Activities to enjoy while under lockdown
There are still some plant-related activities we can enjoy while we are staying safely at home under lockdown and going in to our gardens (if we are fortunate to have gardens). BSBI’s online presence and website provides options for connecting with other botanists and contains a huge array of tools, resources and information you may find useful at this time. Examples include:
- Garden Wildflower Hunt: our new project invites you to use an online app to record the native wild flowers growing your garden.
- If you're unsure about what is native and what is alien, what 'wild' means or what exactly is a weed, check out our new Definitions page.
- While in your own garden, are you noticing any ornamental plants showing signs of invasiveness? Plant Alert is a project aimed at discovering which garden plants have the potential to become invasive and problematic in future. Upload your photos and records to the Plant Alert website.
- Also in the garden, photographs and measurements of groundsel plants are requested for a new Ragwort Study Project.
- You can take part in this national spittlebug survey in your garden or while exercising near your home.
- Dandelions: there are c250 species recorded in Britain and Ireland, and they are found in gardens and window-boxes, on balconies... our new Dandelion page, with keys to sections and species accounts, helps you identify the dandelions growing near you right now. Check out also Josh Styles' free online dandelion ID course.
- A webpage providing a host of videos containing plant ID tips. If you know of any good plant ID videos not shown here, send us a link and we'll include them!
- Our 'Get Started' page for beginner botanists features reviews of plant ID books currently in print: why not help mentor the next generation of botanists by reviewing a plant ID book? Email me if you’re interested.
- If you're surfing the internet and spot any useful plant ID resources that would be helpful to beginner botanists, please let us know and we can share a link (with permission) on this plant ID: getting started - it's full of links from BSBI and partners.
- Did you know that photos entered in to this year’s BSBI Photo Competition don’t need to have been taken this year? This would be a great time to go through your archived photos and see if you have anything suitable to enter!
- If you’re looking after primary school-age children at home, and have access to a garden, do check out the Herbology Hunt spotter sheets.
- Some more great resources and ideas for younger naturalists here, courtesy of our friends the Field Studies Council.
- While indoors, we have an archive of older publications, free to browse – take a look: https://archive.bsbi.org/
- We also have current and back issues of our country newsletters for you to browse: find out more on our periodicals page.
- We've made available a sample issue of our popular membership newsletter, BSBI News, to give you an idea of the content.
- Thinking of trying out an app for plant identification? First read this review of a range of apps currently available. It's by Hamlyn Jones and is extracted from the April 2020 issue of BSBI News. You can also read an interview with Hamlyn on our News & Views blog.
- Wild Flower Hour is a public participation exercise where botanists share images and discuss via Twitter the wild or naturalised plants they’ve found in bloom that week. Plants you’ve seen through your window or in your garden also count for Wild Flower Hour!
- Social media provides a great way of catching up with fellow botanists without running the risk of... catching or spreading anything unpleasant in the process! If you've turned down Twitter, ignored Instagram or feared Facebook until now, maybe this is the time to dip your toe in the water?