Who says that plant recording has to stop over the winter?! The New Year Plant Hunt is in it’s fourth year now and encourages everyone, whatever you level of expertise, to spend up to three hours outside between the 1st and 4th Jan and record any plants that you find in flower.
It really is quite surprising to see how many species are in flower at this time of year. During 2014s New Year Plant Hunt, 48 lists from were submitted encompassing 221 species in flower (164 of which were natives).
Dr Tim Rich and Dr Sarah Whild came up with the idea for this fun survey and have made the rules quite simple:
- Pick one day over the New Year weekend between Thursday 1st and Sunday 4th January 2015, when the weather is decent enough to record in.
2. Record wild and naturalised plants (but not planted or garden species) in flower. Please check plants are actually flowering – that catkins are actually open, grasses have open florets, stigmas or anthers are on show etc.
3. Record for up to 3 hours.
- Send us details of what you saw: species recorded, names of the botanists who saw them, time and location. You can email a list to email@example.com and/or post your finds on the BSBI Facebook page and/or tweet them to us at @BSBIbotany.
I know many birders will be out early in the new year to get their year lists off to a good start so why not keep a look out for any plants you see in flower while birding?
This year I am assistant co-ordinator on this project, assisting Tim collate the data as it comes in. I am also working alongside Louise Marsh, the BSBI Publicity and Outreach Officer to promote the event and collect records from social media. Although this survey is a lot of fun, it also generates some meaningful and interesting data, see last years write up for details.
I hope as many of you take part as possible (I will be watching to see who takes part 😉 ), even if you just submit one or two records.
Happy plant hunting!