BSBI's Recorder eNewsletter is a monthly email newsletter full of useful info, links and topical tips for botanical recorders.

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Recorder eNewsletter March 2022

BSBI Ireland Officer

We are sad to report that Sarah Pierce has resigned due to health and family reasons. We are very grateful to Sarah for her excellent work as Ireland Officer and wish her a speedy return to good health and best wishes for the future. Paul Green, one-time BSBI Wales Officer but now resident in Ireland and an active Irish Country Recorder, has agreed to be BSBI Ireland Officer with immediate effect.

Jim McIntosh, BSBI Senior Country Officer

MapMate - important

MapMate have recently applied a configuration change to their server that prevents older versions of the replicator from authenticating. When you try to sync you’ll get the following message:

So, if you are still on Replicator version 2.4.0 you will need to update it to the latest version (2.4.2) following the guidance on before you will be able to synch again.

It is especially important that you do a full backup beforehand. So, you don’t forget, do it now!

Jim McIntosh, BSBI Senior Country Officer

England Annual Meeting

The England Annual Meeting is this Sunday, 27 February, starting at 2pm. There will be a quick AGM, followed by three short talks on the conservation of Juniper by Matt Pitts, Introductory botany by Chris & Hazel Metherell, and how to enthuse local networks by County Recorder Michael Philip. After a tea-break the Chair will then explain “How I became a botanist”, in a journey starting in North Wales, moving to Cambridge then exploring Antarctica with discussion of climate change and the Antarctic ozone hole. All botanists are welcome but only BSBI members can vote in the AGM. To book please click this link: England Annual Meeting

Jonathan Shanklin, Chair CfE

BSBI Spring Conference

Everyone interested in identifying and recording plants is very welcome to the BSBI Spring Conference on Saturday 26 March starting at 10 am. We’ve got a great programme lined up which includes talks on the botanical highlights of the fens, recording the urban flora, rare arable plants, the conservation of Oblong Woodsia, a workshop on separating the three Whitlow-grass species and finishes with a Question & Answer session where you can put questions on any botanical or BSBI-related topic to our panel. Click this link to view the programme and to book: BSBI Spring Conference.

Jim McIntosh, BSBI Senior Country Officer

Irish Spring Conference – 2 April

We are currently finalising an exciting programme of talks for the Irish Spring Conference on Saturday 2 April at 10 am. It will be online again this year, so while it would have been nice to meet up at least there is no travelling involved. Everyone is very welcome. Booking is essential: Irish Spring Conference.

Paul Green, BSBI Ireland Officer

BSBI Evening Talks

The next and final in the series of online evening talks organised by the BSBI is on Wednesday 2 March at 7.30. It will be on Mountain Flowers by Alan Walker. Click here to book.

Jonathan Shanklin, BSBI evening talks organiser

BSBI Box Office

You might like to bookmark the BSBI Box Office, which we are increasingly using to advertise and taking bookings for conferences, annual meetings, talks, workshops and even some field meetings. Take a look at the great programme of events for this year and book all those that interest you.

Jim McIntosh, BSBI Senior Country Officer

Field Meetings

February is usually the month with fewest species in flower, but more and more are beginning to appear, so do get out and record. The field meetings season will soon be starting and you can see the list of meetings on the Field meetings and indoor events page. Note that there is an additional meeting there that is not in the Yearbook; this is in Hertfordshire on June 26. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to hold the Annual Summer Meeting in Scotland this year. We are looking at alternative options for the same dates (July 15 – 18) and will let you know if a meeting is possible.

Jonathan Shanklin, Hon. Field Meetings Secretary

New Year Plant Hunt: analysis of results

We’ve now completed our analysis of this year’s New Year Plant Hunt results, when more recorders than ever before went out plant-spotting at new Year and found 669 species in bloom across Britain and Ireland. You can read the full analysis here or opt for the shorter summary which went to our media contacts. Huge thanks to everyone who took part – your records are helping us gain a better understanding of how our wild and naturalised plants are responding to climate change.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

Building on the NPMS methodology

Recorders will be aware of the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) but have you heard about NPMS+? It's an exciting pilot project for six stakeholders across England to trial monitoring their sites or projects using NPMS methodology. Sarah Shuttleworth, who is leading on NPMS+ and can be emailed for more information, has also arranged a webinar, led by Josh Styles, at 10am on 4th March about brownfield habitats. Although brownfield habitats are not included in the selection of NPMS habitats, this promises to be a fascinating webinar - and it’s free! You can register in advance here and you will then receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

New Flora of the British Isles

Last month I mentioned that corrections and then further corrections have been published for the fourth edition of Clive Stace’s New Flora of the British Isles. I pointed out that it would be a good spring task to annotate any fourth editions you have with these corrections. As added incentive you’ll be interested to learn that some of the new names for species given in the first printing of Stace 4 have changed again in the latest reprint. For example, Polygonum depressum has gone back to P. arenastrum.

Jim McIntosh, BSBI Senior Country Officer

County reports and webpage updates

We are in the process of uploading the 2021 County Recorders’ reports to county webpages and adding any newsletters, programmes of local field meetings etc. that we’ve received. So, this is a good time to remind readers that if you want to know what’s going on in your local area, check out the Local Botany page and follow the links to your county page. If you’re a County Recorder: many thanks for your 2021 reports, which make fascinating reading, and do please keep sending us material to update your county page.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

County Recorder list

We’ve also just updated the list of County Recorders on the BSBI Local Botany page. Can County Recorders please check their entry and let me know if anything needs correcting? The first named of joint County Recorders is the main point of contact for correspondence and it is particularly helpful if a contact email address is provided for them, at least. Please also let me know if any existing email addresses need updating.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

BSBI Data Protection update

Following up on last month’s piece on our recently updated Privacy Policy and Data Handling Policy when I wrote that information should only be gathered from individuals with their consent; only the minimum required for any particular purpose, and always with a data privacy notice that explains why we are collecting the data and how we will handle it. Two further practical points:

  • We now direct people interested in taking part in local activities to the local pages on our website so they can find contact details for their local recorder and local groups and we encourage County Recorders to provide their contact details for the website (see above).
  • Due to the legislation, we can no longer provide members with automatic access to the BSBI membership list. However, if as a BSBI volunteer you need access to members contact details for a specific purpose covered by our Data handling policy, we can arrange it. In this case, please get in touch with me.

Julia Hanmer, BSBI Data Protection Officer and Chief Executive