News

Scroll down for: winners of the BSBI Photographic Competition; news about BSBI books and periodicals; how to book for BSBI events; our Membership Special Offer which runs until 31st December 2017; pre-publication offers for BSBI members; what's new on the website; news about BSBI staff changes and how the society is governed; and much much more...

BSBI Exhibition Meeting: catch up with the exhibits and the talks

We've just uploaded the first batch of exhibits from this year's BSBI Exhibition Meeting and AGM which took place on Saturday 25th November at the Natural History Museum. So even if you weren't able to attend, you can now download ten exhibits (there are more to follow!) and click through to related websites, webpages, email addresses, Twitter accounts and posts on the BSBI News & Views blog. You can also download all eight presentations from the AEM webpage here, you can read what happened here and find out what people said about the event here

The December issue of eNews is out!

Download your free copy from our Publications page

New Code of Conduct published

BSBI's Sarah Whild, and Fred Rumsey (Natural History Museum) have produced the BSBI Code of Conduct 2017, an updated version of  the 2010 Code. You can download the new Code from the Resources page and there's some background about it here.

Botany podcast

The first Wild Flower Half Hour podcast has now gone live and it features interviews with Leif Bersweden, author of The Orchid Hunter, Dr Trevor Dines of Plantlife talking about their Back from the Brink project and BSBI's Comms Officer Louise Marsh talking about #wildflowerhour, the New Year Plant Hunt and how to get involved in spotting wild flowers in winter. You can listen to the podcast here.

 

Michael Proctor 1929-2017

Read Peter Marren's obituary of Michael Proctor for The Guardian here.

Training the Trainers

This year's Training the Trainers event for botanical trainers was a huge success! There's a short report here and you can see some of the presentations here - more to follow.

BSBI Scottish Annual Meeting/ BSBI Photographic Competition

 Judging of this year's BSBI Photographic Competition took place at the Scottish Annual Meeting and we have two winners. Heather Kelly won in the 'Plants in the Landscape' section and Chris Jeffree won in the 'Archaeophytes' category. A full report to follow but for now you can see updates on Twitter and view Heather's photo on the right-hand side of this page. Thanks and congratulations to Scottish Annual Meeting organiser Jim McIntosh and to Natalie Harmsworth who organised the Photographic Competition.  

BSBI Annual General Meeting

BSBI's 2017 AGM takes place at 2pm on Saturday 25th November at the Natural History Museum, London, as part of the Annual Exhibition Meeting. Head over to our new AGM webpage to download an agenda and check out the proposals for five new trustees. 

Transparency and good governance

BSBI is always striving to become more accountable and to encourage all our members to take an interest in how the society is governed. We have therefore made our Governance website accessible to all BSBI members, so they can view minutes of all meetings of BSBI Council, country and standing committees and the Board of Trustees. Head over to our members-only area (password required) for access details.

BSBI Membership Special Offer

If you are not yet a BSBI member and are hesitating over whether or not to join - have you spotted our membership special offer which runs from 1st October until 31st December 2017? Subscribe today for 2018 and your membership starts at once so you could get up to three "free" months. You'd benefit straight away from access to expert plant referees, you could start reading periodicals like BSBI News and New Journal of Botany online, you'd be eligible for pre-publication offers on BSBI books... Full details here and you can read about our aims and see our full accounts here. If you're already a member - please help us spread the word about this great offer! 

Sad news

We are hearing very sad news that eminent botanist Michael Proctor, a BSBI member since 1950 and former editor of Watsonia, has just died. We'll let you know when we have more information and there will be an obituary in due course but for now, BSBI sends condolences to Michael's family. 

BSBI has a "new" Welsh Officer

Polly Spencer-Vellacott moves to Scotland after six years as BSBI Welsh Officer; Paul Green takes up the reins again! More here.

Flora of Sussex

Due out in February 2018: pre-publication offers now available. More here

Threatened Plants in Britain and Ireland

This long-awaited publication from the BSBI Science Team can be ordered now by BSBI members and will be available for non-members to buy in November. Threatened Plants in Britain and Ireland focuses on 50 wild flower species surveyed by 800+ volunteers under BSBI's Threatened Plants Project. Find out more here and here.

The Discovery of the Native Flora of Britain & Ireland

A pre-publication offer is now available for this title, the latest book from David Pearman, which attempts to answer the question, who first described our native plants? Over 450 pages, The Discovery of the Native Flora of Britain & Ireland comprises accounts of the first records of 1670 taxa in Britain and Ireland. Find out more here and here.

New BSBI Species Accounts

Five new species accounts are now available here, courtesy of BSBI's Science Team.

The Flora of St Kilda has been published

This new Flora, authored by Prof Mick Crawley (BSBI County Recorder for East Sutherland and for Berkshire) is available to purchase here.

New paper on Field Fleawort as an indicator species

A paper has just been published on 'Longterm changes in lowland calcareous grassland plots using  Tephroseris integrifolia subsp. integrifolia as an indicator species'. Authored by BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh and BSBI members Oli Pescott and Owen Mountford, you can download the full paper free of charge here.  

Free "Veg Key" for Kindle or smartphone

This special two-day offer has now closed but it was seen by an astonishing 51,000 people on BSBI's Facebook page alone and 2,620 free eBook copies were downloaded. You can still get your hands on a copy of Poland & Clement's Vegetative Key to the British flora but will now have to pay for it, sorry! More here

Latest issue of New Journal of Botany is out!

To find out what's in New Journal of Botany 7.1, click here. If you are a BSBI member, you can see the whole issue on-line right now - just go to the BSBI members-only area (password required) and follow the links. If you've forgotten your password, just email me with your membership number and I'll get straight back to you.  

New paper on alien taxa

BSBI Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker has co-authored a new paper titled 'Risk management to prioritise the eradication of new and emerging invasive non-native species'. Click here to download the paper, published in the August issue of Biological Invasions

How will climate change affect our wild flowers?

BSBI's Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker is a co-author on a newly published paper in the journal Biological Conservation which assesses the impact of climate change on the distribution of over 3,000 British plants and animals across 17 taxonomic groups. Click here to download the paper in full.

Vegetation monitoring

Click here to download 'Long-term vegetation monitoring in Great Britain - the Countryside Survey 1978-2007 and beyond'.

Garden plants and invasive species

In 2015, BSBI members contributed to a survey aimed at trying to identify garden plants likely to become invasive in future. The authors have now published a paper based on the data collected. You can read 'Integrating invasive species policies across ornamental horticulture supply chains to prevent plant invasions' in full by clicking here

Are Beech trees native to Scotland?

According to researchers at the University of Sterling - yes they are! More here or go straight to the abstract. The full paper appears in the latest issue of Journal of Biogeography.

New paper on change in Scottish grassland vegetation

Click here to see the abstract of 'Forty years of change in Scottish grassland vegetation: Increased richness, decreased diversity and increased dominance' by Mitchell et al. newly published in Biological Conservation

The State of the World’s Plants 2017 report has been published by RBG Kew

The 2017 report builds on its predecessor (2016) by highlighting emerging trends threatening our global flora, examining likely future ‘winners and losers’ and looking at how the international community is taking action to maintain diversity and sustainable use. Download the report here: www.stateoftheworldsplants.com 

BSBI and five other wildlife organisations call for action to cut air pollution

Letter from BSBI and five other organisations published in The Guardian today, 15th June. More here.

And the Presidents' Award for 2017 goes to...

The award, which is presented annually by Presidents of BSBI and the Wild Flower Society, was this year given to Tom Humphrey in recognition of his work on the BSBI Database. Click here to read about the presentation, made by BSBI President John Faulkner at the BSBI Summer Meeting and here to read about the history of the Presidents' Award and some of the past recipients.

Lots of botanical activity in Co. Kerry

Co. Kerry played host in June to one of the highlights of BSBI Ireland's recording year: read about the #KerryBSBIevent here and here. There is also a new webpage for Co. Kerry here which links to the new local group's Facebook page. 

Species Accounts available to download

BSBI's Science Team have just added yet another Species Account, bringing the total to 79. This new one is for Orobanche reticulata; you can download all of them free of charge from the Species Accounts page here

Latest botanical news from Scotland

New on the BSBI Scotland page: annual reports from County Recorders across Scotland; the Scottish Newsletter 2017 can now be downloaded; training opportunities for beginner botanists; read the annual report from Jim McIntosh, BSBI's Scottish Officer; and on the BSBI News & Views blog, read how Scottish recorders contributed to a survey of saltmarsh plants across Scotland.  

Friends of Oliver Rackham: newsletter

The 8th newsletter of the Friends of Oliver Rackham has been published - you can download it here.

Welsh 'domesday book for plants'

Wales has become the first country in the world to have published a Rare Plant Register for every county. Read the press release here and see reports on both the Welsh Officer's blog here, here and here and on the BSBI News & Views blog here, here and here.   

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

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 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

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. 

 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.   

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.    

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.  

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.   

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.   

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). 

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

Image by James Faulconbridge

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

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

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

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

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

Dwarf Spurge photographed at Saltmills, Co. Wexford 12th November 2017 for #wildflowerhour. Previous tetrad record was in 1888. Image: Paula O'Meara

Bristly Ox-tongue photographed for #wildflowerhour in Kent, November 2017. Image: David B. Burbridge

Mudwort photographed for #wildflowerhour in Dorset, September 2017, by Karen Woolley.

Greater Knapweed photographed for #wildflowerhour in Fife, August 2017 by Heather Kelly

On the BSBI News & Views blog in November...

Roger Horton tells us about his quest to refind Black Poplars as part of a wider project by Cambridge Natural History Society; Debs Wallace explains how a BSBI Training Grant allowed her to improve her aquatic plant identification skills; we serialised the story of how Dave Steere from Kent went from beginner botanist to active Atlas 2020 recorder and mainstay of his local botany group in just four years: read parts one, two and three; we featured the Kent Botanical Recording Group who supported Dave and helped him hone his ID skills; Jessica Hamilton reported on the third meeting of the BSBI Kerry Group, set up this year and going from strength to strength; we offered some background on the new Code of Conduct and reported on the Annual Exhibition Meeting; and we featured a full-length interview with outgoing President John Faulkner.

Rowan berries and flowers, photographed in Edinburgh, August 2017. Image: Janet Wyllie.

For even more botanical news...

Go straight to the BSBI News & Views blog where you can also view 60+ blogs by BSBI members.

Download eNews each month - it's free and you don't need to be a BSBI member.

Join BSBI to receive 3 issues of BSBI News each year and have online access to New Journal of Botany.

Bearberry (on left) & Alpine Bearberry #wildflowerhour June 2017. Image: Andy Amphlett, County Recorder for Banffshire

Marsh Helleborine photographed by Dave Steere #wildflowerhour June 2017

Share your botanical news with us...

Contact Louise to share your news, views and botanical stories. 

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

Heath Speedwell photographed by Jane Rock for #wildflowerhour June 2017

Nottingham Catchfly (Silene nutans) photographed by Gus Routledge at St Cyrus NR #wildflowerhour June 2017 Download the Species Account for Silene nutans here.

News from the Science Team

*NEW* Pete Stroh co-authored a paper on Field Fleawort as an indicator species for longterm changes in lowland calcareous grassland plots. You can download the full paper free of charge here

Kevin Walker co-authored a paper titled 'Risk management to prioritise the eradication of new and emerging invasive non-native species'. Click here to download the paper, published in the August issue of Biological Invasions.

Pete Stroh is writing eight new Species Accounts - he has just completed Orobanche reticulata and is "currently drafting Medicago minima". 

Kevin Walker is revising a paper on threatened species on SSSIs for Biological Conservation (assisted by Pete) and "completing a paper on analysis of traits of threatened grassland species".

Pete Stroh has been "editing and formatting completed species accounts for Natural Resources Wales and Natural England for a future Scarce Grasslands book". He also liaised with County Recorders across England over their Annual Reports for 2016.

Kevin Walker says he's been "commenting on BTO papers, one on open data access and one 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 later in 2017 all being well".

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". 

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!" 

Scarlet Pimpernel photographed by Zach Haynes at Nosterfield Nature Reserve in North Yorkshire for  #wildflowerhour 30/4/2017.  Zach is also BBC Wildlife Magazine's Junior Blogger of the Year.

Corn salad (Valerianella sp.) photographed in Cornwall by Kevin Thomas for #wildflowerhour 23/4/2017.

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

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

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

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

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