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Recorder eNewsletter April 2023

Plant Atlas 2020: videos, summaries and books

The Plant Atlas 2020 project was launched at a series of online and face-to-face events throughout March. Talks were recorded and 17 videos are now available to view via the Plant Atlas 2020 playlist on the BSBI YouTube channel: these include Kevin Walker summarising the Plant Atlas findings and outputs, and Rich Burkmar demonstrating the functionality of the new Plant Atlas 2020 website.

The online Atlas is now live and Plant Atlas 2020 summary reports for Britain, for Ireland, and a Welsh-language version are all available to view or download. Just follow the links on the BSBI Plant Atlas 2020 webpage, where you can also access press releases summarising the state of our wild plants in Britain, Ireland and Scotland.

BSBI members can benefit from the 50% discount offer if ordering print copies of the Atlas before midnight tonight, 31 March: BSBI members' offer. Email me today if you’ve forgotten your password or if you need any help placing your order.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

Plant Atlas Q&A

At our main Plant Atlas launch on 8 March, we offered botanists, policy-makers and journalists the opportunity to put questions to Plant Atlas co-authors and to CEO Julia Hanmer. Those questions and the responses generated have now been collated into a helpful Atlas Q&A page. Huge thanks to everyone who submitted questions!

There would be no Plant Atlas 2020 without all of you who have been out recording over the past 20 years; this project is a tribute to your dedication and commitment – THANK YOU!

James Harding-Morris, Countries Support Manager

Can you help with supplying plants for FISC assessments?

Field Identification Skills Certificate (FISC) assessments involve two lab tests and a field survey. Plants for the two lab tests need to come from a wide range of habitats throughout Britain and include national rarities and hybrids as well as plants from across a range of taxonomic groups.

One of the main tasks of the FISC Assessor running the assessments is to source plants for these tests, and BSBI would like to give them as much support as possible.

This year we are hoping to expand our network of native plant growers and collectors around the country who we may be willing to help supply the plants for the two lab tests associated with the assessment. If you grow native plants yourself or are willing to collect some plants for assessments from habitats in your local area, I would love to hear from you.

Chantal Helm, BSBI Training Co-ordinator

Annual Summer Meeting

The 2023 Summer Meeting will run from Friday 19 to Monday 22 May in Killarney, Co. Kerry. There will be a mix of excursions to interesting sites, recording trips and evening talks or workshops.

Excursions will centre on Killarney National Park and adjacent rugged mountains and coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula. Habitats include Atlantic oak woodland, blanket bog and coastal dunes. We hope to see many of the species for which southwest Ireland is famous, such as Hymenophyllum (Filmy-fern) species, Saxifraga spathularis (St Patrick's-cabbage), S. hirsuta (Kidney Saxifrage), Pinguicula grandiflora (Large-flowered Butterwort) and Arbutus unedo (Strawberry-tree).

To book your place, please follow this link.

Jonathan Shanklin, Hon. Field Meeting Secretary

Wales Annual Meeting & AGM

This year’s BSBI Wales Annual Meeting & AGM has a Wetlands theme and is being held in Montgomeryshire based at Gregynog Hall, near Newtown from 2-4 August. The programme includes field visits to upland pools, blanket bog and mire, flood plain, and the canal. We hope to see Luronium natans (Floating Water-plantain) in two different habitats, Potamogeton compressus (Grass-wrack Pondweed), Limosella aquatica (Mudwort), Elatine hexandra (Six-stamened Waterwort), Sparganium natans (Least Bur-reed), Carex magellanica (Tall Bog-sedge), Pilularia globulifera (Pillwort), Andromeda polifolia (Bog Rosemary) and Carex pauciflora (Few-flowered Sedge) may just be identifiable at its southern-most UK site. There will be talks by Alastair Hotchkiss, Mark Duffell and Martin Godfrey, as well as posters/exhibits prepared by members.

Further information and online booking via the Wales AGM web page. Booking deadline: 21 April 2023.

Gill Foulkes, Organising Secretary

Why iRecord? Virtual Symposium

There is a virtual symposium on iRecord on  21 April, 10am – 1pm. During this 3-hour event speakers will introduce some of the fantastic initiatives around collating data gathered by volunteers in iRecord, delving into what the data are telling us about UK wildlife. Subjects include how local groups are improving our understanding of their patch, how a national recording scheme is pulling together data from across the UK to better understand the species that they cover, and how you can get involved. Booking is here.

James Harding-Morris, Countries Support Manager

Irish Spring Conference

This year’s Irish Spring Conference takes place at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin on Saturday 22 April. It will be a great chance to meet up face-to-face.

The talks will include ‘My first year as a Vice-county Recorder’ by Ciaran Flynn, one of our younger VCRs; ‘The history of Irish Botany’ by the much-esteemed Declan Doogue; and a workshop on Fumitory, where the Ireland Officer will give a presentation and have living material of all the known species to occur in Ireland.

Further details and the registration link are available here.

Paul Green, Ireland Officer

Teesdale Flora published

Teesdale’s Special Flora by Margaret Bradshaw has now been published by Princeton University Press and any BSBI member wishing to purchase a copy before 30 April will benefit from a 30% discount. If you are already a BSBI member, just go to the password-protected members’ area on the BSBI website and follow the instructions on how to claim your discount. Email me if you don’t know your password. If you are not yet a BSBI member, join us today to benefit from this special offer, along with many other membership benefits.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

Jobs in Botany

Looking for a new job where you can exercise your botanical skills? Keep an eye on our Jobs in Botany page, where we post details of any jobs we hear about that might interest botanists in Britain and Ireland. Want to advertise a job in botany? Email me the details and we’ll help you spread the word!

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer