This Saturday was the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland’s Annual Exhibition Meeting, it was a long and tiring day as so much was going on, I didn’t have a chance to stop. I spoke at the conference about the New Year Plant Hunt, an event which I will run again this year. You can see my PowerPoint presentation by clicking on the picture below.
North, East, South, West – A Look At Some of the Years Recording Trips
There were 4 talks in this section highlighting recording trips all over Britain and Ireland, they were:
- North: The Shetland Recording Week (Lynne Farrell)
- East: Atlas Recording in Breckland (Ian Woodward)
- West: Recording in the north and west of Ireland (John Faulkner)
- South: Botanising on Jersey (Ian Denholm) and Guernsey (George Garnett)
I thoroughly enjoyed these talks which all looked at the flora seen and fun had at places that I have never been to. I especially enjoyed hearing George talk. George is 16 years old and, despite what he says, gave a great talk on the flora of Guernsey. I also hadn’t heard Ian, who works for the BTO, speak before. He also spoke very well and gave a beginners perspective on BSBI field meetings. Ian knows a lot more than me though so it would be nice to see how less experienced people see the meetings. I am yet to go on one of the meetings so guess I could find out for myself!
Identiplant: online botanical training course (Brenda Harold)
Brenda spoke about Identiplant , a course that is supported by BSBI and the FSC. This course is coined as being a ‘plant identification course for beginners in serious botany’. I am yet to work out what that actually means and if it would be a good course for me, or if it would be too simple or too advanced. The results from the course so far do look promising though.
National Plant Monitoring Scheme: the first year (Oli Pescott)
Oli gave us an update on the National Plant Monitoring Scheme . A wonderful scheme which was launched last year which uses citizen scientists to monitor long term changes in plant abundance and distribution. It seems to be working well so far and they are just starting to get the data in. There are many squares for which there are not a surveyor so why not check if there is a available square near you. I must commend Oli on his talks, he is always very well spoken and clear at getting his points across and I know he is an inspiration to many people.
Alien plants (Mick Crawley)
The keynote lecture of the day came from Professor Mick Crawley who spoke passionately on his favourite subject, alien plants. As I live in an area away from major cities, I don’t really come across alien plants. Therefore Mick’s talk gave me an insight into the vast variety of alien plants we have in Britain and what we can learn from them. He described alien plants as ‘a large unplanned ecological experiment’. He also spoke about how many plants we see as natives, are actually neophytes, aliens established a while ago. This was my favourite talk of the day and a good way to end the event.
There were also 44 exhibits, each of them giving a different insight into an area of botany, ranging from high brow scientific research to beginners sharing their view of the world. It was lovely to meet lots of botanists too. It was also great to see a number of young botanists at the event. If I am honest though, I expected a wider diversity of people to be there. There was a few young people, a few middle aged people (mainly BSBI staff) and a lot of older people. This is a bit worrying and is a problem faced by many organisations. BSBI are working on it though.