Covid-19/ Coronavirus


The spread of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on our daily lives and is likely to continue to do so for some time. BSBI is taking this threat seriously and is prioritising the health and well-being of our staff, volunteers, members and supporters, plus the landowners and all those in the communities with which we interact. BSBI continues to consult with JNCC and fellow NGOs on an ongoing basis over this evolving situation.

It is vital that we all follow the latest government advice in order to minimise risks during this time. Your patience, assistance and co-operation are very much appreciated as we face these challenges together.

BSBI Activity

Across the UK and Ireland governments are continually monitoring COVID-19 and considering necessary restrictions. BSBI would strongly advise anyone considering undertaking botanical activities and plant recording away from their home to look at the latest advice provided for the country and area where they live to determine what is permissible and follow it to the letter. Guidance varies between and within countries and may change rapidly so checking it regularly is advised.

Where activity away from home is undertaken, please take sensible precautions based on your own circumstances:

  • maintain social distancing at all times, including when travelling to and from sites
  • strictly adhere to guidance on meeting with people from different households
  • do not visit beauty spots, popular or built-up areas
  • only visit sites you know and where you are sure social distancing will be possible
  • maintain hygiene standards, being aware that many facilities may be closed.

Again, further advice on staying safe outdoors should be sought from the government of the country in question.

The Society’s centrally-organised public programmes across the UK and Ireland have been impacted by restrictions related to COVID-19. Please see our news and events pages on our website to check on the status of our activities. BSBI's annual New Year Plant Hunt can go ahead in early 2021 but participants are urged to follow Covid-19 guidelines for their area to ensure their hunts are safe and responsible.

There is still a great deal of botanical activity that can be undertaken and enjoyed even if it isn’t possible to leave your home. A range of suggestions, from surveys of wild flowers in your garden to online resources to improve your plant identification skills to plant photography competitions, can be found here.

BSBI is a partner in the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) and information on which elements of the scheme are operational can be found on the dedicated website.

BSBI Working Arrangements

Given the disruption faced across Britain and Ireland caused by the need to work from home, school closures, shielding and self-isolating etc., responses to enquiries and other forms of support provided by our volunteers and staff may be slower than usual. Thank you for your patience.

The health of yourselves and your families is important. If you or those close to you are impacted by the virus, we wish you a swift recovery. Whether you are studying plants, using some of the many resources on our website or simply enjoying wild plants near your home, please stay safe and keep well.

*Page last reviewed: 24th December 2020*

Read about some of the botanical activities you can still take part in, either in your own home or in your garden.