Scroll down for: new scientific papers; forthcoming workshops and conferences; news about BSBI books and periodicals; field meetings and training opportunities; BSBI in the media; podcasts; what's new on the BSBI website; job vacancies for botanists; requests from BSBI members; and much much more...
Mayo Recording event: book now!
This year's main Irish recording event will be held in Mayo 8th - 12th August. The booking form has just been updated so if you want to book a space, you'd better be quick! More here.
Irish Botanical News - 2018 issue published
Download your (free) copy from the Ireland page - scroll down to find the current and all back issues.
The June issue of eNews is out
Download your free copy now from our Publications page.
Presentations from last month's Scottish Conference now available to download
Download the presentations here.
Resources to download
New on the BSBI Resources page: the latest GB Red List for vascular plants, and updated guidance on using or buying a GPS.
Pre-publication offer on BSBI Handbook for Eyebrights: offer closes midnight on 31st May.
Head over to the Eyebrights Handbook page to find out more about this forthcoming BSBI publication. BSBI members can pre-order their copy now and save £5.50 on the cover price - just head over to the BSBI members-only area and have your password ready to log in. If you've forgotten your password, please email us. But hurry, the offer closes at midnight on Thursday 31st May.
BSBI publishes policies on Safeguarding and on Personal Data
Today (25th May) is the day when GDPR legislation takes effect so, in the pursuit of good governance and to meet our obligations as a registered charity, BSBI has taken the opportunity to publish policies on both Personal Data and also on Safeguarding. Both policies can be viewed and/ or downloaded from our Governance webpage. If you have any questions about these policies, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to offer clarification.
BSBI Head of Science co-authors paper on open data
Kevin Walker, BSBI Head of Science, is a co-author on 'Overcoming the challenges of public data archiving for citizen science biodiversity recording and monitoring schemes' published this month in the Journal of Applied Ecology. A bit more info about the paper here.
Paper on potentially invasive garden plants
Published in Biological Invasions: 'Working with gardeners to identify potential invasive ornamental garden plants: testing a citizen science approach' by Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz & Judith Conroy. BSBI botanists participated in the survey and are thanked in the acknowledgements.
BSBI expert plant referee assists HRH the Prince of Wales
HRH commissioned paintings of 124 Transylvanian wild flowers and BSBI's John Akeroyd selected the plants to be illustrated. More here.
Paper on the plants of hay-meadows
Published on 22nd May in Folia Geobotanica: 'Long-term hay meadow management maintains the target community despite local-scale species turnover' by Elizabeth Sullivan, Ian Powell & Paul Ashton (Chair of BSBI's Training Committee). Read the full paper here.
Job vacancy at RBG Kew
There is a vacancy at RBG Kew for a Senior Press Officer. More here.
Wildflowers and roadside verges: BSBI contributes to news coverage
BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker is quoted in an article published today (14th May) by Roger Harrabin for BBC Science News, about the impacts of nitrogen deposition and over-zealous cutting on plant assemblages found on roadside verges. There is also an article in The Telegraph which uses the same quote from Kevin.
BSBI is sad to hear of the recent death of Rob Wilson, County Recorder for Northamptonshire. An obituary will follow but for now we'd like to offer our condolences to Rob's friends and family, and acknowledge the huge contribution he made to botanical recording in Northants.
Threatened Plants in Britain and Ireland: reprinted
This BSBI publication from late 2017 proved incredibly successful - the first print run sold out within weeks. We're delighted to tell you that the book has just been reprinted and is available again as of today, 10th May. More here.
Bookings now open for Welsh AGM
Head over to the Welsh AGM page to find out more and to book.
Vacancy at the OED for a lexicographer who knows their plants!
The Oxford English Dictionary is advertising for a lexicographer with skills in the naming of plants and animals. More details here.
BSBI News: latest issue published
BSBI members can expect to receive their copy of our thrice-yearly newsletter by the end of April. Head over here for a sneaky peek or (if you're not yet a BSBI member) to see some of the delights on offer.
Pre-publication offer now open on John Poland's Twig Key.
Identifying Wild Flower Families: booking open
Bookings have now opened on these very popular ID workshops, held in Scotland and suitable for beginner botanists. More information on the BSBI Scotland page.
Conference: Securing our Natural Enviroment for Future Generations
Bookings have now opened for this conference organised by the British Ecological Society/ UK Conservation Agencies Symposium. More here.
Read what English, Scottish and Welsh Recorders achieved in 2017
Collated annual reports from County Recorders across England, Scotland and Wales are now available to download from the country pages. Click on the page links to find out what our amazing recorders achieved last year - it's very impressive! Huge thanks to all of you who are contributing plant records as we move towards the final phase of Atlas 2020.
Bookings now open for BSBI Summer Meeting 2018
Head over to the Summer Meeting webpage to find out what's on offer this year - view the programme, read about the location, field trips and accommodation options and make a secure booking on-line or by post.
Save money on a copy of the BSBI Viola Handbook
To tie in with two Viola-themed field meetings planned in Wales and Ireland this spring, Summerfield Books have kindly agreed to offer a further discount on the price of the BSBI Viola Handbook throughout April and May! Further details to follow on the Publications page.
New county webpage for Co. Antrim
A new webpage has been created for Co. Antrim, featuring local contacts (including the County Recorder and the Ulster Botany Group), details of field meetings, information about recording in the county, a very elegant map showing number of species recorded in each Antrim hectad, botanical puzzles, and images of local recorders in action.
New paper on change in Scottish grasslands
Read 'Decline in atmospheric sulphur deposition and changes in climate are the major drivers of long-term change in grassland plant communities in Scotland' by Ruth Mitchell et al. in full here (no subscription needed).
Friends of Oliver Rackham: newsletter
High impact paper on emerging alien species uses BSBI data
A paper co-authored by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker and David Pearman titled 'Global rise in emerging alien species results from increased accessibility of new source pools' is published today 8th February in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. It uses BSBI data which also appear in David's recent 'first dates' book; access the paper here (subscription required) and there is a note about the paper on the IUCN News website here.
New paper on Seed bank dynamics in restored grassland
Just published: 'Seed bank dynamics in restored grassland following the sowing of high- and low-diversity seed mixtures' by Markus Wagner, Kevin Walker (BSBI Head of Science) & Richard Pywell. More here.
BSBI's New Year Plant Hunt in the broadsheets (and on TV!)
A nice article about the New Year Plant Hunt in today's Telegraph. It's by BSBI member Ken Thompson and joins other coverage of the Hunt across the broadsheets: there is also an excellent article by Patrick Barkham in The Guardian and there is a short note in The Times. Also on the NYPH webpage, you can view the footage of the Hunt on BBC Countryfile.
Book now for a Field Identification Skills Certificate (FISC)
Bookings have now opened for FISCs in 2018. There are two FISC centres, Shrewsbury and Maidstone, offering six dates in total. Find out more on our FISC page.
Request for locations where Oak species are growing together
Student Ashley Watson hopes that BSBI botanists can help him find sites across England where Quercus petraea, Q. robur and Q. cerris all grow together. If you know of any such sites, please email Ashley.
Poster of flowering plants showing relationships between families
This poster is proving very popular on social media and looks like an excellent educational tool.
Fortnightly botany podcasts
Are you following the Wild Flower (Half) Hour podcasts? There are five so far and the latest features three BSBI members: Kevin Widdowson on winter tree ID; Dave Steere on his botanical journey from beginner botanist to valued Atlas 2020 recorder in just four years; and Ciara Sugrue talking about the New Year Plant Hunt. Catch up with this latest podcast (and numbers 1-4) on the Wild Flower (Half) Hour podcast page.
Mistletoe on Oak
Have you spotted Mistletoe growing on oak trees? Twenty years ago, ecologist John Box published a paper in Watsonia about any sites he knew about then. Now he wants to update that paper and needs your help to find more locations. More here.
Marsh Botany Award 2017 goes to...
BSBI member Brian Laney was awarded the 2017 Marsh Botany Award for services to the conservation of rare wild flowers at a ceremony at RBG Kew last night. Congratulations Brian!
New Journal of Botany: December 2017 issue now available on-line
Field Key to Winter Twigs by John Poland
Publication is imminent for this new book by John Poland and it is now possible to put your name on a mailing list to benefit from the pre-publication offer. Click here to download the flyer with full details.
BSBI Exhibition Meeting: catch up with the exhibits and the talks
We've just uploaded the first batch of exhibits from this year's BSBI Exhibition Meeting and AGM which took place on Saturday 25th November at the Natural History Museum. So even if you weren't able to attend, you can now download ten exhibits (there are more to follow!) and click through to related websites, webpages, email addresses, Twitter accounts and posts on the BSBI News & Views blog. You can also download all eight presentations from the AEM webpage here, you can read what happened here and find out what people said about the event here.
New Code of Conduct published
BSBI's Sarah Whild, and Fred Rumsey (Natural History Museum) have produced the BSBI Code of Conduct 2017, an updated version of the 2010 Code. You can download the new Code from the Resources page and there's some background about it here.
The first Wild Flower Half Hour podcast has now gone live and it features interviews with Leif Bersweden, author of The Orchid Hunter, Dr Trevor Dines of Plantlife talking about their Back from the Brink project and BSBI's Comms Officer Louise Marsh talking about #wildflowerhour, the New Year Plant Hunt and how to get involved in spotting wild flowers in winter. You can listen to the podcast here.
Michael Proctor 1929-2017
Read Peter Marren's obituary of Michael Proctor for The Guardian here.
Training the Trainers
BSBI Scottish Annual Meeting/ BSBI Photographic Competition
Judging of this year's BSBI Photographic Competition took place at the Scottish Annual Meeting and we have two winners. Heather Kelly won in the 'Plants in the Landscape' section and Chris Jeffree won in the 'Archaeophytes' category. A full report to follow but for now you can see updates on Twitter and view Heather's photo on the right-hand side of this page. Thanks and congratulations to Scottish Annual Meeting organiser Jim McIntosh and to Natalie Harmsworth who organised the Photographic Competition.
BSBI Annual General Meeting
BSBI's 2017 AGM took place at 2pm on Saturday 25th November at the Natural History Museum, London, as part of the Annual Exhibition Meeting. Head over to our new AGM webpage to find out about the five new trustees who were elected.
Transparency and good governance
BSBI is always striving to become more accountable and to encourage all our members to take an interest in how the society is governed. We have therefore made our Governance website accessible to all BSBI members, so they can view minutes of all meetings of BSBI Council, country and standing committees and the Board of Trustees. Head over to our members-only area (password required) for access details.
We are hearing very sad news that eminent botanist Michael Proctor, a BSBI member since 1950 and former editor of Watsonia, has just died. We'll let you know when we have more information and there will be an obituary in due course but for now, BSBI sends condolences to Michael's family.
BSBI has a "new" Welsh Officer
Polly Spencer-Vellacott moves to Scotland after six years as BSBI Welsh Officer; Paul Green takes up the reins again! More here.
Threatened Plants in Britain and Ireland
This long-awaited publication from the BSBI Science Team can be ordered now by BSBI members and will be available for non-members to buy in November. Threatened Plants in Britain and Ireland focuses on 50 wild flower species surveyed by 800+ volunteers under BSBI's Threatened Plants Project. Find out more here and here.
The Discovery of the Native Flora of Britain & Ireland
A pre-publication offer is now available for this title, the latest book from David Pearman, which attempts to answer the question, who first described our native plants? Over 450 pages, The Discovery of the Native Flora of Britain & Ireland comprises accounts of the first records of 1670 taxa in Britain and Ireland. Find out more here and here.
New BSBI Species Accounts
The Flora of St Kilda has been published
New paper on Field Fleawort as an indicator species
A paper has just been published on 'Longterm changes in lowland calcareous grassland plots using Tephroseris integrifolia subsp. integrifolia as an indicator species'. Authored by BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh and BSBI members Oli Pescott and Owen Mountford, you can download the full paper free of charge here.
Free "Veg Key" for Kindle or smartphone
This special two-day offer has now closed but it was seen by an astonishing 51,000 people on BSBI's Facebook page alone and 2,620 free eBook copies were downloaded. You can still get your hands on a copy of Poland & Clement's Vegetative Key to the British flora but will now have to pay for it, sorry! More here.
New paper on alien taxa
BSBI Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker has co-authored a new paper titled 'Risk management to prioritise the eradication of new and emerging invasive non-native species'. Click here to download the paper, published in the August issue of Biological Invasions.
How will climate change affect our wild flowers?
BSBI's Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker is a co-author on a newly published paper in the journal Biological Conservation which assesses the impact of climate change on the distribution of over 3,000 British plants and animals across 17 taxonomic groups. Click here to download the paper in full.
Click here to download 'Long-term vegetation monitoring in Great Britain - the Countryside Survey 1978-2007 and beyond'.
Garden plants and invasive species
In 2015, BSBI members contributed to a survey aimed at trying to identify garden plants likely to become invasive in future. The authors have now published a paper based on the data collected. You can read 'Integrating invasive species policies across ornamental horticulture supply chains to prevent plant invasions' in full by clicking here.
Are Beech trees native to Scotland?
New paper on change in Scottish grassland vegetation
Click here to see the abstract of 'Forty years of change in Scottish grassland vegetation: Increased richness, decreased diversity and increased dominance' by Mitchell et al. newly published in Biological Conservation.
The State of the World’s Plants 2017 report has been published by RBG Kew
The 2017 report builds on its predecessor (2016) by highlighting emerging trends threatening our global flora, examining likely future ‘winners and losers’ and looking at how the international community is taking action to maintain diversity and sustainable use. Download the report here: www.stateoftheworldsplants.com
BSBI and five other wildlife organisations call for action to cut air pollution
Letter from BSBI and five other organisations published in The Guardian today, 15th June. More here.
And the Presidents' Award for 2017 goes to...
The award, which is presented annually by Presidents of BSBI and the Wild Flower Society, was this year given to Tom Humphrey in recognition of his work on the BSBI Database. Click here to read about the presentation, made by BSBI President John Faulkner at the BSBI Summer Meeting and here to read about the history of the Presidents' Award and some of the past recipients.
Lots of botanical activity in Co. Kerry
Co. Kerry played host in June to one of the highlights of BSBI Ireland's recording year: read about the #KerryBSBIevent here and here. There is also a new webpage for Co. Kerry here which links to the new local group's Facebook page.
Welsh 'domesday book for plants'
Wales has become the first country in the world to have published a Rare Plant Register for every county. Read the press release here and see reports on both the Welsh Officer's blog here, here and here and on the BSBI News & Views blog here, here and here.
New paper in Nature using BSBI data
BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker is a co-author on a paper published in the latest issue of Nature. Kevin tells us the paper is "based partly on David Pearman's first records database". The paper is titled 'No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide' and you can download it here.
BSBI County Recorder awarded MBE
Vascular plant Red List for Ireland
A new Red List for the vascular plants of Ireland has just been published and can be downloaded here. The Red List is dedicated to BSBI's County Recorders and the foreword says: "This work could not have been undertaken without the huge contribution made by the BSBI Vice-county Recorders, past and present, whose records, gathered both in the field and from the literature, form the bulk of the BSBI’s Vascular Plant Database and Distribution Database used in this analysis, and who kindly provided them for the Red List project – to them this Red List is sincerely dedicated."
Vegetative Guide to British Orchids
Mike Waller's 'Beginner's vegetative guide to orchids of the British Isles' has now been published and can be downloaded free of charge here.
Back copies of botanical journals
We have received several offers from members around the country of print runs of botanical journals, available free of charge to anybody willing to collect them. Titles include: Journal of Botany; The Naturalist (both from late 19th/early 20th century); Watsonia; BSBI Yearbook; and Botanical Society and Exchange Club Proceedings. If you are interested, please contact us and we can let you know what is available for collection in your area.
New paper on food for pollinators
Interesting new paper by BSBI member
New service launched
CEH has just launched a new service for assessing the risk of the presence of Japanese Knotweed. This new service is based in large part on data collected by BSBI members. Find out more here.
Markus Wagner (CEH) et al.: Cereal density and N-fertiliser effects on the flora and biodiversity value of arable headlands. More here.
The State of Nature report 2016 has been published...
... and BSBI is proud to be a partner. More here about how BSBI's volunteers contributed plant data and our Science Team helped with the analysis. See the State of Nature infographic here and download the full report here.
New site found for Killarney Fern
Hybrid Flora awarded Engler Silver Medal and short-listed for Marsh Book Award 2016
J.P. Grime: Scaling up to Communities and Ecosystems
Sharing images of plants in bloom: #wildflowerhour
Every Sunday, 8-9pm, hundreds of people are using this hashtag to share images of wild plants seen in bloom during the previous week across Britain and Ireland. A few of those images are shared (with permission) down the left-hand side of this page. You don't need a Twitter account to see the images flooding in every Sunday - just click on the BSBI Twitter account or the #wildflowerhour live tab at 8pm.
Plant species richness is increasing - according to long-term environmental studies
UK Environmental Change Network has published the results of studies carried out over the past twenty years. More here.
Preliminary findings from the Orchid Observers project
Read the results so far: they are here on the Natural History Museum blog.
Two new Rare Plant Registers published
Download the Rare Plant Register for Ayrshire and for Dumfriesshire here - you can also see all the counties for whom a Rare Plant Register has been produced.
Arable wild flower App launched
Collecting seed for the Millenium Seed Bank
Read more here about BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh's experience of seed collecting for the Millenium Seed Bank and how you can get involved.
National Plant Monitoring Schemes: launched in Ireland, flourishing in Britain
A Plant Monitoring Scheme has now been launched in the Republic of Ireland: more info here. Meanwhile the UK's National Plant Monitoring Scheme goes from strength to strength: check out the Spring newsletter here (article by Kevin Walker on page 5); read what Pete Stroh spotted while out surveying for the NPMS; find NPMS training sessions here.
Five Island Bioblitz held in Ireland
New population of Teesdalia nudicaulis found at Thursley Heath NNR
New technical handbook on floodplain meadows
Now available to download from the Floodplain Meadows Partnership.
Conference: National Recording Schemes and Societies - celebrating the past, looking to the future
The National Forum for Biological Recording's 2016 conference was organised in partnership with the Biological Records Centre and held on the 12th-13th May at Lancaster University followed by a field trip to the Forest of Bowland AONB on the 14th May.
Are agricultural management and climatic change the major drivers of biodiversity change in the UK?
A recent Open Access paper in PLOS ONE titled 'Agricultural Management and Climatic Change Are the Major Drivers of Biodiversity Change in the UK' is available in full here. The paper is co-authored by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker and BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group
An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV was published on 24 March 2016. Early View access has now ended but the paper is available on pay-to-view here.
Millennium Seed Bank
Can you help collect seed for Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank? There are 500 species still to collect for. Read more...
The Robert Pocock Herbarium Project
Robert Pocock was Gravesend's first local historian, printer, creator of its first public library and botanist. In the early 1800's he began a collection of local plants for his herbarium or dried plant collection. Long after his death, the herbarium was donated to the Natural History Museum in London. The herbarium sheets are still there, amongst many thousands of others, effectively 'lost' to us for 200 years! The aim of the project is to find this unique record of Gravesend's botanical heritage and make images of the plant specimens available to us all. To date we have found over 180 specimen sheets.
Follow our progress at www.pocockherbarium.blogspot.co.uk and on our Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-Pocock-Herbarium-Project/333265860142783. See images of the plants on Facebook and Flickr (links are on the website, or search for Robert Pocock Herbarium).
Hawthorn photographed by Geraldine Murray, May 2018
On the BSBI News & Views blog in May...
An interesting opportunity for a botanist – as a lexicographer on the Oxford English Dictionary, checking plant and animal entries; a note about the reprint of Threatened Plants in Britain and Ireland; a report on a new book, Eireannach: celebrating native plants of Ireland which features a section about BSBI; a note about wild flowers on road verges; this month’s post about Byron’s Gin focuses on the award-winning distillery and the people who work there; we report on the recent plant ID workshops held in Scotland and the first field meeting of the year for the Dublin BSBI group; and finally an interview with BSBI President Chris Metherell about the forthcoming BSBI Handbook, Eyebrights of Britain and Ireland.
For even more botanical news...
News from the Science Team
Kevin Walker is quoted in an article published today (14th May) by Roger Harrabin for BBC Science News, about the impacts of nitrogen deposition and over-zealous cutting on plant assemblages found on roadside verges. There is also an article in The Telegraph which uses the same quote from Kevin.