The eighth BSBI New Year Plant Hunt will run from Saturday 29th December 2018 to Tuesday 1st January 2019 and we invite you all to take part. Your observations each year are helping BSBI build up a clearer picture of how our wild or naturalised plants are responding to changes in autumn and winter weather patterns across Britain & Ireland. Scroll down to find out more.
How to Take Part
The rules are simple to try to keep data comparable between different areas and over different years:
1. Pick one day between Saturday 29th December 2018 and Tuesday 1st January 2019, when the weather is decent enough to record in.
2. Record wild and naturalised plants (but not planted or garden species) in flower. Please check plants are actually flowering – that catkins are open, that grasses have open florets, stigmas or anthers on show etc.
3. Record for up to 3 hours (you can “stop the clock” for tea-breaks, lunch and comfort stops!). You can contribute as many different lists as you like from different areas as long as you don’t exceed the 3 hour limit for each new list.
4. Send us details of what you saw, with photos if possible please: tell us which species you recorded (we can help with identification if you are stuck!), what your name is, and where and when you saw the plants in flower. There are several ways to do this - see the box on the right.
Results, analysis & media coverage 2018:
Here is the 2018 press release sent to media contacts. Click here to view the coverage broadcast on BBC Countryfile on 21st January. Click on the links for articles in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, the Irish Mail on Sunday and the Irish Mirror.
After the Hunt is over...
Just tweet photos of the plants you've seen to @BSBIbotany and add the #wildflowerhour hashtag! Then tune in every Sunday evening 8-9pm when hundreds of people come together to share photos of wild plants they've seen in bloom during the week. Need some help to identify your plants? The botanical community will help!
Thinking about next steps? Check out our Top Tips for Getting Started in Botany, with a review of ID books available, where to buy a handlens, helpful Facebook groups to join, local botany groups in your area, field meetings where you can pick up ID tips, training courses (and grants to help pay for them!).
Email us if you'd like to know more.
How to send in your New Year Plant Hunt records
- We have a user-friendly New Year Plant Hunt recording form for use in 2018-9!
- You can use the form on your phone while you are out recording, or use the form on your computer once you get home. No registration required.
- Click here for full instructions on how to use the recording form.
- Records and images submitted via the recording form, once verified, will appear on this Results page. Click on the marker on the interactive map to see the list of all the plants recorded there.
- If you run into any problems using the recording form, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Find out about New Year Plant Hunts organised by local botany groups. You can also contact your County Recorder here to find out what they are planning.
- Nil records are important too, so if you found nothing in bloom in your square please let us know. These data will also feed into our 2019 New Year Plant Hunt analysis.
- We hope you will also tweet your finds to us at @BSBIbotany using the hashtag #NewYearPlantHunt - these tweets will be streamed to the New Year Plant Hunt website.
- You can also post your finds on the BSBI Facebook pages for UK and Ireland. But finds posted on social media can only be included in the final total if you also send them to us via the recording form.
- The deadline for getting your records to us is midnight on Sunday 6th January.
- You can email the New Year Plant Hunt Team if you have any questions about this year's New Year Plant Hunt and how to record.
- Everyone is welcome to take part in the New Year Plant Hunt - you don't have to be a BSBI member or an experienced botanist - and we'll help you if you get stuck.
- A few tips here to get you started.
New Year Plant Hunt 2014-7 results
In 2016, more than 600 species were recorded in bloom by 865 botanists from 108 counties across Britain and Ireland; they submitted 9,265 records in total.