Field meetings and indoor events 2021

While Covid-19 continues to impact severely on our lives and sadly continues to threaten and end lives, there may be safer days ahead and the safety of staff, members and others remains our top priority.

Hopefully we may be able to resume field meetings and events sometime in the coming months, but only when Government guidance that is specific to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales allows. Until restrictions are lifted, all planned events remain provisional, so you must check the latest details of any advertised meeting online or by contacting the meeting leader. Do not assume that a meeting can go ahead without checking. BSBI Trustees continue to closely monitor the situation and will issue advice on changes as promptly as possible. The Board of Trustees next meets on 16th March and will review BSBI guidance then. In the meantime, if you choose to go out you must follow all current Government guidance for the locality, including social distancing and other Covid-19 prevention measures, as well as more general safe practices if fieldwork is permitted. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with our Hon Gen Sec Steve Gater.

On this page you can find out more about the national field meetings and indoor botanical events scheduled for 2021 across Britain & Ireland. Use the facilities below to search by month, by county or by country, and to find the kind of meeting or event that's right for you. Click on any entry in the list to expand the box and find out more. There's a searchable link (icon bottom left of each box) for each event that you can send to friends and colleagues or share on social media.

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Taraxacum training and recording workshop, Portpatrick, Wigtown

Wigtownshire, Ayrshire 30th April – 3rd May 2021
specialised
led by
John Richards

This is the eighth successive long weekend dedicated to the genus Taraxacum, and the first in south-west Scotland. Compared with most of western Scotland, Wigtown is poorly studied for Taraxacum, and recent work elsewhere in the far west suggests that interesting discoveries may await. Recent visits out of season suggest that good Erythrosperma and Obliqua species occur above strand-lines, while rich submontane habitats inland should harbour Naevosa and Celtica. It will be interesting to see if Irish specialities occur. Portpatrick has a range of places to eat and stay, but can be popular on holiday weekends.  Stranraer, Lochans and Sandhead offer alternatives within 15 minutes by car. We have hired a room in a local hall as a centre and for evening studies, so there will be a levy of £20 to pay for facilities. Email [email protected] if interested in attending or for further details.

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Rothesay, Isle of Bute

Clyde Islands 8th May 2021
general
led by
Angus Hannah

Since publishing the Flora of Bute, County Recorder Angus Hannah has had several requests to offer a field meeting on the island. This is a one-day ‘taster’ to sample some of its botanical interest in the course of a walk of 4-5 miles starting and finishing at Rothesay pier. Cross on foot on the ferry from Wemyss Bay. You will be met at Rothesay pier. We will visit the large colony of Hypolepis ambigua (New Zealand Pig-fern) in Achamor wood. Bute is the only known location where this fern grows wild in Europe. We should also see the newly described Dandelion Taraxacum chrysoglossum, so far recorded only in v.c.100. If desired, we can go as far as the Dhu Loch to see a vigorous colony of Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern). On the way back we will visit an ancient wood pasture with wild apples, ancient oaks and alders and interesting fenny areas near the Kirk Dam, and return to the pier in time for the 17:00 ferry. Contact Angus Hannah [email protected] to confirm details.

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Trumpington Meadows

Cambridgeshire 22nd May 2021
beginners
led by
Jonathan Shanklin

This meeting is intended to introduce beginners to the flora of a relatively ordinary place and how to record it. Trumpington Meadows is a newly created country park, with wildflower meadows full of introduced native species and areas with relict natural flora. Over 400 species are known from the site, where there is a range of habitats including river, pond, wood and arable. The terrain is flat with good paths. Contact Jonathan Shanklin [email protected] to book.

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Staines Moor

Middlesex 29th May 2021
recording
led by
Mark Spencer

Recording for the London Natural History Society’s London Flora Project. Most of the former county of Middlesex is now no longer rural and much of it has been heavily impacted by urbanisation. Staines Moor SSSI is one of the relatively few large areas of open land left in the area. Even so, large parts are occupied by the King George VI Reservoir, the Staines Reservoirs and are now inaccessible. We will be focussing on the lower areas of the Moor (TQ0272, TQ0273, TQ0372 & TQ0373) and will be aiming to rerecord some of the rarities of the area including Groenlandia densa (Opposite-leaved Pondweed), Potamogeton spp. (Pondweeds), Catabrosa aquatica (Whorl-grass), Juncus compressus (Round-fruited Rush), Oenanthe spp. (Water-dropworts) and Persicaria spp. (Water-peppers). This meeting is suitable for beginners as well. To book please contact Mark Spencer, v.c.21 recorder [email protected]

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Sedges at Tarn Moss and Eycott Hill

Cumberland 5th June 2021
training
led by
Mike Porter

Tarn Moss National Nature Reserve is a basin mire holding a fine collection of sedges and acid-loving plants. The specialities are Carex magellanica (Tall Bog-sedge) and C. lasiocarpa (Slender Sedge) but other sedges including C. canescens (White Sedge), C. paniculata (Greater Tussock-sedge) and C. rostrata (Bottle Sedge) also grow here, along with Andromeda polifolia (Bog Rosemary), Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath-spotted Orchid), Dryopteris carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-fern) and Vaccinium oxycoccos (Cranberry). It is often very wet underfoot. Our second site is Eycott Hill not far from Tarn Moss and recently purchased by Cumbria Wildlife Trust. It is largely a series of mires that occupy a number of parallel troughs in the underlying volcanic rock and it too is very wet in places. The sedge flora includes good quantities of Carex limosa (Bog-sedge), C. pauciflora (Few-flowered Sedge), C. diandra (Lesser Tussock-sedge), C. dioica (Dioecious Sedge) and up to 16 other Carex species, together with some non-Carex sedges. There is a good range of other wetland species and, on the drier hillocks, Cryptogramma crispa (Parsley Fern) and Viola lutea (Mountain Pansy) are found.  Numbers are limited to 15 to minimise damage to fragile habitats. All sedge enthusiasts are welcome whether experienced or not.  The distance covered will not be great – a little more than 5 kilometres but in places it will be very wet underfoot. Wellies or waterproof boots are essential. To book a place or request more details contact Mike Porter, preferably by email.

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Connemara

West Galway 5th June 2021
recording general
led by
John Conaghan

This meeting will explore a number of locations in the Moycullen/Oughterard area of West Galway. The area contains a rich variety of natural/semi-natural botanical habitats which occur in a relatively small area. Habitats to be visited during the day will include lake shore, ash/hazel woodland and limestone pavement. Please contact John Conaghan for more information.

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Wyndrush Pastures

Pembrokeshire 19th June 2021
general
led by
Matt Sutton

Matt Sutton's recent article in the July 2018 issue of the BSBI Welsh Bulletin gives an account of the various arrivals and departures in this special place over the last 20 years. We can hope to see curiosities such as Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. maritimum (Sea Radish) alongside more typical hay meadow and marshy grassland plants but, whether it's orchids, hybrid rushes, or discussions about land management and conservation policies, there should be something of interest for all at Wyndrush Pastures. The meeting starts at 10:30 am. Contact Matt for further information and to book, with your email address/ mobile details.

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Rosscarbery

West Cork 20th June 2021
general
led by
Clare Heardman

An outing to Warren beach to see a fine population of the rare and protected Lathyrus japonicus subsp. maritimus (Sea Pea). We will also be on the hunt for orchids and see other typical sand dune and saltmarsh flora. This is a half day morning outing, but for anyone interested there is an option of visiting the more extensive sand dunes at nearby Castlefreke in the afternoon.

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Muir of Ord

East Ross & Cromarty 24th June 2021
general
led by
Brian Ballinger and Mary Dean

A joint meeting with the Botanical Society of Scotland (BSS) and the Inverness Botany Group, which will be devoted to recording and appreciating the flora of this small town in Easter Ross and the immediately surrounding area. Information will go into BSBI records and the BSS Urban Flora of Scotland project. Muir of Ord is unusual in having several small lochans in or near the built up area as well as other typical urban habitats. The only recent record of Cerastium arvense (Field Mouse-ear) in E. Ross, formerly more common, is from here. We will also try to follow up old records for Carex acutiformis (Lesser Pond-sedge), as well as some typical urban flora. It is anticipated that the walks will be mainly on good paths, although there may be some rougher ground near the lochans. We expect to cover approximately 2-3 miles. Bookings and further information from Brian Ballinger.

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Black Mountain and Windy Gap

Co. Antrim 26th June 2021
general
led by
David McNeill

Upland heath and flushes, species-rich grassland, rocky woodland. Great views over Belfast. Bring wet weather gear and stout footwear. There is a good path around the site, but we will leave the path at several points of interest. The woodland at Windy Gap is on a steep slope and can only be accessed with care. Those who prefer not to include the short woodland visit can spend longer in the species-rich grassland nearby. Bring a packed lunch. Expected finishing time 4pm.

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Barra Islands

Outer Hebrides 26th June – 2nd July 2021
recording
led by
Paul Smith

The meeting will be based on the MV Cuma, a converted fisheries vessel (see www.island-cruising.com) with pickup and setdown at Castlebay, Barra (tbc). We will visit a range of islands and islets around Barra, including some of the islands to the south which have a variety of habitats including machair and moorland. The larger islands have reasonable lists, but have not been recorded in tetrads or monads, and this meeting will provide detailed records for a new flora. Several smaller islands are completely unrecorded. The terrain is generally rough, but there should be a variety of easier and more strenuous options each day. The cost is £865 per person full board, sleeping on the boat, which takes 12 people, so please book early, preferably by the end of February. For further details and to book, contact Paul Smith.

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Paul Smith; 8 Locks Road, Locks Heath, Southampton, SO31 6NT.

Fishlake

South-west Yorkshire 27th June 2021
general
led by
Louise Hill

A visit to Fishlake Green Lanes and Washlands, attractions being the Red Data Book species Carex vulpina (True Fox-sedge) and Rumex maritimus (Golden Dock) - if they are still there after the floods...... Contact Louise Hill for further information.

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Wales Annual Meeting & AGM, Bangor

Caernarvonshire 2nd – 4th July 2021
general
led by
John Palmer

The 2021 Wales Annual Meeting, exhibition and AGM together with the associated field excursions will be based at the Reichel Hall, Bangor University, Ffriddoedd Road, Bangor LL57 2TW. Accommodation will be in ensuite single-occupancy rooms. A preliminary programme has been prepared which will include:

  • Field visits to local sites of botanical interest on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday
  • Talks on local botany and other topics of interest on Friday and Saturday evenings
  • The BSBI Wales AGM on Saturday morning
  • Display of books for sale
  • Exhibits and posters prepared by members
  • Help table: you are invited to bring specimens that you would like experts to identify

The programme will include a range of field visits to reflect this diverse and spectacular part of North Wales. Preliminary plans include Treborth Botanic Gardens and the Carboniferous Limestone grassland of the Great Orme together with options such as the coastal reserve, Morfa Aber, at Abergwyngregyn, Eithinog (Brewery Fields), wet grasslands at Moelyci community farm at Treborth and upland around Cwm Idwal. An important part of the meeting will be the exhibition of posters prepared by members and we are encouraging as many people as possible to contribute. A booking form will be included in the January BSBI News. Further details, booking and online payment options are on the Wales Annual Meeting & AGM webpage.

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Great Yarmouth North Denes SSSI and the Broads

East Norfolk 3rd – 4th July 2021
general beginners
led by
Bob Ellis

We will spend one day exploring North Denes, an extensive area of sand dunes with abundant Corynephorus canescens (Grey Hair-grass) and Jasione montana (Sheep's-bit). There is a diverse dune flora and usually a species-rich strand-line. The dunes border the town and we will no doubt see many alien species along the landward edge. Towards the southern end of the dunes, Hieracium lanatum (Woolly Hawkweed) has been established for many years and sometimes Vulpia fasciculata (Dune Fescue) can be found. Great Yarmouth provides a wealth of accommodation opportunities.

On the other day we will visit what is considered to be one of the finest fen sites in western Europe, at Catfield. We expect to see many of the specialities, including Sium latifolium (Greater Water-parsnip); Dryopteris cristata (Crested Buckler-fern) and D. x uliginosa, its hybrid with D. carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-fern); Thysselinum palustre (Milk Parsley), food plant of Papilio machaon (Swallowtail) which may still be on the wing and Helosciadium x moorei, the hybrid between H. inundatum (Creeping Marshwort) and H. nodiflorum (Fool's-water-cress).

Beginners will be particularly welcome.

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Slieve Blooms

Co. Laois 3rd July 2021
general
led by
Mark McCorry

This trip will explore several sites and interesting habitats in the Clonaslee area with nearby sites including Derries (raised) bog, Clonaslee Esker and Coolagh Fen. Dress for the weather and rough ground. Bring a packed lunch.

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Toton Sidings

Nottinghamshire 3rd July 2021
general
led by
Dave Wood & Mark Woods

Toton Sidings forms part of a complex mosaic of sites in the River Erewash valley and is one of the most diverse brownfield sites in Nottinghamshire. The meeting will include searches for rare and scarce species in Nottinghamshire such as Verbascum lychnitis (White Mullein), Verbascum x duernsteinense, Linaria x sepium, Geranium rotundifolium (Round-leaved Crane’s-bill), Salix x forbyana and Triglochin palustris (Marsh Arrowgrass) that have been previously recorded at Toton Sidings and neighbouring areas. Apart from the Sidings there are ponds, marsh, river, grasslands and woodland habitats to explore.

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Clowes Wood,

Warwickshire 4th July 2021
recording general
led by
John & Monika Walton

Clowes Wood, a Warwickshire Wildlife Trust reserve, situated 5 miles south of Solihull, is one of the richest areas of ancient woodland in the county. The last survey in 2011 found Melampyrum pratense (Common Cow-wheat), Lathyrus linifolius (Bitter-vetch), Solidago virgaurea (Goldenrod) and Equisetum sylvaticum (Wood Horsetail), plus a good mix of sedges that are now rare in the rest of the county. There is also a boggy area in the centre of the wood where Oreopteris limbosperma (Lemon–scented Fern), Viola palustris (Marsh Violet), Cirsium dissectum (Meadow Thistle) and Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath Spotted–orchid) were found growing. These last two species have recently disappeared from two nearby meadows and it would be interesting to see if they are still there.

Walking boots or wellies are advised.

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Caerdeon Residential Meeting 2021

Merionethshire 9th – 12th July 2021
recording general
led by
Sally Peacock

The few days we spend at Caerdeon each year are a regular and much enjoyed event in the field meeting programme and many participants return year after year. Each day there will be a planned choice of different walks, or people may prefer to follow their own recording inclinations. Local habitats include dune systems, broad-leaved sessile oak woodland, lowland heath, blanket bog, riverine habitats, montane, etc. The purpose of the meeting is to update records for the vice-county, particularly in less-visited tetrads; each day, some groups focus on remoter areas, with others on more readily accessible terrain.

We stay at Caerdeon (www.hope.ac.uk/caerdeon/), Liverpool Hope University’s Outdoor Education Centre which is set in wooded grounds and enjoys “a magnificent view of Cader (Idris)” (Charles Darwin). The fee (around £165) covers full board, including dinner, packed lunches and bed and breakfast, for three days. Accommodation will be singly in dormitory-style rooms or the price will be slightly discounted for people willing to share. A good and plentiful choice of food is available at each meal and participants bring their own wine. Evenings may be spent in the workroom discussing the finds of the day; where you can safely leave your own laptop and microscope. There is a maximum of about 18 participants.

We are offered an extra, optional night on the Thursday (July 8) with continental breakfast and packed lunch, for around £45, also paid for in advance on the BSBI website. We will arrange a group meal in Barmouth that evening. We meet for the first field excursion at 10.30 am on Friday 9 July (with lunch), with an afternoon walk available for late arrivals. We pack up and leave the Centre after breakfast on Monday 28 July prior to the last day’s field trip.

Whilst it is too early to take bookings at present, please address any questions or expressions of interest to Sally Peacock [email protected] or phone 0779 148 3289. Further information will be on the Merionethshire webpage nearer the time and also sent to all expressing an interest before that time. Please note: costs are provisional at present.

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Glynhir residential

Carmarthenshire 19th – 26th July 2021
general training
led by
Richard & Kath Pryce

The meeting will cater for both experienced and inexperienced botanists and will provide an opportunity for the informal development of identification skills. Day outings will be tailored to individual needs to cover all skill and fitness abilities. Booking arrangements will be available in early 2021.

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Richard & Kath Pryce

Glenshee & The Cairnwell

East Perthshire, South Aberdeenshire 24th July 2021
general
led by
Martin Robinson

The slopes above the ski car park comprise a mosaic of heathland and grassland with both acid and basic flushes, so we expect to find a diverse range of upland plants including attractive species such as such as Coeloglossum viride (Frog Orchid), Thalictrum alpinum (Alpine Meadow-rue) and Tofieldia pusilla (Scottish Asphodel). In addition, we will look for some taxa of more restricted distribution, notably the newly recognised species Trichophorum cespitosum s.s. (Northern Deergrass) and Botrychium nordicum (Nordic Moonwort). For those who wish to challenge their taxonomic skills even further, this is an opportunity to compare and contrast several different species of Alchemilla (Lady’s-mantle). Meet equipped for a day in the hills. No dogs please.

Contact David Elston [email protected] if you intend to come in case of any change in arrangements, weather related or otherwise.

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Ardnahinch beach

East Cork 24th July 2021
general beginners
led by
Edwina Cole & Finbarr Wallace

This site supports coastal vegetation including sand dunes and shore with possibly hedgerows further inland. Suitable for beginners. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring a packed lunch and SPF. A field guide and hand lens would be useful but not necessary. Meet at 10:30 a.m.

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Grasses, sedges and rushes, Ben Lawers

Mid Perthshire 25th July 2021
training
led by
Dan Watson and Faith Anstey

A joint meeting with NTS & PSNS

This meeting aims to consolidate training in identifying grasses, sedges and rushes, as introduced in BSBI Scotland workshops. However, it is open to all members of BSBI, NTS, PSNS and anyone else interested. After some revision on what to look for, we will split into those who want to go up high and those preferring to stay on lower ground. Places are limited and booking essential.

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St. Athan, Gileston Beach, Fonmon

Glamorganshire 31st July 2021
recording general
led by
Julian Woodman

This day will include a mix of arable, pebble beach, saltmarsh and if time allows some species-rich grassland banks on the Lias limestone. The focus of the arable field search will be to see if Ranunculus arvensis (Corn Buttercup) and Scandix pecten-veneris (Shepherd’s Needle) appear this year and if they do, to give an idea of population size. Hopefully, other good arable plants will be seen, including Kickxia spuria (Round-leaved Fluellen), K. elatine (Sharp-leaved Fluellen), Euphorbia exigua, (Dwarf Spurge) and Ranunculus parviflorus (Small-flowered Buttercup). Around or soon after lunch time we will then drive to Gileston beach to take a census of the Galeopsis angustifolia (Red Hemp-nettle) population on the pebble beach, and then search for Bupleurum tenuissimum (Slender Hare’s-ear), Silaum silaus (Pepper-saxifrage) and Oenanthe lachenalii (Parsley Water-dropwort) in the adjacent saltmarsh and brackish grassland. If time allows, and permission can be gained, we will look at some brackish grassland and steep valley grasslands on the Lias Limestone that has some species-rich neutral dry grassland with Petroselinum segetum (Corn Parsley) and Linum bienne (Pale Flax) amongst others.

To book and/ or for further information, contact Julian Woodman with your email address and mobile details.

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Murvagh

East Donegal 7th August 2021
general
led by
Oisín and Mairéad Duffy

Habitats at Murvagh include coastal dune grassland with the opportunity to re-find Botrychium lunaria (Moonwort) and Hypopitys monotropa (Yellow Bird’s-nest). Other species of interest include Pyrola rotundifolia subsp. maritima (Round-leaved Wintergreen) and Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder’s-tongue). Meet at 10 a.m. Please bring a packed lunch and appropriate gear.

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Pumlumon

Cardiganshire 14th August 2021
recording general
led by
Andy Jones

The highest point in Cardiganshire and source of the rivers Wye, Severn and Rheidol. Remarkably, Pumlumon is still the only high mountain in Wales to have achieved zero grazing (albeit with some trespass) and it is instructive to see the effects here of nearly 10 years regrowth and changes in species distribution and abundance. Over this time there has been a remarkable recovery in summit heath and grassland communities, with previously unsuspected populations of Salix herbacea (Dwarf Willow), Carex bigelowii (Stiff Sedge) – here at its southernmost site in Britain – and C. x decolorans, its hybrid with C. nigra (Common Sedge), together with the dwarf mountain variants of Succisa pratensis (Devil’s-bit Scabious), Solidago virgaurea subsp. minuta (Goldenrod) and other upland or montane taxa. Lower plants, fungi, invertebrates and birds all seem to have benefited from grazing removal with, for example, Merlin (Falco columbarius) nesting on Pumlumon for the first time in living memory, and Wood Tiger (Parasemia plantagenis) and the rare rust fungus on Dwarf Willow, Melampsora arctica, both recently observed.  People with an interest in these groups might find reasons to attend – and would be particularly welcome. The meeting starts at 10:30 am.  Note: As with all mountain tops, Pumlumon can be very challenging and attendees will need to be able to climb and descend over 450m over sometimes very steep rocky paths and boggy areas. For further information and to book, contact Andy Jones with your email address and mobile details.

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Cotoneasters, Cherry Hinton

Cambridgeshire 18th September 2021
training specialised
led by
Alan Leslie

This is a repeat of the 2019 meeting and will concentrate on the identification of the many species of Cotoneaster in the Cherry Hinton chalk pits near Cambridge. In addition to the Cotoneasters we should also see the local speciality of Seseli libanotis (Moon Carrot). The route up to the top of West Pit, where the plant is best seen, is quite steep.

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Salicornia (Glasswort) & coastal Atriplex (Orache) workshop, Fethard

Co. Wexford 18th September 2021
training specialised
led by
Paul Green

This will be a training day to learn how to identify Salicornia, where we should see all 6 species known to occur in Ireland, along with the hybrid S. disarticulata x S. ramosissima, plus Sarcocornia perennis (Perennial Glasswort), the later only known from Co. Wexford. We will also look at coastal Atriplex and their hybrids. Two sites will be visited during the day. Numbers will be limited, and joining information for the day will be sent out on booking.

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Scottish Botanists' Conference (tbc)

6th November 2021
general

Put the date (tbc) in your diary now and watch out for more details on the SBC webpage and (for BSBI members) in the flyer inside the September issue of BSBI News.

  • Unless otherwise stated, our non-residential meetings are free to attend and you don't usually need to be a BSBI member, although if there are more applicants than spaces available, we reserve the right to prioritise our members.
  • You may need to book or contact the organiser: please don't just turn up at a field meeting where pre-booking is required.

For general inquiries about field meetings contact the Field Meetings Secretary, Jonathan Shanklin.

Local meetings

For more info about botany meetings in your area, organised by local groups and County Recorders, check our Local Botany page and click through to your county page or contact your County Recorder.

Country Field Secretaries

Information for leaders of field meetings

Please click on these links to go direct to dedicated webpages for national and country events such as our Annual Exhibition Meeting, the BSBI Recorders' Conference, the Annual Summer Meeting, the Scottish Botanists' ConferenceIrish and Scottish spring Conferences and the Welsh AGM; and don't forget our New Year Plant Hunt.

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