The "Presidents' Prize"
The origins of the "Presidents’ Prize" - more properly, the Presidents' Award - lie in the mid 1990s, when an anonymous donor generously sent £4,000 to fund an Award of £200 to be made annually. The purpose of the award was to acknowledge the most useful contribution to the understanding of the flowering plants and ferns of Britain and Ireland through a book, major paper, discovery or outstanding exhibit during that calendar year.
It was agreed that the recipient (or joint recipients) would be chosen, after consultation, by the Presidents of the BSBI and the Wild Flower Society and that the award would only be made if both Presidents could agree on a recipient or recipients who merited such an accolade. News of the award was first reported in print on page 6 of BSBI News no. 68 (Jan. 1995) and then in the Wild Flower Magazine no. 432 (Spring 1995).
The first award was presented at the BSBI AGM in 1995. A certificate, signed by the two Presidents, was presented to Eric J. Clement and Sally Foster for their book 'Alien Plants of the British Isles'. Since then, the presentation has alternated between the AGM of either the BSBI or the WFS and, where possible, the award is handed over to the author(s) in person. Since 1995, the Prize has always been awarded to the author(s) of a book, rather than a paper, discovery or outstanding exhibit. Images on this page show a selection of winning titles over the years. Click on an image to link through to more information about the title from the Summerfield Books website.
Last year, the Presidents' Prize was awarded to Clive Stace and Mick Crawley for their 'Alien Plants'. In 2017, the prize will be awarded by BSBI President John Faulkner at the BSBI Summer Meeting in Flintshire and the identity of the recipient(s) will be announced on this page, on the BSBI News & Views blog and then in BSBI News and the Wild Flower Magazine.