Scottish Conferences

BSBI Scottish Recording Conference 2017

"Twenty six members (mostly Scottish Recorders) attended an enjoyable Recording Conference & Workshop at FSC Kindrogan over the weekend of the 10-12 March. The weekend began on Friday afternoon with a major optional session on MapMate during which a range of short talks were given interspersed by practical sessions.  The main programme included several talks on Atlas 2020 theme, including one showing some early results, and several on the theme of Data validation again interspersed by practical sessions. I particularly recommend looking at these talks. By way of light relief, Arthur Copping held an Agrostis ID workshop, Ian Strachan held a session on Conifer ID, Paul Smith on using the Vegetative Key and I held one entitled Making the most of your GPS.  After-dinner entertainment on the Saturday night was a round-up of illustrated VC reports by Recorders.  On Sunday we heard the latest news about BSBI Data and the NBN and talks on RPRs and Axiophytes and finished up, after a soup and sandwich lunch, with a lively Q&A session".

- Jim McIntosh, BSBI Scottish Officer.

Here is the conference programme. Jim has uploaded the presentations from the 2016 conferences so here are a selection of talks and hand-outs. Right-click on the links below to download the pdfs. 

BSBI Scottish Recorders’ Conferences 2016

We held two one-day conferences in Scotland during April 2016 on the theme of Atlas 2020 – the final four years. The programme included an update on Atlas 2020, a session on MapMate, several on the BSBI DataBase, a round-up of reports from the Vice-Counties, talks on Recording Stoneworts and the Millennium Seed Bank Project and a general discussion and Q&A session. The first conference was held in Strathpeffer and the second in Edinburgh - feedback suggests that both were a great success! 

Jim has uploaded the presentations from the 2016 conferences so here are a selection of talks and hand-outs. Right-click on the links to download the pdfs. 

Atlas 2020 - recap & update by Jim McIntosh.

Atlas 2020 progress by Andy Amphlett.

MapMate for BSBI recorders by Jim McIntosh.

Tools and techniques to keep records tidy by Andy Amphlett.

The BSBI DDb for beginners by Jim McIntosh.

DDb data validation by Tom Humphrey.

DDb Future plans by Tom Humphrey.

Stonewort Hand-out by Nick Stewart.

What is Lycopodium lagopus by Andy Amphlett.

The Millenium Seed Bank Project by Stephanie Miles.

Scottish Recorders’ Workshop 2015: Atlas 2020 - the final five years

In total, 28 members participated in a very enjoyable Recorder’s Conference over the weekend of Friday 6-Sunday 8th March 2015 at Kindrogan Field Studies Centre, near Blairgowrie.  The aim was to help recorders prepare for the final five years of Atlas 2020.  The weekend was fully interactive with plenty opportunities to discuss and feedback.  Because Scottish Recorders rarely get together, plenty time was programmed to allow folk to chat over meals and in the bar so the event was very sociable.

Group photograph of the 2015 Scottish Recorders’ Workshop

During the key-note session on Friday evening we gave a comprehensive update on Atlas 2020. Over the next two days there were major sessions on MapMate and the BSBI Distribution Database – some plenary and some split by ability for beginners and improvers.  We encouraged all participants to bring their own laptops (or even desktops!) so they could follow these sessions in real-time.  There were further sessions on the BSBI Data Entry Guidelines, Importing Data into MapMate, Memory-Map and Rare Plant Registers.  I gave a presentation on the BSBI’s proposal to make our data publically available on the NBN which was followed by lively discussion, and Andy Amphlett gave a great report on the project to record in the Cairngorm Nation Park.  Another highlight was when a selection of Recorders gave short 5-10 minute illustrated reports of what they have been getting up to in their vice-counties, after dinner on Saturday evening.

We also offered one-to-one clinics with experts on specific MapMate, DDb, Memory-Map and Rare Plant Register problems.  The expert advisers (and speakers) were Bob Ellis (MapMate), Tom Humphrey (DDb), Chris Metherell (RPR), Andy Amphlett (DDB & Excel) and me, Jim McIntosh (Memory-Map).  We also encouraged participants to bring any specimens for identification, and I noticed that Chris & Alan Silverside were kept busy looking at Euphrasias!

Here are a selection of talks and accompanying handouts:





BSBI DDb: New Users

If you were new to the DDb, I do hope you have logged on to it and used some of the tricks that Tom & Andy demonstrated while they are still fresh in your mind. Try following some of the examples given the DDb User Guidance for your own vice-county.

New features on BSBI DDb

Just before the conference Tom made a major change to BSBI DDb website by adding a couple of new features. We talked about them and demonstrated them over the weekend.  However these new features, entitled “my mapmate records” and “my county” will only appear (to the left hand side of “message board”) if the DDb knows which VC you are Recorder for, and what your MapMate CUK is.  You may need to tell it if they don’t appear automatically.  To do so, click on “my details” and enter your CUK in “User details” and your VC in the “Permissions and roles” tab.

Future BSBI Scottish Recorders’ Workshops

Following the helpful discussion after lunch on the final day of the conference, I can confirm that we are booked in to Kindrogan in two years’ time on the 10-12 March 2017.  I have also booked the RBGE Conference room for a single day Recorder Conference on Saturday the 16th of April in 2016.  I’m still thinking about where best to hold a similar event for northern recorders, but I’ll be aiming for the Inverness area a week or so later.