New Year

Today is the 7th of January, the end of the first week of a New Year. I meant to do this blog post on the 1st but that never quite happened. I have just spent a lovely 5 nights in Gateshead visiting someone very special to me. But as I sit here, alone, and write this it is freezing outside and the wind is icy cold. I am sat here with a cup of tea trying to warm up, and dreaming of spring. Well, what can I say about 2017! It has certainly been one of the most difficult years of my life so far, but has also had some real highs. Forgetting about the negatives (of which there have been too many to list), I am ending the year at the helm of a successful project that is making a difference to biological recording in Northamptonshire. I have spent a lot of my time running this project though and less time recording, so my challenge to myself for next year is to get outside more with work and generate more records. I haven’t done nearly as much recording as I would like to this year (6500 or so records), but thanks to a trip away to the Lake District with a group of botanists and a few visits to Cornwall, I recorded 370 new species in 2017 putting me on 2467 species seen alive in Britain (see breakdown below). I have said for a few years now that I want to get into bryophytes more to get myself out in the winter, but never seem to manage it. 2018 will be the year! I am not setting myself any specific targets this year on recording, I just want to enjoy it 🙂




The main thing that has held me back this year is battling my mental health, wildlife is a big part of what keeps me going, but people also help an incredible amount, often without realising. So, thank you to everyone that is there for me. I will be continuing to work on my mental health, confidence and self-care in 2018. I am hoping a self-care and positives diary will help with this, along with more time spent outside. I have also taken up running again. I love the feeling running gives me but find it harder to motivate myself to run in winter. I am hoping to do a proper race in 2018 and get my first medal. I may even try the Bradenham Bolt which is 10k of mud and obstacles in the beautiful Chiltern hills. I got myself a pair of trail running shoes today so have no excuses now!

  2016 Total Number of Additions in 2017 2017 Total
Algae 3 0 3
Slime Moulds 1 0 1
Protists 0 0 0
Lichens 40 22 62
Fungi 64 6 70
Bryophytes 50 2 52
Vascular Plants 531 154 685
Sponges 0 0 0
Comb-jellies 0 0 0
Cnidarians 3 0 3
Molluscs 62 3 65
Bryozoans 0 0 0
Annelid Worms 4 0 4
Platyhelminth Worms 1 0 1
Sea-spiders 0 0 0
Arachnids 42 4 46
Myriapods 7 0 7
Crustaceans 15 1 16
Springtails etc. 4 0 4
3-tailed Bristletails 1 0 1
Odonata 25 0 25
Orthopteroids 19 1 20
Hemipteroids 87 14 101
Hymenoptera 155 38 193
Coleoptera 233 34 267
Diptera 146 10 156
Butterflies 37 4 41
Moths 328 53 381
Remaining Insect Orders 17 2 19
Echinoderms 0 0 0
Tunicates 0 0 0
Fish 6 1 7
Reptiles 4 0 4
Amphibians 5 0 5
Birds 178 16 194
Mammals 29 5 34
Other Animals 0 0 0
Overall 2097 370 2467



5 responses to “New Year

  1. Interesting blog, Ryan. I am impressed by the number of species seen. I have about 8 months experience in wildflower id and recently went thru Harrap’s Wild Flowers and ticked all the ones I knew and have seen this year. There was generally something on each double spread! Your totals give me something to aim at in my dreams! Looking forward to your Bryophyte finds. Best of luck in 2018. Happy New Year!

  2. So impressed Ryan! I’ve been having a go with mosses (and lichens a bit) but finding it really difficult, even after going on a course with Peter Creed. His book on mosses found locally has been really useful though, helping me to narrow it down. So me and a friend with a microscope have made a start 🙂 All the best, Sue (Rowe)

  3. All the very best wishes for 2018 Ryan, May it be a brilliant year for you.

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Happy New Year Ryan!

    Great to read of what you’re up to. Once again, if you ever want company you know where I am. Hope you meet your goals in 2018 and have fun doing it. Take care


    Tel: 07817599123 Web:


  5. 685 vascular plants is very impressive Ryan and you are doing an amazing job supporting biological recording in Northants! Congrats also on your FISC Level 4! Be kind to yourself 🙂 All the best for a very happy 2018. Louise, BSBI

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