Ireland Botanical Projects

BSBI actively develops and contributes to projects to encourage people to learn about, appreciate, and protect wild plants in Britain and Ireland. This page highlights some of the projects we have been working in Ireland.

  • Do you have ideas for a new project?
  • Would you like to know how to get involved with our work?

If so, please contact Sarah Pierce, BSBI Ireland Officer, at sarah.pierce@bsbi.org.

Aquatic Plant Project survey

Irish Grasslands Project

Grassland on Inis Oirr by Maria LongIn 2020 we began a new project to highlight the importance of Irish semi-natural grasslands and help to improve the identification skills needed to record them. We hosted 5 free online training courses covering introductory grass identification, vegetative grass identification sedge identification, and an introduction to Annex I grassland habitats. We are also developing a downloadable pdf resource around Annex I habitat indicator species, and running Grass Species of the Week on social media. For all the details, including recordings of the webinars, please check out the Irish Grasslands Project webpage.

Thanks to NPWS and CEDaR for supporting this project. Photo by Maria Long.

Aquatic Plant Project

In 2019 BSBI began a major project to increase aquatic plant recording across Ireland. 2019 highlights included: 34 days of training and recording with 94 participants, 91 hectads visited in 24 different counties, and 1000s of new aquatic plant records.

In 2020 we continued the project with a week of work in Northern Ireland in February, and a series of online training sessions in September, with the aim to help build aquatic plant identification skills and inspire people to record aquatic plants in their local areas.

For more information and resources, see the Aquatic Plant Project webpage. Thanks to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Centre for Environmental Recording (CeDAR) for funding.

Atlas 2020

First atlas coverThe largest BSBI project running is Atlas 2020 - a full survey of all our vascular plant flora for the period 2000 to 2019. There is a dedicated Atlas page here, and here is a talk on 'Gearing up for Atlas 2020'.

Our recorders have done an amazing job, recording hundreds of thousands of plants per year.

In Ireland, nearly every hectad (10km x 10km square) has had at least 200 plant species recorded, and for many the number is much higher.

We are now in the final stages of validating data, while our science team gear up for analysis. Watch out for updates in the coming months!

New Year Plant Hunt

BSBI has run the New Year Plant Hunt across Britain and Ireland since 2012, and we're always keen to get more Irish botanists involved!

The goal is to record any wild plants you find flowering during a set time period around the New Year. Details for this year's NYPH and results from previous years can be found here.

For the 2018/19 NYPH, 99 surveys were submitted from across Ireland (see the map) and we hope for even more in future years!

Irish Species Project

The Irish Species Project (ISP) ran in 2014-15 with the aim of collecting up-to-date information on the distribution and ecology of eight distinctive native plant species thought to be in decline in Ireland.

A total of 224 record cards were returned, with data being submitted for 31 of the 40 VCs across Ireland. If you are interested in seeing the  guidance document or the recording card, click on the links, but please remember that this project is no longer running. A summary of the findings can be found in Irish Botanical News 2017

Click on the links below to see the species profiles (kindly hosted by NBDC):