When and how to hunt for plants in bloom
The rules are simple to try to keep data comparable between different areas and over different years.
1. Pick one day between Saturday 31st December 2022 and Tuesday 3rd January 2023 when the weather is decent enough to record in. It's up to you whether or not you go out alone as long as you are following local guidance.
2. There may be group Hunts happening near you, so if you'd like some company, try contacting your local group organiser or BSBI County Recorder (contact details here) and checking on social media to see if anything is planned for your area.
3. Before you head out: plan your route and decide how you'd like to record your finds, so EITHER download the latest version of the app/ recording form on your phone OR make sure you have a BSBI recording card for your county OR have a notebook and pencil ready to make notes while you are out hunting.
4. Record wild and naturalised plants (but not planted or garden species) in flower. More info about this on our Definitions: wild, native or alien? page. Please check that plants are actually flowering – that catkins on trees are open, that grasses have open florets, that stigmas or anthers on show etc. Please don't include ferns, mosses, fungi or lichens - none of these has flowers!
5. 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.
6. We recommend that you try using our recording app to send us details of what you saw, with photos if possible please. The app is very user-friendly and we can help you with identification if you get stuck - just email the Support Team.
7. Not sure what your plant is? Using the app, you can upload a photo of an unidentified plant and our experts will try to identify it for you. Some tips here on photographing plants with conservation in mind and to make them easier to ID. Top tip: take photographs from the side (it's harder to ID plants from above) and take a pic of the leaves too.
8. If you found nothing in bloom - we still need to know please. Nil records are important too and will feed into the analysis. The app has a facility to log nil records.
9. It will be cold out there so wrap up warm and remind yourself why it's worth taking part: the data you collect are crucial for helping us understand more about how British & Irish wild and naturalised plants are responding to climate change. And by joining the Hunt, you'll be shaking off the midwinter blues and keeping your plant ID skills sharp, ready for spring.
How to send in your New Year Plant Hunt records
- We have updated the New Year Plant Hunt app (recording form) ready for use in 2023.
- You can download the app from the Plant Hunt website., which has guidance on how to use it and what to do if you run into any problems - please take a few minutes to read the guidance before you download the app!
- The recording form works on phones (Apple/iPhone and Android), tablets and computers, but it isn't yet available from app stores, sorry.
- If you already have an old version of the recording app on your phone then please don't use that. Instead use the latest version of the app.
- You can use the app on your phone while you are out recording, or on your computer once you get home. It's free, quick and easy to use. There's no registration required.
- Records and images submitted via the app will appear on this Results page. Click on any marker on the interactive map to see the list of all the plants recorded there.
- If you run into any problems using the app, you can email us at email@example.com
- 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 Britain and Ireland and on the BSBI Instagram account - but finds posted on social media can only be included in the final total if you also send them to us via the app. Please don't use other recording software, we're not able to include records sent to iRecord or added to MapMate.
- The deadline for getting your records to us is midnight on Sunday 8th January 2023.
- You can email the New Year Plant Hunt Team if you have any questions about this year's 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!
- First time taking part in the Hunt? New to this botany lark? Don't worry, we've put together some useful links and tips if you are just getting started with plant-spotting. We also have lots of free plant ID resources that you can use. Happy hunting!