Guidance & useful links for recorders

Nature Conservation

*NEW* This pdf sets out BSBI's Policy on Nature Conservation.

Using a GPS

This helpful note offers Advice on Buying and Using GPSs (2018 update).

BSBI Code of Conduct

Download your free copy of the BSBI Code of Conduct 2017. It's aimed at botanists, ecologists, foragers, consultants and anyone who loves wildflowers. The Code sets out sets out best practice in the field and provides you with the latest guidance about which plants you can and can't pick, even with landowner permission (including all plants on prohibited lists such as Schedule 8), and introduces you to the rule of 1 in 20. More about the Code here.

BSBI consultation about members' access to the Distribution Database: update

At the September 2021 Board Meeting, Trustees considered the feedback received from Vice County Recorders (VCRs) and Local Environmental Record Centres about members' access to the Distribution Database. Trustees concluded that the default level of access for each vice-county should be set by VCRs, who can choose the level of precision (tetrad, monad or full grid reference). VCRs will be contacted to decide the level of access by the end of December and work on making access possible will continue into 2023.

Other handy things: grid references and vice-counties

Definitions and glossary

If you aren't quite sure whether a plant is wild, native or alien, or what the difference is between an archaeophyte and a neophyte, our new Definitions page should help.

For a glossary of botanical terms, try typing the term you are unsure of into this page.

Illustrations of alien plants

If you are trying to find illustrations of a particular alien plant species, but aren't quite sure where to look, the Index on our Illustrations of Alien Plants page should prove useful. There is an alphabetical listing of more than 2000 taxa with common names, an interactive references list and a search facility to help you find what you need.

The Index was produced by David Pearman and Gwynn Ellis, to whom we offer our thanks.

County Floras & Rare Plant Registers

A list of county Floras has been compiled by David Pearman. You can download the coversheet and the Excel spreadsheet (updated February 2019). The information on the Excel spreadsheet is also available on our new County Floras webpage.

David has also produced a spreadsheet of Rare Plant Registers, which is also available to download from the Rare Plant Registers webpage.

Corrigenda to botanical publications

Errors that have been spotted in various publications are listed here, partly so readers can correct their books, and partly to deter people from telling the authors about any mistakes that they already know about.

The following publications are covered so far:

  • Plant Crib
  • Atlas of British & Irish Hawkweeds
  • British Alpine Hawkweeds
  • Flora of Monmouthshire
  • Flora of Cardiganshire
  • New Flora of the British Isles, ed 3.

Download the Corrigenda document.

Also available: a corrigenda file for the Discovery of the Native Flora of Britain & Ireland; and Wild Flower Key corrigenda.

Taxon lists, recording cards and software

For taxon lists and spreadsheets, e.g. BSBI's list of accepted plant names, Stace 4th. ed. name changes, updates based on Stace 3rd. ed. and websites such as IPNI, please head over to our new Taxon Lists page.

To find out more about recording software (MapMate, iRecord) and the BSBI Distribution Database, please visit the Recording Software page.

Recording cards, optimised for each vice-county, can be downloaded from the Recording Cards page.

Recording Strategy

This covers subjects such as what size of recording unit to use and when the next Atlas will be produced.

Data entry guidance

BSBI's data entry guidance provides accessible and practical guidelines for formatting botanical records. The notes are focused on MapMate but many parts are also relevant to other structured recording software and to data sets compiled as spreadsheets or text files.