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

subscribe to Recorder eNewsletter

Recorder eNewsletter July 2024

County Floras go digital!

In time for the field season - and thanks to the generosity of their authors - we've been able to make four more county Floras available as BSBI e-books.

Bedfordshire, Berwickshire, Bute & Rum join Wexford, Suffolk & Cardiganshire in our digital portfolio, with more titles to follow. Each e-book costs just £5, with proceeds going towards the BSBI's work.

If you are a Flora author and wish to make your work also available as an e-book (particularly useful if your Flora is out of print!) then please get in touch.

Sarah Woods, BSBI Fundraising and Engagement Manager

Recorders’ Meeting 2025: Juniper Hall, Surrey

The Committee for England is organising another Recorders’ Meeting in 2025. The venue this time is FSC Juniper Hall in Surrey and takes place over April 4-6. It will be suitable for anybody who records for the BSBI, or who is thinking of starting to record. Put the date in your diaries now. We hope to start taking bookings at some point in the summer and will advertise it in this newsletter.

Jonathan Shanklin, Chair, BSBI Committee for England

Updates to the BSBI Documentation (‘Docs’) Site

There is a new page on the Documentation site with refreshed guidelines for validation and editing in the DDb.

In addition, we are starting to gather guidance and resources about using the Recording app on our docs site at

There is also guidance about managing records from the recording app in the DDb at

There will be further information added in the coming months - do let us know what you think and what you'd like us to add.

James Drever, BSBI Data Support Officer

British & Irish Botany 6.1 published

The June issue of British & Irish Botany has just been published, with several papers by, and/or of interest to, botanical recorders. David Green, County Recorder for North Wiltshire (1982-2003) describes a new species of whitebeam; Andy Amphlett, joint County Recorder for Easterness, discusses the 36 tree and scrub species of the treeline ecotone in the Cairngorms National Park; Tim Rich describes two new hybrid scurvy-grasses and (with John Crossley) validates three of Sell & Murrell’s hawkweed binomials; Jim Bevan clarifies the occurrence of a forgotten hawkweed species in Britain; and Frank Horsman suggests a likely site for the historic Westminster Physic Garden.

This is the first issue of our Open Access scientific journal to be published since Prof Ian Denholm stepped down as Editor-in-Chief and handed over to Dr Stuart Desjardins. We have seven papers in the pipeline for our next issue, due out in the autumn, but are always keen to hear from any botanical recorders interested in submitting a manuscript - email Stuart to discuss your proposal.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

Reminder: Beware of ticks when out in the field

Now the plant-hunting season is in full swing, please remember to take steps to minimise your risk of catching Lyme disease. This bacterial infection is carried by deer, sheep and mice and transmitted by ticks, and can cause severe and long-term symptoms if not treated quickly. Ticks can be found in a wide range of habitats, in particular grassy places, woodlands and moorlands.

  • Prevent tick bites by tucking trousers into socks / wearing boots, wearing long sleeves and choosing light-coloured clothing so you can more easily spot any ticks.
  • Examine yourself for ticks (during and after being out) and remove any immediately with fine tweezers (that don’t squash the tick) or a special tick-removing tool (available in pharmacies). Do not use alcohol, petroleum jelly or other agents to help remove it, as these may cause the tick to regurgitate potentially infected material. Apply antiseptic to any bites. Carry tweezers/tick remover in your first aid kit.
  • If you develop a red rash around a tick bite (often a characteristic ‘bull’s-eye’ red ring around the site of the bite), or flu-like symptoms or enlarged glands, tell your doctor and mention Lyme disease. A serological test can detect the disease, which can be treated with antibiotics.

Bridget Keehan, BSBI Ireland Officer

Field events in Ireland during July

No fewer than six exciting field meetings are planned this month across Ireland, in a diversity of habitats including mountain, river, urban, fen and coast. These provide a great chance to explore somewhere different and meet up with fellow recorders - check out the programme. Places are limited, so if you plan to attend, please book in advance. Two of these meetings are in partnership with the Wild Flower Society, which has members in both the UK and Ireland.

Sincere thanks in advance to everyone who is generously giving their time and expertise to organise and lead these events.

Bridget Keehan, BSBI Ireland Officer

Workshops and field events in Scotland in July

There is a packed programme of events in Scotland this month, with offerings for everyone from new botanists looking to get started with wildflower ID to experts looking to tackle challenging groups like Hawkweeds and Lady’s-mantles! Head to the Field meetings and indoor events page and filter on ‘Scotland’ to find out more.

If you know any new or less experienced botanists who are looking to build their skills, do let them know about the field meetings and workshops coming up that are especially designed for them, including a Plant Families Workshop in Fort William on Saturday 27th July and a follow-up beginners/improvers field meeting in Fort William on Sunday 28th July.

Matt Harding, BSBI Scotland Officer

New Aquatic Plant Project Webinar

As part of the Targeted Aquatic Plan Project currently running in Ireland (thanks to generous funding from the National Parks and Wildlife Service), there will be a webinar on 13th July on ‘Identification of Floating-leaved Aquatic Plants’, delivered by aquatic plant expert Nick Stewart. This will be delivered in two parts: the first about large-leaved species (waterlilies, floating pondweeds, frogbit etc) for around 30 minutes, and then after some questions, there will be a second talk on small free-floating species, principally duckweeds, water fern etc.

The webinar is free of charge and everyone interested is very welcome, whether based in Ireland, Britain or elsewhere. Bookings are open now and places can be booked until 08.00 on the day of the event. It is planned to also record the webinar and make it available online along with previous aquatic training webinars on the Aquatic Plant Project page.

Bridget Keehan, BSBI Ireland Officer

Recording meeting in Wales in July

A field meeting is being held in Breconshire on 13th July to explore the scree and limestone outcrops around Craig y Rhiwarth, Craig y Nos and Allt Rhongyr, and hunt for plants such as Mountain Everlasting, Soft-leaved Sedge and Moonwort. More info here.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

Field meetings in England in July

On 7th July, County Recorder Helena Crouch will be leading a field meeting at Priddy Mineries and Stockhill in the Mendip Hills, North Somerset, to look at a selection of species typical of acidic habitats and former lead mining sites, while on 13th July Mark Spencer, County Recorder for Middlesex, will be leading a recording meeting at Trent Country Park,  a remnant of Enfield Chase, and hoping to refind Harebells and Southern Marsh-Orchids. Both meetings are free and beginners are welcome.

Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer

Recording Bromopsis benekenii – Lesser Hairy-brome

This grass is often confused with Bromopsis ramosa (Hairy–brome). While the concentration has been in the south, south east around the vice counties of 15-24, there is a rash of records over mainland Britain with no records in Ireland. Particularly those outside this main distribution need confirmation.

Regardless of the genus or rank it has been recorded from: England in vcc: 9, 15-17, 20-24, 33-34, 36-37, 40, 55, 57, 59, 60-65, 67 and 69. [24 vice counties]; from Wales vcc: 35, 42-43, 47-48 and 50 [six vice counties]; and from Scotland in vcc: 77, 80 and 87-90 [six vice counties].

Many of the records are older and some are likely to need confirmation. Please collect a single voucher (in flower or fruiting) from the base including one or two leaves. If you have a voucher specimen please either send this (recorded delivery) or initially a photo (JPEG preferred) of it either in situ or as a specimen.

Other grass taxa need further study and specimens are always welcome.

Michael Wilcox – see BSBI Yearbook for postal address

Seeking a new Field Meetings Secretary for England

Mary Dean is planning to stand down as Field Meetings Secretary for England, so if you fancy taking on this role do get in touch with her. A Secretary mostly ensures that there is a good spread of events across their country and then chases up meeting reports for the Yearbook, which is available to members via the password-protected members’ area of the website. For typical reports, or for more detailed guidance, see Leading and organising BSBI meetings. Reports of field meetings are ideally written shortly after the meeting, and then sent to your country’s Field Meetings Secretary: see the bottom of this page for contact details.

Jonathan Shanklin, Hon. Field Meetings Secretary

County Membership Lists

If, as a BSBI volunteer such as a County Recorder, you need access to members’ contact details in your area, we can arrange this. We will need you to read and sign our Volunteer Confidentiality and Data Protection Agreement. For more information see the membership list page on the password-protected members’ area of the BSBI website.

James Harding-Morris, BSBI Countries Manager