New Year Plant Hunt 2022: how to take part AND stay safe

When and how to hunt for plants in bloom - following local guidance and staying safe!

The rules are simple to try to keep data comparable between different areas and over different years - but there are two extra stages in this year's instructions to reflect the situation around Covid-19:

1. Before you start planning your Hunt, please check local Covid-19 restrictions - it's essential that you follow the latest guidance for your area.

2. Pick one day between Saturday 1st and Tuesday 4th January 2022 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. We are not promoting any group Hunts this year, but it's worth contacting your BSBI County Recorder (contact details here) and checking social media to see if anything is planned for your area.

3. Just before you head out, be sure to take another look at the Covid-19 restrictions for your area in case there have been any last-minute changes.

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. Use our new recording app (link to follow) 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 new app has a facility to log nil records.

How to send in your New Year Plant Hunt records

  • We have a brand-new New Year Plant Hunt app (recording form) for use in 2022.
  • 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 nyplanthunt@bsbi.org
  • 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 9th January 2022.
  • 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!