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 each country 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 you should check it regularly.

Where activity away from home is undertaken, please take sensible precautions based on your own circumstances and the restrictions for the relevant country (if you are crossing a country boundary, remember to check guidelines for both countries):

  • maintain social distancing at all times, including when travelling to and from sites
  • strictly adhere to guidance on meeting with people from different households
  • avoid visiting beauty spots and popular 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
  • wear a face mask or covering when asked to.

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

The Society is planning a programme of events for 2021 across the UK and Ireland, all subject to prevailing restrictions related to COVID-19. Please see our news and events pages for the latest updates on the status of our activities which may change at short notice - please check beforehand with the leader of an event who has total control of the running of the event. There is still a great deal of botanical activity that can be undertaken and enjoyed if it is possible locally. 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: 18th March 2021*

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