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Recorder eNewsletter May 2023

Recruitment for a new Ireland Officer

As you may have already heard, Paul Green, our Ireland Officer, has announced his intention to retire at the end of June this year. He will be much missed, and we are fortunate that we have another couple of months with him to ensure the best possible handover to his successor.
An advert for the Ireland Officer vacancy is live on the BSBI website and the closing time and date is 9am on 9 May. Please share this advert as far and wide as possible as we’d like to reach as many people as possible to try and find someone who can continue Paul’s great work.

James Harding-Morris, BSBI Countries Support Manager

Recruitment for a Data Support Officer

BSBI will shortly be recruiting for a Data Support Officer to support Database Officer Tom Humphrey in developing BSBI's data management, data-flows and data use. This will include providing guidance and training for data providers (recorders) and users. The job advert will be on BSBI's vacancy page next week, with a closing date of 9am on 22 May and interviews on 12 June.

Kevin Walker, BSBI Head of Science

BSBI News #153 is out!

The April issue of BSBI News has been published, and features articles on three species of Forget-me-not Myosotis spp.; Goosefoots Chenopodium spp. in Somerset; problems with identifying mints Mentha spp.; and in the regular ‘Introducing my vice-county’ slot, the focus is on the Isle of Wight. All members can now access BSBI News online via the password-protected members’ area of the website (email me if you’ve forgotten your password) and print copies are winging their way to any members who haven’t opted for paperless membership. Not yet a member? Join us today to receive BSBI News three times a year.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

Could you be a FISC Assessor?

BSBI is currently recruiting new FISC Assessors and providing training for those interested: are you interested in joining the team?

A FISC Assessor is a skilled botanist/ecologist at or above FISC Level 5, who is responsible for setting the FISC tests (including collecting suitable lab test specimens and identifying and checking out a suitable field test site), coordinating the FISC on the day, completing the marking and liaising with the BSBI for QA. Full training and ongoing support will be provided by BSBI. Our current training is a 90-minute online session; there is a slot available on 19 May at 11am. Please get in touch with me to find out more.

Chantal Helm, BSBI Training Co-ordinator

Guidance for Leading or Attending BSBI Meetings

The annual review of the guidance we provide for leaders, organisers and participants in meetings took a little longer than usual to complete, but is now on the meetings webpage. Additions include a “quick look” guide and also more information on budgeting for residential meetings. An area already identified for further elaboration is how to communicate meeting meet-up points to people who aren’t able to map-read. If there are other areas where you think further background would be helpful do let me know.

Although the majority of 2023 meetings were described in the Yearbook, there are a few additional meetings, or meetings with changed dates. Do keep an eye on the Field Meetings & Indoor Events page for these updates.

Jonathan Shanklin, BSBI Hon. Field Meetings Secretary


I am starting to put together the 2023 edition of English Botanical News. Contributions on any subject that might be of interest to the wider readership would be very welcome. Items could range from notes on plant identification, progress with finding LORE species, interesting new sites that you’ve come across, information on resources that might be used more widely etc.

Jonathan Shanklin, Chair, BSBI Committee for England

Vulpia myuros spread project

Vulpia myuros (Rat’s-tail Fescue) is an annual grass that has seen its distribution increase in the past decades and in recent years has also started to appear as a weed in arable fields in most European countries. For a project aiming at better understanding the dynamics of invasion of arable fields by V. myuros, and the relationship between weed and wild populations, we would be interested to find wild populations of V. myuros in the UK. If you know of any populations, information about its location, extent, density and height of plants, the type of habitat, climate, and soil would be welcome. We would be also interested to receive mature seeds (the species should be flowering in June-July) or send us your name and email if you are happy to show us the population and help us collect seeds later in the season.

Lucie Büchi, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich

Scottish ID Workshops

There are three upcoming ID Workshops in Scotland with plenty of spaces available. These are:

James Harding-Morris, BSBI Countries Support Manager

Field meeting aimed at both entomologists and botanists

There are just a few spaces left on our field meeting at Daneway Banks, W. Gloucs. on 17 June. It’s a joint meeting with the Royal Entomological Society. More info and a booking link here.

James Harding-Morris, BSBI Countries Support Manager

Irish Autumn Conference and AGM - Change of date

Due to booking conflicts at our chosen venue, the date of the Irish Autumn Conference and AGM has changed to Saturday 21 October and will still be held at the National Botanic Garden. Mark it in your diaries!

Robert Northridge, Chair, BSBI Committee for Ireland

National Plant Monitoring Scheme

Have you chosen an NPMS square yet? I discovered that the website has a marvellous tool for finding unallocated survey squares. If you haven’t signed up yet simply enter a postcode and a distance you’re willing to travel (up to 30 miles) on this page and it will generate a map of allocated and unallocated squares. If you see a square you like the look of then you need to sign-up and pick that square for yourself. Consider sharing this with your local recording groups – there are plenty of vacant squares still to choose from.

James Harding-Morris, BSBI Countries Support Manager

Special offers for BSBI members

BSBI members are currently able to benefit from two discount offers on essential publications. The 50% discount offer on print copies of Plant Atlas 2020 has now closed, but a 30% discount offer will run until the end of 2023. There is also a 30% discount offer on Teesdale’s Special Flora by Margaret Bradshaw MBE – this offer runs until 30 April.
Details of how to claim both these discounts can be found by following the links on the password-protected members’ area of the BSBI website. Email me if you’ve forgotten your password or if you need any help placing your orders. Not yet a BSBI member? Join us today to benefit from these great offers!

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer