In 2020 we launched a brand new project to increase awareness of Ireland's semi-natural grasslands and help to improve the identification skills needed to record them, whether you're a beginner or a more experienced botanist. We’re hoping this will turn into a multi-year project, but this year we aimed to help BSBI members and other plant lovers to achieve a good grounding in the basics. This included online training, downloadable resources, and social media posts to highlight the importance of grasses and grasslands. For more information, please contact the Ireland Officer.
There are lots of resources available to support learning about grasses and grasslands in Ireland. Below are a few that might be of interest. If you have suggestions for others, please let us know! We'll continue adding to the list throughout the project.
*NEW* BSBI Ireland Annex I Grassland Resources
This is a series of free pdf resources created especially for the Irish Grasslands Project. The aim is to improve understanding of the four main Irish grassland types that are listed on Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive. We list the main indicator species, and provide additional information on selected species to help with identification. We hope you find them useful!
- Semi-natural Dry Grasslands on Calcareous Substrates
- Species-rich Nardus Grasslands
- Molinia Meadows
- Lowland Hay Meadows
- Grasses of the British Isles. BSBI Handbook No. 13 by Cope and Gray.
- Identification guide to Ireland's Grasses. National Biodiversity Data Centre.
- Grasses: A guide to their Structure, Identification, Uses and Distribution in the British Isles by Hubbard.
- Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins Pocket Guide by Fitter, Fitter. & Farrer.
- Colour Identification Guide to the Grasses, Sedge, Rushes and Ferns of the British Isles and north-western Europe by Rose.
- Grasses, Ferns, Mosses & Lichens of Great Britain & Ireland by Phillips.
- A Field Guide to Grasses, Sedges and Rushes. The Species Recovery Trust by Price.
- Start to Identify Grasses by Faith Anstey.
- Start to Identify Sedges and Rushes by Faith Anstey.
- BSBI Grass ID page. Links and resources to help you get started with grass ID or to build up your skills.
- BSBI Plant Crib. Detailed sheets for some difficult taxa including bromes, oat-grasses and many more.
- BSBI Species Accounts cover a wide range of species, including many important grasslands species.
- Ireland Red List of Vascular Plants (pdf from NPWS website).
We hosted 5 free online training courses this summer. The sessions were open to anyone and hundreds of people got involved! If you missed out or just want a refresher, you can download the slides from the presentations below (for personal study only).
- Introduction to Grass ID (Fionnuala O'Neill)
- Vegetative Grass ID part 1 (Lynda Weekes)
- Vegetative Grass ID part 2 (Lynda Weekes)
- Introduction to Sedge ID (Lynda Weekes)
- Introduction to Annex I Grasslands (Fionnuala O'Neill)
Recordings of all five session sessions are also available on the right side of this page and on the Irish Grasslands Project playlist.
In case that isn't enough, we also have slides from the Rushes - ID tips to get you started presentation that Lynda gave at our Spring Conference in 2017.
We also highlighted 15 of our fantastic grass species in "Grass of the Week" features throughout the summer on Twitter and Facebook: check out the #IrishGrassOfTheWeek hashtag. Thanks to Jessica Hamilton for her work on this.