Scroll down for: new scientific papers; forthcoming workshops and conferences; news about BSBI books and periodicals; field meetings and training opportunities; BSBI in the media; podcasts; what's new on the BSBI website; job vacancies for botanists; requests from BSBI members; and much much more... and sign up here for our new mid-monthly eNewsletter!

For BSBI members: New Journal of Botany and Stace's Concise Flora

We recently revamped the password-protected members' area on this website - all the papers published in New Journal of Botany between 2011 and 2017 are now available for members to view free of charge; we also posted details of Clive Stace's Concise Flora of the British Isles, due for publication in June. If you're a BSBI member, and you've forgotten your password to access the members' area, just email us and we'll get straight back to you.

Sad news about Terry Swainbank

We were very sorry to hear recently that orchid enthusiast, blogger and two-time BSBI Treasurer Terry Swainbank died recently; our condolences go to Terry's family and his many botanical friends.

New videos on our YouTube channel

The BSBI Spring Conference took place online on 26th March and the Irish Spring Conference took place on the following Saturday, 2nd April; all the talks were recorded and 14 videos are now available to watch on our YouTube channel.

Sad news about Clive Lovatt

We are shocked and saddened to announce the recent sudden death of Clive Lovatt, BSBI's County Recorder for West Gloucestershire and our Administrative Officer until his retirement in 2016. Our thoughts are with his family and all his many friends and colleagues in the botanical world.

NFBR 2022 conference

This conference takes place from 5th to 7th May and will be hybrid (tickets for virtual-only attendees are half-price!) The theme is 'Curating the Past, Creating the Future: Legacies in Biological Recording'. More info here and you can book here.

British & Irish Botany - latest issue published

Issue 4.1 of our Open Access, online scientific journal is out now and features six papers. This blogpost summarises the contents or go straight to the latest issue.

Job opportunity for field botanists

Vacancies are being advertised for botanists in the Yorkshire Dales/ Nidderdale area; the posts are part of an initiative led by Kew Gardens, to assess pollen resources for pollinators. More info here.

New BSBI Handbook

The latest title in the series of BSBI Handbooks will be published in April. Alchemilla: Lady's-mantles of Britain and Ireland by Mark Lynes will retail at £20 but members can benefit now from our pre-publication offer and pay only £12.50 (excl. P&P). Find out more here and read an exclusive interview with author Mark Lynes.

BSBI News - January issue published

The latest issue of our membership newsletter has been posted out to BSBI members. You can view or download this sample issue of BSBI News #149 to get an idea of what's inside the January 2022 2021 issue, and the free full article from this issue is a guide to yellow-flowered trefoils and medicks by John Norton.

New Year Plant Hunt

The 2022 Hunt is now over and an analysis of the results will be published soon but there has already been media interest in the BSBI's work and which wild flowers are blooming in mid-winter - check out these articles in The Guardian and The Independent.

Job opportunity

There's a vacancy for a Plant Ecologist with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Details here; deadline 9th January.

New paper on Water-crowfoots

A new paper in Bot J Lin Soc about water-crowfoots Ranunculus Batrachium group in central Europe will be of interest to British and Irish botanists! They are acknowledged as being some of the most taxonomically-challenging aquatic plants. Read the paper here.

Annual Exhibition Meeting & AGM

The 2021 BSBI Exhibition Meeting & AGM was a great success but if you missed it, you can catch all the videos here and view all the exhibits here.

Autumn membership offer now open

Join BSBI now and enjoy up to 15 months of membership benefits for the price of 12 months - and there's a special offer for students.

BSBI consultation about members' access to the Distribution Database

At the September 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 2022.

For further information contact Julia Hanmer, Chief Executive, via

September issue of Recorder eNewsletter is published

The latest issue of Recorder eNewsletter, our monthly electronic newsletter for the botanical recording community, has been published. It was formerly known as BSBI eNews and you can access all back issues here.

New recording projects for Scotland and Ireland

We've launched two new projects for plant-spotters: in Ireland, you can take part in the Rare Plant Project Ireland and in Scotland, there's the Scottish Hectad Rare Plant Project. Find out more on their respective webpages and check out the comments here.

Sweet Chestnuts

The Royal Horticultural Society have launched a citizen science project to monitor the health of Britain’s Sweet Chestnut trees. They are particularly concerned about the spread of Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp. To find out more about the project and to get involved, please visit the Check a Sweet Chestnut page.

Refinding the world's smallest grass

Interesting article in The Sunday Post recently about Mibora minima on North Uist - read it here.

Has a BSBI County Recorder found Scotland's oldest tree?

Paul Smith, County Recorder for the Outer Hebrides, and RBGE's Markus Ruhsam, are featured in an article about a lone apple tree found on an inaccessible cliff on an uninhabited Scottish island - it may have been hanging on there since the end of the last Ice Age. Read the story in The Times (paywalled), The Sunday Post and The Independent (not paywalled).

Irish Grasslands Project returns for 2021

We are planning a programme of free webinars and field meetings this summer so keep an eye on the project page here. Everyone is welcome, whether or not you live in Ireland. Webinars are recorded so watch out for the videos on the Irish Grasslands Project playlist on our YouTube channel.

New book about climate change features BSBI's New Year Plant Hunt

Forecast: a Diary of the Lost Seasons, by Joe Shute, columnist at The Telegraph, was published on 24th June. A chapter on plants blooming unseasonably early features Joe's report about the New Year Plant Hunt he attended with Kevin Walker, BSBI Head of Science. BSBI members can claim an exclusive discount of 25% when purchasing the book and there are three free copies available to winners of our competition - find out more here.

Aquatic Plant Project re-opens for 2021

Bookings are now open for the first of this year's free Aquatic Plant Project (APP) training sessions - there are two sessions in July, one focused on water-starworts and one on water-crowfoots. All APP sessions are open to everyone, whether or not you live in Ireland, and you can book here. Webinars are recorded so watch out for them on the APP playlist on our YouTube channel.

Free wildlife ID sheets for young people!

This summer, the Field Studies Council are offering two free fold-out wildlife ID sheets for budding naturalists under 25. The 'Botany Bundle' is a sheet on trees and one on wildflowers. Find out more here.

Monthly eNewsletter

The May issue of our mid-monthly eNewsletter has just been published, with details of forthcoming events, the latest plant ID resources, the sampler and free full article from BSBI News April issue and the new BSBI Broomrapes Handbook. If you haven't already signed up, you can do so here.

Welsh Annual Meeting: bookings open

This year's BSBI Wales Annual Meeting will be held online on Saturday 3rd July and features a welcome address from Julia Hanmer and talks on both upland and lowland plants. Find out more.

Mental Health Awareness Week

The theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is connecting with nature, so BSBI staff and volunteers have been on social media sharing their experiences of what nature means to them; their comments are collated here, along with some links to research on the therapeutic and economic benefits of engaging with nature.

Very sad news

We are very sorry to report the death of Philip Oswald, a BSBI member since 1952 who served for over 30 years on BSBI's Publications Committee. A full obituary will follow but for now there is a brief tribute on our News & Views blog.

We're hiring!

BSBI is seeking a seasonal p/t Project Manager for two projects running in Ireland this summer. Apply by 10th May - details and how to apply here.

BSBI News: sample issue and free article

A sampler of the April issue of BSBI News is now available and the full free article from this issue is about Dandelion lookalikes. If you are already a BSBI member why not share the sampler and/ or free article with any friends and colleagues who haven't yet joined us?

Remembering Phil Grime

We were sad to hear of the recent death of Phil Grime, internationally-renowned plant ecologist and author of seminal works such as 'Comparative Plant Ecology' and 'Plant Strategies, Vegetation Processes and Ecosystem Properties'. This obituary by BES summarises his contributions to botany.

Dandelion webinar online

If you missed John Richards' recent webinar on Dandelion ID, catch up by watching the video on our YouTube channel. More dandelion ID resources here.

BSBI Handbook #22 coming soon!

The latest in the series of BSBI Handbooks, Broomrapes of Britain & Ireland, is scheduled for publication on 1st May. More information here, including details of how to order the book, how BSBI members can claim their discount (almost 30% off!) and an exclusive interview with joint author Chris Thorogood.

BSBI News: April issue is out

The latest issue of BSBI News, our members-only newsletter has been posted to our >3K members and an electronic version is now available to view or download on the password-protected members' area of this website. Watch this space for the latest sampler issue - it will be available to everyone free of charge - coming soon!

BSBI appoints its first ever CEO

BSBI is delighted to announce the appointment of Julia Hanmer as our new CEO. Julia took up her post on 6th April and has hit the ground running: meeting with trustees, holding 1:1 meetings with all staff and being interviewed for BSBI's News & Views blog.

Prestigious award for BSBI County Recorder

Brian Ballinger, BSBI County Recorder for Easter Ross, has been awarded the Dr Patrick McNeill Memorial Award by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society in recognition of his contribution to Scottish botany. Find out more here.

Bluebell paper

As Bluebell season gets underway, this paper by BSBI member George Garnett et al. may be of interest: The complete plastome of Hyacinthoides non-scripta (L.) Chouard ex Rothm. (Asparagaceae)

Bookings open for NFBR Conference

This year's NFBR conference, titled 'Outside the Honeypot: wildlife recording in the urban world' takes place via Zoom 6th-7th May. Speakers include Jodey Peyton, Chair of BSBI Events & Comms committee, on 'Working with housing associations to improve biodiversity' and BSBI member Sam Thomas on 'The Urban Nature Project at the Natural History Museum'; Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, Plant Alert co-ordinator, will lead a workshop on 'Urban species mixes and botanical recording'. Book here.

New BSBI Fundraising Manager

Read an interview with Sarah Woods, BSBI's new Fundraising Manager

NPMS Ecological Modeller

A post is advertised for an ecological modeller to work on data analysis for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme. Details here. Deadline 31st March.

Ash dieback paper

Interesting new paper: 'Mycobiome of Fraxinus excelsior With Different Phenotypic Susceptibility to Ash Dieback'

BSBI eNewsletter for BSBI members and supporters!

The fourth (March) issue of our new mid-monthly eNewsletter has been published, with updates on BSBI projects, activities, fundraising, news & events. It's free, it's electronic and all you need to do to receive it is to opt in here. More than 1,200 members and supporters have already subscribed - have you?

Historical trends in herbarium specimens could cause misleading observations

Interesting paper published in Annals of Botany here, and there's a blogpost summarising the findings here.

Job opportunities for botanists

Posts being advertised for a UK Conservation Projects Officer at RBG Kew's Millenium Seed Bank and as a Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Plantlife.

Dune helleborine added to Irish flora

A new paper reports on a confirmed occurrence of Epipactis dunensis in Ireland. 

British & Irish Botany

The latest issue of our scientific journal has been published: here's a summary of the seven papers and here's the full issue - online and open access.

Rare plant re-introductions: good or bad?

This blogpost, written by journalist Amanda Tuke for Mark Avery's blog, gives a balanced view of the pros and cons of rare plant re-introductions.

Useful diagram

This handy diagram, produced by the OU/ Floodplain Meadows Partnership, shows roots and shoots of some meadow plants - a handy teaching aid.

BSBI News: latest issue published

Read about the latest issue here of BSBI News, our members-only newsletter.

Using a handlens

Here's a useful short video demonstrating to beginner botanists how to use a handlens. Many thanks to Arthur Chater and Fay Newbery for this link!

BSBI Handbook no.21 published

The Monograph of British and Irish Hieracium section Foliosa and section Prenanthoidea by Tim Rich & David McCosh, is published this month. This latest addition to the series of BSBI Handbooks will retail for £30 but BSBI members can benefit from a special offer and pay only £21 (excl. P&P). More info here.

Tackling the roots of plant blindness

The British Ecological Society are hosting an event bringing together experts to discuss plant blindness, its implications and how to tackle it. Details and a registration link here.

BSBI News: January issue published

Take a peek at this summary of the contents here and watch out for the sample issue coming soon on this page!

New Year Plant Hunt

An analysis of the 2021 New Year Plant Hunt results has been carried out and is now available to download from the New Year Plant Hunt webpage which also has links to the press release and a summary of media success so far.

Online conference on reforestation

RBG Kew and BGCI are organising a joint conference on Reforestation for Biodiversity, Carbon Capture and Livelihoods online conference. It runs from 24th to 26th February, is free to attend and you can register here.

We're hiring!

Could you drive the BSBI forward as our first ever Chief Executive Officer? Find out more about the role, download a Recruitment Pack and then apply: Deadline is 7th February.

Job opportunities for botanists

The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology are advertising for ten seasonal field surveyors with botanical ID skills. More info here. Deadline 29th January.

Fern ID course now available to non-members

We've made our very popular fern ID course, taught by Josh Styles, available to non-members and it's still at the bargain price of £5 per person! More info and a booking link here.

New Year Plant Hunt 2021: highest ever number of records submitted

More than 21,000 records were submitted as part of this year's New Year Plant Hunt, compared to fewer than 15,000 in 2020 and 2019. A full analysis of the results will be published later this month.

BSBI grant applications open for 2021

Applications for BSBI Training Grants, Plant Study Grants and Science & Research Grants for 2021 opened on 1st January: more information here.

Impact of sheep-grazing on upland plant communities

A new paper by Alday et al. considers the 'Effects of long-term removal of sheep-grazing in a series of British upland plant communities: Insights from plant species composition and traits'. It's paywalled but even if you don't have access to the full paper, the abstract is still worth a look.

Two BSBI botanists in New Years Honours List

Congratulations to two long-standing BSBI members whose contributions to botany/ ecology/ nature conservation are recognised by awards in the New Years Honours list. Oxfordshire botanist Dr Judy Webb is awarded the British Empire Medal, while Dr Steph Tyler, Chair of the Committee for Wales and joint County Recorder for Monmouthshire, is awarded OBE. Warmest congratulations to both of these inspirational women from everyone at BSBI!

New Year Plant Hunt featured in BBC Wildlife online

A post published here spreads the word to new audiences about the New Year Plant Hunt which runs from 1st to 4th January.

Landmark account of Large-leaved Lime published

Donald Piggott's account of Tilia platyphyllos has been published in the Biological Flora of the British Isles.

New Year Plant Hunt in the media

A nice article by Helena Horton in The Telegraph on 9th December featured BSBI and the New Year Plant Hunt. The Hunt is going ahead between 1st and 4th January 2021 but it's essential that you stay Covid-safe: find out how.

British & Irish Botany: issue 2.4 published

The latest issue of British & Irish Botany, BSBI's free, online, Open Access scientific journal has been published. Find out about the authors and their papers here on our News blog or go straight to the new issue and start reading.

Interesting Open Access paper

Jessica Hamilton, convenor of the BSBI Kerry group, is co-author on a recent paper titled 'Engaging and empowering people in biodiversity conservation: lessons from practice'. 

BSBI Exhibition Meeting

Our first ever virtual Exhibition Meeting took place on Saturday 21st November but don't worry if you missed it or wish you could enjoy it all over again! We had a great programme of talks and we recorded them all so you can watch them on the AEM playlist on our BSBI YouTube channel. We also recorded the 1-hour panel discussion about wildflower seed-mixes and you can still view the 37 exhibits - they are virtual too, so lots of links to click!

Scottish Botanists' Conference 2020

Our first ever virtual Scottish Botanists' Conference (SBC) was a great success and attracted a record number of attendees. You've missed the live event (it was held on 31st October-1st November 2020) but you can still view the exhibits, browse the entries in the BSBI Photographic Competition and catch up with many of the talks, which we recorded and are uploading to this SBC playlist on the BSBI YouTube channel.

BSBI is recruiting!

Do you have the skills and experience to be our first ever Fundraising Manager? Find out more here and then download the Job Description and Person Specification.

UK Biodiversity Indicator includes plants for the first time!

The new plant indicator is based on data collected by c1500 volunteers during the first five years of the National Plant Monitoring Scheme in which BSBI is a partner. Find out more here.

New resources for botanists working on grasslands

Free, downloadable pdf resources around four grassland habitats are available on our Irish Grasslands Project page, where you will also find links to videos and slides from five webinars on grass ID.

Discovery of Europe's rarest fern is causing a stir!

In the August issue of British & Irish Botany we published a paper on the discovery of Europe's rarest and tiniest fern whose nearest relatives occur in the tropical cloud-forest. Read the paper here, the press release on our media page and then see how Patrick Barkham covered the story in The Guardian. The find is also covered on the RTE website here and many other media outlets have picked up on the story and interviewed the fern's finder, BSBI County Recorder Dr Rory Hodd.

Autumn membership offer now open

Our special offer is now open: join BSBI now for 2021 and your membership starts at once, so you could enjoy 15 months of benefits for the price of 12. Find out more about those benefits here.

State of the World's Plants & Fungi 2020: report published

BSBI's Science Team contributed to the research underpinning the report, which they also co-authored: find out more here.

Britain's Orchids: new book uses BSBI maps

BSBI members can benefit from a 30% discount on this new book which features BSBI maps throughout. Find out more here and read our interview with author Mike Waller.

BSBI News published

The September issue of our membership newsletter BSBI Newshas been published and mailed out to our >3000 members. If you are not yet a member, you can read about what's in this issue; you can also view or download a sample issue and this free full article, a review of wildflower ID books.

BSBI Strategy 2021-4 published

BSBI's new strategic plan has been published: find out more here.

British & Irish Botany: issue 2.3 published

The latest issue of British & Irish Botany, BSBI's free, online, Open Access scientific journal has been published. Find out about the authors and their papers here on our News blog or go straight to the new issue and start reading.

Learn how to ID aquatic plants and charophytes

Free training courses on 5th and 12th September. Find out more and register here.

Road verges and native plants

Interesting opinion piece by BSBI member Josh Styles about road verges and native plants. July's Wildflower of the Month blogpost by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker also focuses on the importance of protected road verges for threatened plants such as Sulphur Clover.

National research project

The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the British Science Association have asked BSBI botanists based in Britain to take part in a citizen science research project they are running with Derby University. The aim is to discover more about how our well-being is affected by noticing and connecting with nature. To find out more and to take part, please visit ‘Nature up close and personal’.

Field meetings cancelled but indoor events go virtual

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, BSBI Trustees have taken the difficult decision to cancel all the remaining field meetings for 2020. We are currently looking at how the Annual Exhibition Meeting and the Scottish Botanists' Conference can go ahead as virtual (online only) meetings. Watch this space!

Guest editors sought!

The Royal Society invites botanists to consider guest-editing a theme issue of Philosophical Transactions B. You can read about the experience of former Guest Editors and download the flyer. If interested, please contact Commissioning Editor Helen Eaton, with your ideas.

Fern ID: new webpage and online course

Our new fern ID page has some useful links and if you missed the recent subscription-only fern ID course by Josh Styles, you'll find an option on the page  to access a video recording of the course (BSBI members only, sorry).

BSBI video channel launched

Our new YouTube channel is now live, with in-house plant and habitat videos, training videos and playlists of short videos by BSBI members and partner organisations. We'll be adding more content in the coming months. Find out more here or go straight to the BSBI YouTube channel here.

Irish Grasslands Project launched

Our new Irish Grasslands Project has been launched thanks to funding from NPWS and CEDaR. Find out more and watch out for the free training sessions delivered online via Zoom and then uploaded to our new video channel!

Very sad news

We are very sorry to report that Trevor James, former editor of BSBI News, BSBI joint County Recorder for Hertfordshire, longstanding member of BSBI Publications Committee and a leading figure in British biological recording, has died. This tribute comes from Herts. Natural History Society. We'd like to extend condolences to Trevor's family and all his many friends and colleagues at this very sad time.

Sex and Silene

An interesting article about campions (Silene spp.) in New Phytologist, summarised here in a blogpost on the new Botanical Society of Scotland blog, which features many other notes of interest to botanists across Britain and Ireland.

BSBI in The Telegraph

An article about plant ID apps - based on the recent review for BSBI News by Hamlyn Jones - appeared in The Telegraph on 22nd May, thanks to journalist and BSBI member Ken Thompson; there's also an article about Plant Alert by Helena Horton , published on 1st June.

Plant Alert

If you're a gardener, you could help us find out more about plants which have the potential to become invasive in future. The aim of Plant Alert is to find tomorrow's Japanese knotweed or Himalayan balsam, today. Find out more.

English Botanical News: first issue published

The first issue of English Botanical News is out now and you can view or download your free copy from the England page or from the English Botanical News page where we will be storing all subsequent issues. Visit BSBI's periodicals page to find out more about BSBI News, British & Irish Botany, BSBI eNews and all four of our country newsletters.

British & Irish Botany: in print?

Although British & Irish Botany, our scientific journal, was always intended as an online publication, we have received enquiries from some readers who would be interested in having print copies of the journal. There is an option for individuals or institutions to receive a print version of the four issues which comprise Volume One (2019) of British & Irish Botany, bound and in a cover, for £25 plus P&P but we can only do this if enough people request this option. To express an interest, please email us at

BSBI and Covid-19

For the latest update (28th May) about BSBI's response to Covid-19, please visit this page. We also point you towards a range of botanical activities that can be undertaken without leaving your home.

Welsh Bulletin 2020 is published

The latest issue of the Welsh Bulletin is out now and you can view or download your free copy from the Wales page or from the Welsh Bulletin page where you will also find back copies since 1964.

Apps for plant ID

Read a review of the apps currently available which claim to be able to identify wild plants. The review was published in the April issue of BSBI News. You can also read an interview with reviewer Hamlyn Jones.

BSBI News: April issue published

The April issue of BSBI News, our thrice-yearly membership newsletter, has been published. Print copies have been posted to members, who can also opt to view or download an electronic version from the password-protected members-only area on this website. Contact us if you can't remember your password. Non-members can read about the contents here and can also view or download a sample issue.

Identifying dandelions

Our new Taraxacum page aims to help anyone wishing to identify the c250 species recorded in Britain and Ireland: it includes links to an online 'Introduction to Dandelions' ID course.

Reports from across Britain and Ireland

Annual Reports from BSBI's County Recorders in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales have been collated and are now available on the country pages.

Definitions: wild? native? alien?

Our new Definitions webpage aims to demystify terms such as native, alien, neophyte, weed... and explains how these terms are relevant to anyone taking part in the Garden Wildflower Hunt or using our Record-a-Plant form.

Stoneworts in Wales

A Red List of Welsh Stoneworts has been published, using data from BSBI and Natural Resources Wales.

Wildflower Seed Mixtures

This opinion piece, by BSBI Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker, considers the 'wildflower seed' mixtures increasingly favoured by municipal councils, and sets outs the pros and cons of this approach to seed sowing.

Irish Botanical News 2020 is published

The latest issue of Irish Botanical News is out now and you can view or download your free copy from the Ireland page or from the Irish Botanical News archive where you will also find back copies since 1993.


There's a new archaeophytes page on this website, with a table listing all the British archaeophytes (non-native plants introduced before AD1500), as recognised by various authorities.

Scottish Newsletter 2020 is published

The latest issue of the Scottish Newsletter is out now and you can view or download your free copy from the Scotland page or from the Scottish Newsletter page where you will also find back copies since 1979.

Garden Wildflower Hunt

BSBI's new initiative aims to to keep botanists entertained during lockdown and to help us find out more about the distribution, ecology and phenology of wild flowers ("weeds?") in our gardens. Find out how to take part in the Garden Wildflower Hunt and then click through to the app and start recording the wild plants in your garden.

Stuck at home and feeling restless?

While we are all at home following the guidance on Covid-19/ Coronavirus, BSBI can offer lots of ideas and activities to keep botanists entertained and connected with the botanical community! As well as the Garden Wildflower Hunt, you will find some more suggestions on our Activities 2020 page.

Ragwort Study Project

Read about the launch of a new study project to look at the involucres of ragworts Senecio and Jacobaea; find out how you can contribute right now from your own back garden.

Illustrations of Alien Plants

Our new Illustrations of Alien Plants page should help you track down illustrations of 2000+ alien plant species by scientific or common name.

Status & ecology of Scots Pine in Ireland

Interesting paper by Jenni Roche in Irish Forestry Journal: 'Recent findings on the native status and vegetation ecology of Scots pine in Ireland and their implications for forestry policy and management'.

BSBI Handbook #20 coming soon

Our latest BSBI Handbook is due out in April 2020. Find out more about Hawkweeds of south-east England and place your order here at a discount price, saving you £9.50 compared to RRP. Offer ends 31st May.

BSBI and Covid-19

18th March: Following guidance from UK and Irish Governments, BSBI's public programmes have been cancelled until the end of May. For more information, please visit this page:

Roadside vegetation management and plant diversity

This paper has been around since 2018 but it's Open Access and there's some interesting stuff in there: 'How does roadside vegetation management affect the diversity of vascular plants and invertebrates? A systematic review'. On a similar subject but bang up-to-date, this blogpost by Martin Allen reports from the recent conference on 'The importance for wildlife of our roadside verges'.

British & Irish Botany: latest issue published

Volume 2 issue 1 of British & Irish Botany has just been published. Read about the articles and authors featured in this issue here on our News blog, along with comments from Editor-in-Chief Dr Ian Denholm. Or go straight to the B&IB website and start reading the latest issue:

BSBI mentioned on BBC Countryfile

BSBI and the Wild Flower Hour initiative were name-checked on BBC Countryfile last night. Catch the feature on iPlayer here (starts c8 minutes in) and read an interview here with BSBI member Rebecca Wheeler, the woman behind Wild Flower Hour's recent success.

Wildlife losses and gains

A new paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution by Charlie Outhwaite et al. focuses on wildlife gains and losses; tribute is paid to volunteer biological recorders,  citizen science and recording schemes including BSBI. The paper is behind a paywall but there is a summary here by Damian Carrington in The Guardian.

Gigi Crompton 1923-2020

We are sorry to report the sad news that Gigi Crompton, Cambridgeshire botanist and long-term/ honorary BSBI member, has died. An obituary by Cambridgeshire County Recorder Alan Leslie will be published in a forthcoming issue of BSBI News; an obituary has already appeared in The Guardian.

New Year Plant Hunt in the media

Coverage of this year's Hunt includes a feature by Joe Shute in The Telegraph and an article by Michael Viney in the Irish Times.

New Year Plant Hunt

Our eighth New Year Plant Hunt ran from 1st to 4th January 2020. Click here for an analysis of the results by BSBI Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker and here to read the press release

BSBI County Recorder in New Year’s Honours List

Trevor James, longterm BSBI County Recorder for Hertfordshire, member of BSBI Publications Committee and Receiving Editor for BSBI News 2008-17, has been awarded the British Empire Medal in recognition of his service to nature conservation. Here’s the report in Trevor’s local newspaper. Congratulations to Trevor from everyone at BSBI!

Non-native plants can provide habitats for a variety of British insects

Some interesting new research from the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology: read about it here.

BSBI addresses plant ID skills gap in ecological consultancy

A new paper 'Plants in Practice' argues that the importance of plants is not sufficiently reflected in the professional practice of ecological consultants and looks at how BSBI might help address the plant ID skills gap. Authors are BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker, BSBI County Recorder for Oxfordshire David Morris, BSBI committee members Jo Parmenter, Jonathan Mitchley and Oli Pescott, and Nicola Hutchinson, Director of Conservation Programmes at Plantlife. View the paper in full here.

The inconstant sex of annual mercury

This post on the Botany One website summarises a fascinating new paper about Mercurialis annua. Subscribe to Botany One's weekly email for a round-up of all the latest botanical news from across the world.

The paper everyone is talking about

Across the media in recent days, people have been talking about this paper: 'World's largest plant survey reveals alarming extinction rate'

Interesting new paper

'Grazing exclusion and vegetation change in an upland grassland with patches of tall herbs' by Sarah H. Watts et al. has been published in Applied Vegetation Science. Find it here.

New paper about Dwarf Birch (Betula nana)

The open access paper 'Genetic diversity maintained among fragmented populations of a tree undergoing range contraction' by J.S. Borrell, N. Wang, R.A. Nichols & R.J.A. Buggs, can be read in full here.

New paper in Nature co-authored by Kevin Walker

A new paper 'Extinction risk from climate change is reduced by microclimatic buffering' has been published in Nature, co-authored by Kevin Walker.

Article in Nature on 'The lost art of looking at plants'

An article published in Nature earlier this year argues that "advances in genomics and imaging are reviving a fading discipline" - read the article here and see if you agree!

BSBI Head of Science co-authors paper on open data

Kevin Walker, BSBI Head of Science, is a co-author on 'Overcoming the challenges of public data archiving for citizen science biodiversity recording and monitoring schemes' published this month in the Journal of Applied Ecology. A bit more info about the paper here.

Paper on potentially invasive garden plants

Published in Biological Invasions: 'Working with gardeners to identify potential invasive ornamental garden plants: testing a citizen science approach' by Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz & Judith Conroy. BSBI botanists participated in the survey and are thanked in the acknowledgements.

Paper on the plants of hay-meadows

Published on 22nd May in Folia Geobotanica: 'Long-term hay meadow management maintains the target community despite local-scale species turnover' by Elizabeth Sullivan, Ian Powell & Paul Ashton (Chair of BSBI's Training Committee). Read the full paper here.

New paper on change in Scottish grasslands

Read 'Decline in atmospheric sulphur deposition and changes in climate are the major drivers of long-term change in grassland plant communities in Scotland' by Ruth Mitchell et al. in full here (no subscription needed).

High impact paper on emerging alien species uses BSBI data

A paper co-authored by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker and David Pearman titled 'Global rise in emerging alien species results from increased accessibility of new source pools' is published today 8th February in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. It uses BSBI data which also appear in David's recent 'first dates' book; access the paper here (subscription required) and there is a note about the paper on the IUCN News website here.

New paper on Seed bank dynamics in restored grassland

Just published: 'Seed bank dynamics in restored grassland following the sowing of high- and low-diversity seed mixtures' by Markus Wagner, Kevin Walker (BSBI Head of Science) & Richard Pywell. More here.

Poster of flowering plants showing relationships between families

This poster is proving very popular on social media and looks like an excellent educational tool.

New paper on Field Fleawort as an indicator species

A paper has just been published on 'Longterm changes in lowland calcareous grassland plots using  Tephroseris integrifolia subsp. integrifolia as an indicator species'. Authored by BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh and BSBI members Oli Pescott and Owen Mountford, you can download the full paper free of charge here.

New paper on alien taxa

BSBI Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker has co-authored a new paper titled 'Risk management to prioritise the eradication of new and emerging invasive non-native species'. Click here to download the paper, published in the August issue of Biological Invasions.

How will climate change affect our wild flowers?

BSBI's Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker is a co-author on a newly published paper in the journal Biological Conservation which assesses the impact of climate change on the distribution of over 3,000 British plants and animals across 17 taxonomic groups. Click here to download the paper in full.

Vegetation monitoring

Click here to download 'Long-term vegetation monitoring in Great Britain - the Countryside Survey 1978-2007 and beyond'.

Garden plants and invasive species

In 2015, BSBI members contributed to a survey aimed at trying to identify garden plants likely to become invasive in future. The authors have now published a paper based on the data collected. You can read 'Integrating invasive species policies across ornamental horticulture supply chains to prevent plant invasions' in full by clicking here.

Are Beech trees native to Scotland?

According to researchers at the University of Stirling - yes they are! More here or go straight to the abstract. The full paper appears in the latest issue of Journal of Biogeography.

New paper on change in Scottish grassland vegetation

Click here to see the abstract of 'Forty years of change in Scottish grassland vegetation: Increased richness, decreased diversity and increased dominance' by Mitchell et al. newly published in Biological Conservation.

New paper in Nature using BSBI data

BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker is a co-author on a paper published in the latest issue of Nature. Kevin tells us the paper is "based partly on David Pearman's first records database". The paper is titled 'No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide' and you can download it here.

Vegetative Guide to British Orchids

Mike Waller's 'Beginner's vegetative guide to orchids of the British Isles' has now been published and can be downloaded free of charge here.

New paper on food for pollinators

Hicks et al.: Quantifying the Nectar and Pollen Resources of Urban Flower Meadows is available here and it's Open Access.

Interesting new paper by BSBI member

Click here to read 'A systematic florula of a disturbed urban habitat: Pavements of Sheffield, England' by Oli Pescott.

New service launched

CEH has just launched a new service for assessing the risk of the presence of  Japanese Knotweed. This new service is based in large part on data collected by BSBI members. Find out more here.

Interesting paper...

Markus Wagner (CEH) et al.: Cereal density and N-fertiliser effects on the flora and biodiversity value of arable headlands. More here.

J.P. Grime: Scaling up to Communities and Ecosystems

A commentary by J.P. Grime is available here on the Journal of Ecology blog on a set of papers (1965-2007) from the Journal of Ecology reproduced online in December 2013.

Plant species richness is increasing - according to long-term environmental studies

UK Environmental Change Network has published the results of studies carried out over the past twenty years. More here.

Preliminary findings from the Orchid Observers project

Read the results so far: they are here on the Natural History Museum blog.

Arable wild flower App launched

CEH has launched an App to help farmers and landowners identify and record their arable wild flowers. More info here.

New technical handbook on floodplain meadows

Now available to download from the Floodplain Meadows Partnership.

Are agricultural management and climatic change the major drivers of biodiversity change in the UK?

A recent Open Access paper in PLOS ONE titled 'Agricultural Management and Climatic Change Are the Major Drivers of Biodiversity Change in the UK' is available in full here. The paper is co-authored by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker and BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh.

Angiosperm Phylogeny Group

An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV was published on 24 March 2016. Early View access has now ended but the paper is available on pay-to-view here.

The Robert Pocock Herbarium Project

Robert Pocock was Gravesend's first local historian, printer, creator of its first public library and botanist. In the early 1800's he began a collection of local plants for his herbarium or dried plant collection. Long after his death, the herbarium was donated to the Natural History Museum in London. The herbarium sheets are still there, amongst many thousands of others, effectively 'lost' to us for 200 years! The aim of the project is to find this unique record of Gravesend's botanical heritage and make images of the plant specimens available to us all. To date we have found over 180 specimen sheets.

Follow our progress at and on our Facebook page See images of the plants on Facebook and Flickr (links are on the website, or search for Robert Pocock Herbarium).

Nottingham Catchfly (Silene nutans) photographed by Gus Routledge at St Cyrus NR #wildflowerhour June 2017 Download the Species Account for Silene nutans here.

Heath Speedwell photographed by Jane Rock for #wildflowerhour June 2017

Marsh Helleborine photographed by Dave Steere #wildflowerhour June 2017

Rowan berries and flowers, photographed in Edinburgh, August 2017. Image: Janet Wyllie.

Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris ) - frosted but flowering #wildflowerhour

Image by James Faulconbridge

Harebell (Scottish Bluebell) in bloom at Striding Edge, Lake District, 23/7/2016. Image: Alistair Whyte 

Dwarf Succisa pratensis in two colours, on coastal heath in Mayo. #wildflowerhour 21/8/2016 Image: Rory Hodd 

Sea Campion Photographed on Sidmouth beach 4/12/2016 by Karen Woolley

Pipewort on Skye, August 2016. Image courtesy of Simon Harrap.

Thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) in flower. Image: Timothy Body

Carex magellanica in Tyrone, shared via #wildflowerhour 21/8/2016 Image: Rory Hodd. Near Threatened in England.  

Sea Clover (Trifolium squamosum) Portland Dorset 22/6/16. Image: Karen Woolley 

Bog Asphodel in South Wales, 22/6/2016. Image: Dave Steere 

Sow-thistle 'clock' November 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: Mike Robinson 

Hybrid goosefoot Atriplex prostrata x glabriuscula spotted at Arnside by BSBI member Howard Beck, October 2019. New for Cumbria

Bell heather and cowberry cling to a rock face on Iona. Spotted by @mclaverock for #wildflowerhour August 2018

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Pyramidal orchid spotted June 2018 at Godrevy, Cornwall by ecologist David Matheson

Hawthorn photographed by Geraldine Murray, May 2018

Dwarf Spurge photographed at Saltmills, Co. Wexford 12th November 2017 for #wildflowerhour. Previous tetrad record was in 1888. Image: Paula O'Meara

Bristly Ox-tongue photographed for #wildflowerhour in Kent, November 2017. Image: David B. Burbridge

News from the Science Team

*NEW* Kevin Walker co-authored a paper just published in Nature. Click on the link to read it in full: 'Extinction risk from climate change is reduced by microclimatic buffering'.

Kevin Walker and Pete Stroh have been on the Isle of Colonsay recording towards a new Flora of the island Read about their visit here.

Kevin Walker is a co-author on 'Overcoming the challenges of public data archiving for citizen science biodiversity recording and monitoring schemes' published this month in the Journal of Applied Ecology. A bit more info about the paper here.

Kevin Walker is quoted in an article published today (14th May) by Roger Harrabin for BBC Science News, about the impacts of nitrogen deposition and over-zealous cutting on plant assemblages found on roadside verges. There is also an article in The Telegraph which uses the same quote from Kevin.

Kevin Walker co-authored a high impact paper titled 'Global rise in emerging alien species results from increased accessibility of new source pools' published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. It uses BSBI data which also appear in David Pearman's recent 'first dates' book; access the paper here (subscription required) and there is a note about the paper on the IUCN News website here.

Kevin Walker also co-authored a paper 'Seed bank dynamics in restored grassland following the sowing of high- and low-diversity seed mixtures'. More here.

Pete Stroh co-authored a paper on Field Fleawort as an indicator species for longterm changes in lowland calcareous grassland plots. You can download the full paper free of charge here.

Kevin Walker co-authored a paper titled 'Risk management to prioritise the eradication of new and emerging invasive non-native species'. Click here to download the paper, published in the August issue of Biological Invasions.

Pete Stroh is writing eight new Species Accounts - he has just completed Orobanche reticulata and is "currently drafting Medicago minima".

Kevin Walker is revising a paper on threatened species on SSSIs for Biological Conservation (assisted by Pete) and "completing a paper on analysis of traits of threatened grassland species".

Pete Stroh has been "editing and formatting completed species accounts for Natural Resources Wales and Natural England for a future Scarce Grasslands book". He also liaised with County Recorders across England over their Annual Reports for 2016.

Kevin Walker says he's been "commenting on BTO papers, one on open data access and one on the risks and benefits of climate change for British wildlife (analysis of 17 groups including vascular plants). The full report is available here and the paper should be published later in 2017 all being well".

Pete Stroh is "editing and formatting completed species accounts for Natural Resources Wales and Natural England for a future book on Scarce Grasslands".

Kevin Walker and Pete Stroh are finalising the Introduction to their book about the Threatened Plants Project, which is "in an advanced stage of preparation".

Kevin Walker starts working on a preliminary analysis of New Year Plant Hunt records on 10th January. 

Pete Stroh's first task in January is liaising with County Recorders in England over Annual Reports for 2016.

Kevin Walker has been researching current distribution of Hydrocotyle ranunculoides as "it seems to be exploding due to a run of mild winters". More here.

Pete Stroh has completed the latest batch of Species Accounts and they can be downloaded here.

Kevin says: "I've been completing assessment of impacts for 14 invasive plants as part of the Non-Native Species Secretariat workshop. I'm also working on introductory analyses and chapters for the Threatened Plants Book".

Kevin Walker tells us what he's working on this month and Pete Stroh talks about surveying for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme and collecting seed for the Millenium Seed Bank.

Kevin & Pete: "Are you interested in the results of the Threatened Plants Project? We have now completed all the accounts and are editing them for publication!"

Pete Stroh says: "I've a small project with CUBG investigating the soil seed longevity of Iberis amara. More here on the BSBI Science page."

Kevin Walker says:" "I'm currently working on a paper outlining the development of the NPMS including how we chose the habitats, species, methods, etc. As part of this I've had to summarise all semi-natural habitats covered in one table. Quite a feat!"

Mudwort photographed for #wildflowerhour in Dorset, September 2017, by Karen Woolley.

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Greater Knapweed photographed for #wildflowerhour in Fife, August 2017 by Heather Kelly

Bearberry (on left) & Alpine Bearberry #wildflowerhour June 2017. Image: Andy Amphlett, County Recorder for Banffshire

Scarlet Pimpernel photographed by Zach Haynes at Nosterfield Nature Reserve in North Yorkshire for  #wildflowerhour 30/4/2017.  Zach is also BBC Wildlife Magazine's Junior Blogger of the Year.

Corn salad (Valerianella sp.) photographed in Cornwall by Kevin Thomas for #wildflowerhour 23/4/2017.

White form of Common stork's-bill blooming in Devon November 2016 #wildflowerhour Image by Karen Woolley

Self-heal close-up November 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: J. Lyon 

Butcher's Broom in flower November 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: Kate Gold 

Cowberry flowering in the Cairngorms, October 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: Karen Woolley

Sporophyte (above) and gametophyte (below) of Killarney Fern, Trichomanes speciosum. Found at a new site (a secret location in West Cork) during the #CorkRecordingEvent. September 2016. Images courtesy of R. Hodd.

Cornish Moneywort flowering in Somerset September 2016 #wildflowerhour Download the Species Account here. Image: Karen Woolley.

Ray's Knotgrass seen 21/8/2016 in Devon. Image: Karen Woolley 

Norwegian Mugwort on Cul Mor, Wester Ross. August 2016  #wildflowerhour Image: Simon Harrap

Mountain avens in fruit, Durness, August 2016 #wildflowerhour Image: Ian Andrews. Download the Species Account here

Basil thyme (Clinopodium acinos) in the Avon Gorge #wildflowerhour 19th June 2016. Download the Species Account here. Image: David Hawkins.

Tory Island, one of the locations for Ireland's first ever Five Island BioBlitz, June 2016.  Image: Oisin Duffy