The 'Presidents' Award'

The origins of 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(s) 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 announced at the BSBI AGM in 1995, held in Dublin. A certificate, signed by the two Presidents, was sent to Eric J. Clement and Sally Foster for their book 'Alien Plants of the British Isles'. Since then, the presentation has alternated between a major meeting (usually the AGM) of either the BSBI or the WFS and, where possible, the award is handed over to the recipient(s) in person. The Prize has usually been awarded for a book, rather than a paper, discovery or outstanding exhibit, although in 1998 it was for a paper by Geoffrey Kitchener and Douglas McKean on Epilobium hybrids and in 2000, the Award went to John Rodwell for the National Vegetation Classification . In 2016, the Presidents' Award went to Clive Stace and Mick Crawley for their 'Alien Plants'.

Images on this page show a selection of winning titles over the years. Click on an image to open a new page on the  Summerfield Books website with more information about the title.

*NEW* The Presidents' Award 2017 was presented by BSBI President John Faulkner at the BSBI Summer Meeting in Flintshire. This year's winner was Tom Humphrey in recognition of his work setting up and running the BSBI Database. You can see the photos and read about the presentation here on the BSBI News & Views blog and in forthcoming issues of BSBI News and the Wild Flower Magazine.