without the huge contribution made by the BSBI Vice-county Recorders, past and present, whose records, gathered both in the field and from the literature, form the bulk of the BSBI’s Vascular Plant Database and Distribution Database used in this analysis, and who kindly provided them for the Red List project – to them this Red List is sincerely dedicated." 

BSBI Photographic Competition

See winning entries from the BSBI Photographic Competition 2016, and read details of how to take part in 2017, here.

BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting

Find out what went on at the (British & Irish) botanical world's annual get-together held on 26th November at CEH Wallingford. Most of the talks and many of the exhibits have now been uploaded to this page

Vegetative Guide to British Orchids

Mike Waller's 'Beginner's vegetative guide to orchids of the British Isles' has now been published and can be downloaded free of charge here.  

NBN Conference 2016: Review

The presentations and a summary of the workshops are available here.

BSBI Scottish Annual Meeting

You can now download presentations from the Scottish Annual Meeting, held in November 2016 in Perthshire.

Strengthening the biological recording community

Botanists are invited to participate in this survey about BioLinks, the new training project for biological recorders from the Field Studies Council. 

BSBI Annual General Meeting

The 2016 AGM was held at 12.30 on 26th November 2016 at CEH Wallingford and offered BSBI members a  chance to vote on items relating to the society’s governance. Any member can raise a matter for discussion by contacting our Company Secretary Clive Lovatt in advance of an AGM. Copies of BSBI annual reports and accounts from recent years are always available to view and download here

Back copies of botanical journals

We have received several offers from members around the country of print runs of botanical journals, available free of charge to anybody willing to collect them. Titles include: Journal of Botany; The Naturalist (both from late 19th/early 20th century); Watsonia; BSBI Yearbook; and Botanical Society and Exchange Club Proceedings. If you are interested, please contact us and we can let you know what is available for collection in your area.

New paper on food for pollinators

Hicks et al.: Quantifying the Nectar and Pollen Resources of Urban Flower Meadows is available here and it's Open Access.   

Interesting new paper by BSBI member

Click here to read 'A systematic florula of a disturbed urban habitat: Pavements of Sheffield, England' by Oli Pescott.   

New service launched

CEH has just launched a new service for assessing the risk of the presence of  Japanese Knotweed. This new service is based in large part on data collected by BSBI members. Find out more here.

Interesting paper...

Markus Wagner (CEH) et al.: Cereal density and N-fertiliser effects on the flora and biodiversity value of arable headlands. More here.   

The State of Nature report 2016 has been published...

... and BSBI is proud to be a partner. More here about how BSBI's volunteers contributed plant data and our Science Team helped with the analysis. See the State of Nature infographic here and download the full report here

New site found for Killarney Fern

Images on left of gametophyte and sporophyte of Killarney Fern (Trichomanes speciosum) - a new site was found last weekend in West Cork, during the Cork Recording Event

Hybrid Flora awarded Engler Silver Medal and short-listed for Marsh Book Award 2016

More here and here. Many congratulations to co-authors Clive Stace, Chris Preston and David Pearman. 

J.P. Grime: Scaling up to Communities and Ecosystems

A commentary by J.P. Grime is available here on the Journal of Ecology blog on a set of papers (1965-2007) from the Journal of Ecology reproduced online in December 2013.

Sharing images of plants in bloom: #wildflowerhour

Every Sunday, 8-9pm, hundreds of people are using this hashtag to share images of wild plants seen in bloom during the previous week across Britain and Ireland. A few of those images are shared (with permission) down the left-hand side of this page. You don't need a Twitter account to see the images flooding in every Sunday - just click on the BSBI Twitter account or the #wildflowerhour live tab at 8pm.

BSBI has a new Finance Officer

Jane Houldsworth, BSBI Head of Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Etherington to the role of BSBI Finance Officer. Julie takes up her post on the 5th of September and you can find out more here

BSBI Recorders' Conference

The BSBI Recorders' Conference was held in Shrewsbury over the long weekend of 2nd-4th September. A short report here and speakers' Powerpoints will soon be posted here

Plant species richness is increasing - according to long-term environmental studies

UK Environmental Change Network has published the results of studies carried out over the past twenty years. More here.  

Preliminary findings from the Orchid Observers project

Read the results so far: they are here on the Natural History Museum blog. 

Latest issue of New Journal of Botany published

Links and access options to BSBI's scientific journal are here.  

Two new Rare Plant Registers published 

Download the Rare Plant Register for Ayrshire and for Dumfriesshire here - you can also see all the counties for whom a Rare Plant Register has been produced. 

Arable wild flower App launched

CEH has launched an App to help farmers and landowners identify and record their arable wild flowers. More info here.   

Pre-publication offer for 'A New Flora of Devon'

To place an early order for the forthcoming A New Flora of Devon, please click here.   

Collecting seed for the Millenium Seed Bank

Read more here about BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh's experience of seed collecting for the Millenium Seed Bank and how you can get involved. 

National Plant Monitoring Schemes: launched in Ireland, flourishing in Britain 

A Plant Monitoring Scheme has now been launched in the Republic of Ireland: more info here. Meanwhile the UK's National Plant Monitoring Scheme goes from strength to strength: check out the Spring newsletter here (article by Kevin Walker on page 5); read what Pete Stroh spotted while out surveying for the NPMS; find NPMS training sessions here.    

NBN Awards for Biological Recording and Information Sharing

Nominations have now closed for the NBN Awards but watch this space for more info about the winners! Find out more about the awards here.  

BSBI Communications Officer appointed

Jane Houldsworth, BSBI Head of Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Louise Marsh to the role of BSBI Communications Officer. Louise will be taking up the post with immediate effect and you can find out more here.

Five Island Bioblitz held in Ireland

Find out more here and here

New population of Teesdalia nudicaulis found at Thursley Heath NNR

Find out more here on the News & Views blog or read the Natural England press release here

New technical handbook on floodplain meadows

Now available to download from the Floodplain Meadows Partnership. 

Help required to sample Black Locust in UK

French botanist Xavier Bouteiller has asked BSBI members for help with sampling a UK population of Black Locust as part of Europe-wide research he is carrying out. More info here on the News & Views blog. Please email Xavier if you can help.  

Conference: National Recording Schemes and Societies - celebrating the past, looking to the future

The National Forum for Biological Recording's 2016 conference was organised in partnership with the Biological Records Centre and held on the 12th-13th May at Lancaster University followed by a field trip to the Forest of Bowland AONB on the 14th May.  

Presentations from the conference are available to download by clicking on the link. Recommended: Chloe Smith's presentation on using BSBI data to look at changes in our flora over 30 years. 

Are agricultural management and climatic change the major drivers of biodiversity change in the UK?

A recent Open Access paper in PLOS ONE titled 'Agricultural Management and Climatic Change Are the Major Drivers of Biodiversity Change in the UK' is available in full here. The paper is co-authored by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker and BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh.  

State of the World's Plants Symposium

The first annual State of the World’s Plants Symposium took place on 12 May 2016 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 

In conjunction with the launch of a ground-breaking new report, scientists and policy-makers gathered at Kew to take stock of the world’s plant diversity, associated research and trends. You can download the report here

Angiosperm Phylogeny Group

An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV was published on 24 March 2016. Early View access has now ended but the paper is available on pay-to-view here.  

Results of GM crop trials

In 2012 the BSBI was one of many organisations that supported plans by researchers at Rothamsted to test a GM crop in the field. In the event there was so much public support for the trials that the protestors who had threatened to destroy the crop were deterred. Now the results have been published in Scientific Reports and the researchers have already answered some questions in this short Q&A

Millennium Seed Bank

Can you help collect seed for Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank? There are 500 species still to collect for. Read more...  

The Robert Pocock Herbarium Project

Robert Pocock was Gravesend's first local historian, printer, creator of its first public library and botanist. In the early 1800's he began a collection of local plants for his herbarium or dried plant collection. Long after his death, the herbarium was donated to the Natural History Museum in London. The herbarium sheets are still there, amongst many thousands of others, effectively 'lost' to us for 200 years! The aim of the project is to find this unique record of Gravesend's botanical heritage and make images of the plant specimens available to us all. To date we have found over 180 specimen sheets.

Follow our progress at www.pocockherbarium.blogspot.co.uk and on our Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-Pocock-Herbarium-Project/333265860142783. See images of the plants on Facebook and Flickr (links are on the website, or search for Robert Pocock Herbarium). 

Harebell (Scottish Bluebell) in bloom at Striding Edge, Lake District, 23/7/2016. Image: Alistair Whyte 

Dwarf Succisa pratensis in two colours, on coastal heath in Mayo. #wildflowerhour 21/8/2016 Image: Rory Hodd 

Pipewort on Skye, August 2016. Image courtesy of Simon Harrap.

Thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) in flower. Image: Timothy Body

Tory Island, one of the locations for Ireland's first ever Five Island BioBlitz, June 2016.  Image: Oisin Duffy