In light of Covid-19, the BSBI Trustees cancelled all BSBI field meetings after February 2020. The safety of members and others is most important. Leaders of BSBI local groups were asked to note that they could not run events under the BSBI name, and we couldn't advertise or offer support or insurance for those local group events.
Hopefully we'll be able to resume field meetings and events at some stage in 2021, but only when government guidance allows. Until restrictions are lifted, all planned events remain provisional. The BSBI Trustees continue to closely monitor the situation and will issue advice on changes as promptly as possible. In the meantime, if you choose to go out botanising individually or with a few others, you must follow all current government guidance around social distancing and other Covid-19 prevention measures, as well as more general safe practices for field work. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with our Hon Gen Sec Steve Gater.
Irish Spring Conference goes online!
In spring 2020 we had to cancel our spring conference due to the pandemic, but we are delighted to announce that the 2021 conference will go ahead on Saturday 27th March although it will be online only. More details on our Irish Conferences webpage.
Irish Grasslands Project - New Annex I Resources!
As part of this year's Irish Grasslands Project we've created a series of free, downloadable resources around the four Annex I grassland habitats which occur in Ireland: Lowland Hay Meadows, Molinia Meadows, Nardus Uplands, and Semi-Natural Calcareous Grasslands. Each resource contains a description of the habitat, list of characteristic species, and descriptions and photos of 10 plant species which are good indicators for the habitat. We hope these will be useful to anyone interested in learning more about these important habitats or wanting to be able to identify them in the field.
If you'd like the check them out, visit the Irish Grasslands Project webpage. On the page you'll also find videos and slides from the five webinars we ran this summer.
Big thanks to the authors, everyone who provided images, Maria Long for support and feedback, and NPWS and CEDaR for funding the project!
Irish Autumn Meeting and AGM
This year's Autumn meeting and AGM took place on Saturday, 26 September. It was held fully online for the first time due to restrictions around Covid-19, but was still a great event. The meeting included a welcome from BSBI President Lynne Farrell and four talks covering Atlas 2020 and other botanical projects, followed by the formal AGM and election of new members to the Committee for Ireland.
Details about the meeting, including videos of the talks, are available on Autumn Meeting and AGM webpage.
Aquatic Plant Project
Continuing the Aquatic Plant Project which started last year, we are offering online training with aquatic plant expert Nick Stewart to help people build their aquatic ID skills and hopefully inspire a bit more aquatic recording this autumn!
There were two webinars, which are now available to view on the webpage:
- Introduction to Aquatic Plant Identification
- Stonewort Identification
We also held an interactive online Aquatic Plant Identification Workshop, where Nick identified specimens live using a camera and digital microscope to show key features, and participants were able to ask questions throughout. We hope to offer more of these online workshops in the future! Thanks to NPWS for funding this project.
Information and Resources
Irish Botanical Projects - current and past BSBI Ireland projects.
Resources for Botanists in Ireland - Recording resources, record centres, Rare Plant Registers, and more.
Irish Botanical News - Our big annual publication edited by Paul Green.
Ireland News Archive - Previous issues of the Irish BSBI Newsletter and older stories from this webpage.
Local BSBI Groups
These are informal groups run by volunteers. They are a great way to improve your skills and meet other botanists. Get involved with a group near you!
- Clare – contact Phoebe O'Brien
- Cork – contact Edwina Cole
- Dublin/East Coast – contact Colm Clarke
- Galway – contact Ciaran Bruton
- Kerry – contact Jessica Hamilton
- Leitrim - contact Eamon Gaughan & Aoife Delaney
- Ulster BSBI Botany Group – search on Facebook
- Rough Crew – The group for adventurous botanists, exploring Ireland's mountains and islands. Contact Rory Hodd
Looking for something that was here before, but can't find it anymore? All older news items are now kept in the Ireland News Archive.