Atlas 2020 nominated for award
BSBI's Atlas 2020 project has been nominated for a prestigious Nature of Scotland Citizen Science Award. The winner will be decided by a public vote; you have until 4 October to vote for us and give a huge thumbs-up and a great big thank you to everyone who recorded plants for Atlas 2020.
There are a few places left for the Recorders’ Meeting at FSC Preston Montford from Friday to Sunday 28-30 October. This meeting is open to anyone who records for the BSBI, whether a County Recorder or not. The detailed programme is still being drawn up, but we hope to include sessions on: aquatic non-native invasive species, Atriplex & Oraches, Euphrasias, Cotoneasters, non-native ferns, grasses, “questions that the referee gets asked about orchids”, special botanical sites and a computer workshop. For booking and more information see Recorders’ Meeting.
The Scottish Botanists’ Conference will be held at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on Saturday 5 November. Our special guest speaker, Clifton Bain will give the main talk entitled Rainforests and Peatlands: Travels around Scotland's most threatened habitats. In addition to an interesting variety of short talks and an exhibition there will be workshops, the Scottish AGM, the Photographic Competition, Summerfield Books, a conference dinner and a celebration to mark my retirement!
This year’s British & Irish Botanical Conference (the new name for the Annual Exhibition Meeting) will be held at the Natural History Museum in London on Saturday 19 November. The programme has the theme of 'A Festival of Plants'. Chris Preston will present the main talk on the Alien Plants of Britain & Ireland. There will be a great variety of short talks, including those on plants in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; the exhibition, exhibitors’ flash talks, herbarium tours and an ID help table.
Everyone is very welcome to both conferences – which will be face-to-face. Please let anyone who might be interested know and encourage them to attend. Both events rely on exhibitors to generate botanical interest – so please consider exhibiting your most interesting botanical findings!
Booking is essential: Scottish Botanists’ Conference and British & Irish Botanical Conference.
Book for the BSBI Annual General Meeting
This year’s AGM will be held online on Thursday 17 November; it will be preceded by short talks. Everyone is welcome to attend but only members can vote, and you will need to book in advance using this booking link. More information here.
The Irish Autumn Meeting
The BSBI Irish Autumn Meeting took place on Saturday 24 September at the National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin. It was great to meet up again and fifty members enjoyed listening to an excellent programme of talks, participating in workshops and walking in the gardens on a lovely autumn day.
Recordings of all the talks are now available on the Irish Autumn Meeting page - and I’d strongly recommend viewing them! Thanks are due to all the speakers and organisers and to the National Botanic Gardens for such a great day!
Aquatic Plant Project
One of the talks given at the Irish Autumn Meeting, was an Introduction to spiky-rosette aquatics by Nick Stewart. Afterwards, Nick led groups to look at aquatics in the ponds in the gardens and the following day he took a group to look at aquatics along the Royal Canal in Dublin.
These were the final events of a very successful BSBI Aquatic Plant Project in 2022 and we would like to thank everyone who helped organise and lead them; we would also like to thank the National Parks and Wildlife Service for their generous funding and their tremendous support for the project.
BSBI Projects for 2023
We are unable to organise any new BSBI-wide projects next year, due to the BSBI Science Team’s focus on finishing off and launching Atlas 2020 in 2023 and, after that, developing our new Science Strategy from which projects will follow. So, there is no plan for another atlas yet and routine recording should carry on as normal. The next iteration of the Local Change initiative is due in 2024 and we will be considering that (or something similar) along with other projects once the strategy is in place.
So project options in 2023 include: our main monitoring project, the National Plant Monitoring Scheme, country projects like SHARP in Scotland, RPP in Ireland & LORE in England, local initiatives like Checklists, Axiophytes, Rare Plant Registers and Floras or other local projects and private passions!
NPMS: autumn update
If you have been out monitoring your plot this summer for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme, now is the time to submit your data and there is lots of help on hand if you run into any problems. Also, an interesting volunteer opportunity has also arisen with the NPMS – a desk-based data verification role; Martin Harvey (UKCEH) will be leading an online training session on 4th October to give an overview of what is involved. More information here.
Feedback to members & landowners
Members will be interested to have feedback on what plant species were recorded on a field excursion. Similarly, land owners or managers are often very interested to see which species occur on their land. Generally, it is good to at least let them know about any rarities and explain why they are important, so they are not inadvertently damaged.
MapMate users can produce such lists very easily by using the data entry window with only the date and, if necessary, grid reference, or taxon name (of the rarity) set up and then use Function F5 to generate a full list of records with those attributes. The list will include both Scientific (currently Stace 3) and Common Names and can easily be copied and pasted into Word or Excel and emailed.
When MapMate data fails to reach the BSBI Database
When you think data from MapMate has failed to reach the database, the solution is always the same. You need to reset sync and resend all the data in your MM to the hub again. To do that click “Replication”, go to the Special menu and choose “Reset Sync Record”. And then click the “Synchronise” button and follow the instructions as normal. This will not result in duplicates of previously sent data at the database.
The problem is not a fault with your MapMate. It is the procedure it uses to send data. The key thing to remember is that sending data is always a two-step process: First you must create the sync file and then second, you must send it. In fact, it is so easy for data to go astray if that procedure isn’t followed strictly every time, that I recommend that everyone resets sync periodically and syncs to the hub / DDb. Now would be a good time to do it! Or just after you've finished entering this season’s data.
Could everyone who led a meeting in 2022, please write up any outstanding meeting reports now? Or, if you are busy, ask a volunteer who was on the meeting to draft one which you can top and tail. Please send them to your Country Field Meetings Secretaries (FMS), by the end of October.
The Country FMS will also welcome offers for meetings in 2023. They can be designed to appeal to anyone of a number of BSBI member interests. They could be aimed at beginners or members who have never been on a BSBI meeting before, or to visit nice places and see nice plants, to look at our urban flora or to concentrate on “difficult” species, or help with local recording initiatives. See the Leading BSBI Meetings guidance on the field meetings & indoor events page.
If you also let me have outline details (where and when) by 1 November, I can include them in the traditional poster at the British & Irish Botanical Conference.
BSBI Nominations and Awards
Trustees have just launched two new BSBI Awards to recognise outstanding contributions to botany at either national or local/ regional level. Nominations open on 1st October and close on 31st December. More information here. You’ll need to be a BSBI member to make a nomination, or to be nominated. This is a great way to acknowledge the contributions of those people who really go that extra mile to inspire and encourage their fellow botanists.
Winter Talks Programme
A winter talks programme is being planned. I’d love to hear from you if you are interested in giving a botanical talk, or if you know anyone who might give a talk that would be of interest to BSBI members.
If you are a BSBI member, there are opportunities for you to apply to join a BSBI standing committee or to become a BSBI trustee. If you have an academic background and/ or experience of journal publication, you might want to consider applying to become the new Editor-in-Chief of British & Irish Botany, our scientific journal – you don’t necessarily need to be a BSBI member to apply for this role, or for many of the other volunteering opportunities listed on our volunteering page.
BSBI News: for members and non-members
The latest issue of BSBI News has just been emailed out (to members who have opted in to paperless membership) and posted out (to members who prefer their copy on paper). Digital versions are also available via the password-protected members-only area of the BSBI website, where you will also find links to all this month’s news items for members.