West Lothian, v.c. 84

The Foliage Fraternity is a local botany group run by Jay Mackinnon, Vice-County Recorder for West Lothian and a lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University.

What the group is about

The vision is for a group that supports anyone keen on plants to develop in their learning, especially in the stages between absolute beginner and intermediate botanist but also helping those who are already pretty sharp to become ace. This involves plenty of time to sit down and key things out; a pace that allows note-taking and photography; trips focusing on particular groups of plants; training days to acquire new skills; friends that you can ask about anything you don’t know; and help with biological recording for keen plant-spotters who don’t yet submit records of their sightings.

The aim is to complement the groups and societies already offering botanical excursions (e.g. Edinburgh Natural History Society, The Wildlife Information Centre, Botanical Society of Scotland, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland) by adding events to the calendar that (as far as possible) don’t conflict and by feeding the confidence and enthusiasm of beginners to contribute to these and other organisations.

We’re connected to the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) in that Jay is the BSBI Vice-County Recorder for West Lothian and plant records made on our excursions will be submitted to the BSBI Database; however, we’re very much not restricting ourselves either to BSBI members or to West Lothian. I like to encourage students early in their botanical careers so students at all levels and all institutions are very welcome.

Participation in excursions is at your own risk. You can find general guidance on these risks by downloading BSBI’s “Safety in the Field” summary and particular risks associated with a site will be explained at the beginning of a trip.

We tend to go out a couple of times a month from June to August with occasional winter and spring meetings as well.

How to stay in touch

Email Jay (j.mackinnon@napier.ac.uk) with any questions about the group or if you’d like to join us. We use the website/app Spond for organising events so if you ask to join the group or join the mailing list for events, your contact details will be stored in Spond. When you are invited to join a group on Spond you are asked if you wish members in that group to see your contact information. Until you have accepted the group invitation, only Jay will be able to see it. All members can hide their contact information from other members of the group. You can do this by going into the group, then press the 3 dots (more) > contact information and select only visible for administrators. This is a per-group setting, so if you use Spond for several groups you can hide your contact information in some groups while still sharing it with members in other groups.

You can opt out at any time by emailing j.mackinnon@napier.ac.uk and ask to be removed from the group.

Hoping to see you soon,


County Recorder