Field meetings and indoor events

On this page you can find out more about the national field meetings and indoor botanical events scheduled for the year ahead across Britain & Ireland. Use the facilities below to search by month, by county or by country, and to find the kind of meeting or event that's right for you. Click on any entry in the list to expand the box and find out more. There's a searchable link (icon bottom left of each box) for each event that you can send to friends and colleagues or share on social media. Don't forget to also check out what's happening in your local area by visiting the Local Botany page and clicking through to your county.

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Gorumna Island, Connemara

West Galway 17th June 2023
general
led by
John Conaghan

A number of locations on Gorumna Island in south Connemara will be visited. The area contains a wide variety of botanically interesting habitats including dry heath, oligotrophic lake and coastal grassland. Sites for a number of rarer species such as Viola lactea (Pale Dog-violet), Crambe maritima (Sea-kale) and Anacamptis morio (Green-winged Orchid) are known from the island and will be revisited.

Meet: Gorumna Island (Grid ref. L890263). Specific meeting point to be arranged. Gortumna Island is connected to the mainland of Co. Galway via a bridge connecting it to Lettermore Island.

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Plant Families Workshop, Holyrood Park Education Centre, Edinburgh

Midlothian 18th June 2023
beginners
led by
Aileen Meek

The Plant Families workshops are suitable for anyone who can tell a buttercup from a daisy but wants to learn more about plant identification within a structured framework. There will be a mix of classwork, small groups with expert tutors, and fieldwork, following the principle of 'finding the family first'. This is a tried and tested way of getting to grips with ID instead of just playing 'snap' with a field guide or wading through incomprehensible keys. A copy of the booklet on which the course is based – Pocket Guide to Wildflower Families by Faith Anstey – will be included in the charge for the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, register to attend here.

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Deep Dale Plantlife Nature Reserve, Sheldon

Derbyshire 24th June 2023
recording general
led by
Andrew Kearsey (Nature Reserves Manager for Plantlife), Elizabeth Cooke

Deep Dale nature reserve comprises a range of vegetation types, most notably calcareous grassland along the steep north-west facing bank along the side of the dale. Historical lead mining has given rise to small areas of calaminarian grassland. The reserve also contains Hazel dominated woodland, several areas of Hawthorn scrub, the location of a Romano-British village and some areas of more neutral grasslands. Species of note likely to be found during the visit include: Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine), Rubus saxatilis (Stone Bramble), Galium sterneri (Limestone Bedstraw), Sabulina [Minuartia] verna (Spring Sandwort), Viola lutea (Mountain Pansy), Saxifraga hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage) and Saxifraga granulata (Meadow Saxifrage).

Access to the reserve from the public car park is along roughly 400 m of footpath which is rocky in places and features one stile within the reserve boundary wall. The reserve is open access so it can be explored at will. There is a pay and display car park, that is cars/motorcycles only and a day ticket is currently £4.75. There are toilets available. All standards of botanists welcome, including beginners. Numbers may be limited.

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John Muir Country Park, West Barns, Dunbar

East Lothian 24th June 2023
general
led by
Marion Moir, Caspian Richards

The meeting will visit the coastal flora in the dunes, as well as the salt marshes with sedges. We shall also look at the special grasses that grow in the area. These include Festuca arenaria (Rush-leaved Fescue), Parapholis strigosa (Hard-grass), Brachypodium pinnatum (Heath False-brome) and Corynephorus canescens (Grey Hair-grass).

Meet at Linkfield Car Park NT651786 at 10:00 am with packed lunch and equipped for a day in the field. Parking charge is £2.50. Follow signs off the A1087 Dunbar.

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Glenbower Woods, Killeagh

East Cork 24th June 2023
general training
led by
Paul Green, Edwina Cole

This is a training meeting to learn tree identification. The wood has many paths and a good mixture of habitat. There is a large variety of trees to be found in the wood, as well as the native species, there is a large number of planted non-native trees.

Meet at Glenbower Woods car park (X00097734) at 11:00 am. Booking is essential as numbers will be limited.

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Crohy Head

West Donegal 24th – 25th June 2023
recording general
led by
Ralph Sheppard, Robert Northridge

The Crohy Head area is one of the most remote and least developed parts of the Donegal coastline as well as being one of the most scenic. We hope to see Ajuga pyramidalis (Pyramidal Bugle), albeit out of season. Several small lakes need exploring; Eriocaulon septangulare (Pipewort) and Isoetes lacustris (Quillwort) have been found, and pondweed records are required for the area. The lagoon at Maghery is known for its charophytes and for both species of Ruppia (Tasselweed). The extensive dry heath, with characteristic Juniperus communis (Juniper) and Empetrum nigrum (Crowberry) also has many scarcer species; Diphasiastrum alpinum (Alpine Clubmoss) was seen in 1965. We will explore from Terman and Maghery in the north, to Falchorrib and Trawenagh Bay in the south.

Meet each day at the south end of Maghery Strand (B715090), at 10:30. There is plenty of accommodation between there and Dungloe (B7611), but it would be wise to book early. There are trails we can follow, but be prepared for some rough, heathery ground.

When contacting Ralph to book, please give your email address and phone number in case we need to contact you on the days of the field trip.

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Rubus Weekend

Hertfordshire 30th June – 2nd July 2023
specialised
led by
Astrid Biddle, David Earl, Rob Randall

We will explore parts of Hertfordshire and Middlesex with a view to adding to our knowledge of the distribution of Rubus (Bramble) species in these vice counties

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Introduction to Bramble Identification, Maybole

Ayrshire 1st July 2023
specialised
led by
Angus Hannah

Brambles form an important element of our flora, which many botanists are reluctant to investigate in detail. This meeting offers an introduction to bramble identification for anybody who has yet to embark on a personal exploration of, or feels in need of basic revision about, this fascinating group of plants. In the indoor morning session we will work through the characters needed to identify a specimen and in the afternoon try out our new skills on some local bushes.

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Plant Families Workshop, Dulnain Bridge

Moray 1st July 2023
beginners
led by
Aileen Meek

The Plant Families workshops are suitable for anyone who can tell a buttercup from a daisy but wants to learn more about plant identification within a structured framework. There will be a mix of classwork, small groups with expert tutors, and fieldwork, following the principle of 'finding the family first'. This is a tried and tested way of getting to grips with ID instead of just playing 'snap' with a field guide or wading through incomprehensible keys. A copy of the booklet on which the course is based – Pocket Guide to Wildflower Families by Faith Anstey – will be included in the charge for the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, register to attend here.

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Derrycassin Woods and surroundings

Co. Longford 8th July 2023
general
led by
Ciaran Bruton

This trip will visit Derrycassin woods and surrounding habitats including a disused quarry, quite lanes and lake shoreline. There are also some boggy habitats with cutover bog present. Derrycassin Woods is in North-east Longford adjacent to Lough Gamhina. It is an amenity woodland with some mature conifers and other woodland habitats. This trip will be suitable for everyone.

Meet at the football pitch adjacent to Derrycassin Woods (N311859) at 11:00 am.

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Bramble Recording Weekend, Maybole

Ayrshire 8th – 9th July 2023
specialised
led by
Angus Hannah

Following on from the training day held on the previous Saturday, this meeting is for people with some knowledge of bramble identification who are willing to assist to record brambles in the area, which historically has not been well covered. The meeting will probably begin informally on the Friday (7th July) and can be extended into Monday if anyone is keen to do so. Additional specimens from around the Clyde area will be available for inspection/identification.

Booking is essential and numbers are strictly limited. Participants will need to organise their own accommodation and early booking is advised.

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Glynhir Recording Week (Residential)

Carmarthenshire 10th – 17th July 2023
recording general training
led by
Kath & Richard Pryce

The week-long annual Carmarthenshire Recording and Monitoring Meeting will include visits to sites around the county. The meeting will cater for both experienced and less proficient botanists and will provide an opportunity for the informal development of identification skills. Arrangements will be flexible, some days the group may stay as one body, other days smaller groups will visit different sites to monitor rare or scarce species or update grid squares not visited recently. Day outings will be tailored to individual needs to cover all fitness abilities.

Glynhir Mansion is located about 2 km east of Llandybie on the western flank of Mynydd Du (the Black Mountain) at SN640151. The River Llwchwr runs through the estate and at one point plunges over a 10 m waterfall into a humid, rocky gorge where Dryopteris aemula (Hay-scented Buckler-fern), Hymenophyllum tunbrigense (Tunbridge Filmy-fern) and Asplenium trichomanes subsp. trichomanes (Maidenhair Spleenwort) are among the ferns growing on the cliffs. There will be ample opportunity in the timetable to visit the site.  Large parkland trees provide the setting to the mansion, including Tilia cordata (Small-leaved Lime), and there remains much scope for further discoveries to be made in the vicinity.

The cost of the week from lunchtime on 10 July to breakfast on 17 July, including bed, breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals, will be approximately £600.00 and will be limited to about 15 participants. Accommodation for part of the week will be charged pro rata. A limited number of en suite rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis. Participants not requiring accommodation will also be welcome on a day to day basis. A 35% deposit will be required by Glynhir on booking. Initial bookings to Kath and Richard Pryce.

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Rubus recording weekend, Darlington

County Durham 14th – 16th July 2023
specialised
led by
David Earl

Based in the Darlington area, we will explore parts of County Durham and North Yorkshire (particularly along the wooded river valleys systems) with a view to adding to our knowledge of the distribution of Rubus species in the region of North-East England.

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Rufford Colliery

Nottinghamshire 15th July 2023
general
led by
Mark Woods, David Wood

Rufford Colliery is a vast area with a mosaic of habitats created by clearance of the colliery yards, railway lines and headstocks. A wide range of county rare and scarce species, England Red Data List species and rare neophytes have been recorded. We will be checking on some of the county rare species such as Euphorbia stricta (Upright Spurge), Carex arenaria (Sand Sedge) (only native site on Sherwood Sandstones), Omalotheca sylvatica [Gnaphalium sylvaticum] (Heath Cudweed), Lythrum portula (Water-purslane), Mentha pulegium (Pennyroyal) and Persicaria mitis (Tasteless Water-pepper), but also searching for new taxa. Extensive surveys have been carried out since the colliery closed, but new species are found on every visit. Botanists of all standards, including beginners, welcome. Numbers are likely to be restricted because of the site owners’ safety requirements.

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Ballycroy

West Mayo 15th July 2023
general
led by
Eoin McGreal

This trip will explore some of the habitats at Wild Nephin National Park. Some coastal habitats and blanket bog habitats will be explored close to the visitor centre at Ballycroy.

Meet at Ballycroy Visitor Centre Car Park (Grid ref 805098) at 10:00 am.

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Northern Fannichs, NH17/NH27

West Ross & Cromarty 15th – 16th July 2023
recording
led by
Duncan Donald

The plants in this area remain surprisingly poorly recorded, despite it having been visited by a steady stream of botanists since Druce’s first reports from Beinn Liath Bheag and Sgurr Mor c.1902. An issue in the past has been poor understanding of the boundary with v.c.106, so great care will be taken on this visit to record using accurate grid references. Targets for re-finds include Alchemilla glomerulans (Clustered Lady's-mantle), Athyrium distentifolium (Alpine Lady-fern), Carex atrata (Black Alpine-sedge), C. vaginata (Sheathed Sedge), Cerastium cerastoides (Starwort Mouse-ear), Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. alpina (Alpine Hair-grass), Juncus castaneus (Chestnut Rush) and Salix lapponum (Downy Willow); help from a Hieracium expert would be particularly welcome, since Archie Kenneth and others noted an impressive number of taxa in 1960-1990. Attendees need to be fit enough to walk up mountains. Attendees will be responsible for their own accommodation, options including camping or indoors at Aultguish Inn, Inchbae Hotel or, further afield, in Ullapool: early booking advisable.

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Monken Hadley Common

Middlesex 22nd July 2023
recording general
led by
Mark Spencer

This is the last remaining unenclosed part of the former Enfield Chase. On the very edge of modern Greater London, we will be aiming to record a range of species such as Achillea ptarmica (Sneezewort), Blitum bonus-henricus (Good King Henry), Calluna vulgaris (Heather), Danthonia decumbens (Heath-grass), Galium saxatile (Heath Bedstraw) and Hydrocotyle vulgaris (Marsh Pennywort) that are now increasingly rare in Middlesex.  This meeting is suitable for beginners and for more experienced botanists.

Joint with the London Natural History Society

Meet: at 11:00 am at the entrance to St Mary's Church, Hadley Green Road, Monken Hadley (TQ24989740).

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Grasses, Sedges and Rushes, Ben Lawers

Mid Perthshire 22nd July 2023
training
led by
Dan Watson, Faith Anstey

This meeting will provide field training in the identification of grasses, sedges and rushes and repeats the training event held previously at Ben Lawers. Although initially designed to consolidate the skills of attendees on BSBI Scotland workshops, past experience has shown that previous attendance at relevant workshops is not a prerequisite. Copies of the booklets Start to Identify Grasses and Start to Identify Sedges & Rushes are recommended and will be available for purchase on the day.

The meeting is joint with National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and is open to all members of BSBI, NTS and anyone else interested, whatever level they are at. After some revision on what to look for, we will split into those who want to go on up the hill (perhaps those with more experience of grasses etc) and those preferring to stay on lower ground (and/or perhaps needing more ID guidance). Places are limited, booking essential.

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Mugdock Country Park

Stirlingshire 23rd July 2023
beginners
led by
Matt Harding

This meeting will explore the varied flora of Mugdock Country Park and its surroundings, with an emphasis on learning, and we would particularly welcome anyone who has not been on a BSBI field meeting before. With a wide range of habitats present, including woodland, grassland, heathland, marshes and lochs, there should be many interesting plants to encounter, hopefully including species such as Platanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly-orchid) and Nuphar pumila (Least Water-lily). The Park has a good footpath network and excellent facilities, including cafes, toilets and even a garden centre for the horticulturally inclined. The Park is also accessible by public transport from Glasgow Queen Street (train then bus). Places are limited, so booking is essential.

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Grasses Workshop, Birnam

Mid Perthshire 29th July 2023
training
led by
Martin Robinson

This workshop aims to introduce identification of common grasses to beginners and improvers who already have a basic grasp of plant ID. There will be a mix of classroom study and fieldwork, much of it in small groups with expert tutors. The programme will be based on Start to Identify Grasses by Faith Anstey, a copy of which will be included in the cost of the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, register to attend here.

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Wales Annual Meeting & AGM, Gregynog Hall, Newtown

Montgomeryshire 2nd – 4th August 2023
general
led by
Kate Thorne

CANCELLED

The 2023 BSBI Wales Annual Meeting, exhibition and AGM together with the associated field excursions will be based at Gregynog Hall, near Newtown. The theme is wetlands - canal, floodplain, rivers, pools and upland bogs.  Accommodation will be in single-occupancy rooms with shared bathrooms.

A preliminary programme has been prepared that includes:

  • Field visits to local sites of botanical interest. We hope to be able to see Luronium natans (Floating Water-plantain), Potamogeton compressus (Grass-wrack Pondweed), Limosella aquatica (Mudwort), Sparganium natans (Least Bur-reed), Carex magellanica (Tall Bog-sedge) and Pilularia globulifera (Pillwort) depending on suitable site access and the weather.
  • Botanical workshops and a keynote talk by Alastair Hotchkiss.
  • The BSBI Wales AGM.
  • Exhibits and posters prepared by members.

Further details, booking and online payment will be possible via the Wales AGM webpage. Accommodation has been reserved for 25 people so early booking is advised (booking deadline 21 April 2023).

Barra Islands

Outer Hebrides 5th – 11th August 2023
recording general
led by
Paul Smith

The meeting will be based on the MV Cuma, a converted fisheries vessel (see www.island-cruising.com) with pickup and setdown at Lochmaddy, North Uist (to travel with the boat towards Barra). We will visit a range of islands and islets around Barra, including some of the islands to the south which have a variety of habitats including machair and moorland. The larger islands have reasonable lists, but have not been recorded in tetrads or monads, and this meeting will provide detailed records for a new flora. Several smaller islands are completely unrecorded. The terrain is generally rough, but there should be a variety of easier and more strenuous options each day. The cost is £1100 per person full board, sleeping on the boat, which takes 12 people, so please book early, preferably by the end of February.

This event is now fully booked, but contact the organiser Paul Smith to be added to a reserve list.

This meeting is fully booked

contact
Paul Smith; 8 Locks Road, Locks Heath, Southampton, SO31 6NT

Syon Park

Middlesex 19th August 2023
recording general
led by
Mark Spencer

Syon Park has the last remaining extensive stretch of semi-natural and un-embanked landscape adjoining the Thames in Greater London. We aim to record the flora in this important landscape (permission pending!) and rediscover, hopefully, some lost treasures such as Sium latifolium (Greater Water-parsnip), Cyperus longus (Galingale), Mentha pulegium (Pennyroyal) and Persicaria mitis (Tasteless Water-pepper). Please note, the terrain is unlikely to be easy going and may be flooded depending upon the tide. If this the case, we will focus on exploring other areas of the park.  This meeting is joint with the London Natural History Society and is suitable for beginners and for more experienced botanists.

Meet: at 11:00 am on the junction of London Road and Park Road (TQ17107717) on the Thames Path route.

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Plant Identification for Habitat Surveys, Dumyat

West Perthshire 20th August 2023
training
led by
Lindsay Mackinlay

This meeting aims to introduce participants to the main indicator species which assist in habitat classifications, touching on several Phase 1 habitats and NVC plant communities. The workshop is not suitable for complete beginners but is more aimed at those who have some basic or intermediate plant identification skills who are also interested in understanding the relationships between plant species and the habitats in which they grow. (Please note that this is not a training course on Phase 1 habitat or NVC surveys but rather a workshop to assist participants in identifying key plant species in different habitats).

The meeting is open to all members of BSBI and BSS or anyone else who may have an interest (Priority will be given to BSBI and BSS members in the first instance). It is likely that the workshop will involve some rough walking over the open hill in places. Come prepared for a day in the hills! Places are limited, booking essential.

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Ferns for Beginners Workshop, New Lanark

Lanarkshire 2nd September 2023
training
led by
Michael Philip

This workshop aims to introduce the identification of some common ferns and is for "complete and utter beginners" in fern identification. Ferns are often thought of as difficult, so participants will gain some foundational knowledge which may then be confidently built upon through outings, field meetings and workshops elsewhere. Introductory work in the classroom with experienced tutors will be followed by fieldwork in the spectacular surroundings of the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Falls of Clyde Reserve. The programme will be tailored carefully, assuming no previous knowledge. All course materials will be provided and included in the cost of the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, register to attend here.

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Fern training day

Co. Wexford 2nd September 2023
specialised beginners
led by
Alison Evans and Paul Green

This will be a day learning fern ID. It is aimed at the Dryopteris affinis group, but we will look at all ferns. We will visit more than one site, and it should be fairly level walking. Location to be confirmed. Email Paul Green for more information and joining details.

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Traeth Lligwy

Anglesey 3rd September 2023
recording
led by
Nigel Brown, Ian Bonner

CANCELLED

An opportunity to help record in varied coastal habitats in NE Anglesey as part of the ongoing monad-based updating of the Anglesey Flora. We will concentrate our efforts in SH4987, looking closely at strand line, sand dune, soft coastal cliff, saltmarsh, heath, scrub and unimproved grassland habitats. We hope to relocate a twenty year old record of Mentha pulegium (Pennyroyal) at its only known Anglesey site as well as assess the populations of two horsetail hybrids (Equisetum x font-queri and E. x robertsii) and search for Helictochloa pratensis (Meadow Oat-grass). We will be joined by members of the Anglesey Flora Group. Please wear appropriate footwear and bring sun cream and waterproofs.

*UPDATE* Apologies that this event has had to be cancelled.

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Wallasea Island

South Essex 9th September 2023
general
led by
Sven Wair

Wallasea Island lies more or less at sea-level at the confluence of the Rivers Crouch and Roach. It was formerly a site of intensive agriculture, but under the management of the RSPB and with the deposition of vast amounts of substrate from the Crossrail excavations, it is being transformed. A range of habitats is being created over several square kilometres, and coastal realignment is taking place, with the removal of a section of seawall. This is allowing the development of an extensive transitional intertidal zone, a rare thing in Essex where transitional zones are usually prevented from developing by the presence of seawalls.

Our visit is timed to fall between the sensitive bird breeding and wintering seasons, and is optimal for many of the late-growing coastal plants of the region in particular the Chenopodiaceae. The habitats are continuing to mature, and, because of the site’s location and recent history, we should expect the unexpected.

This is a day-long meeting. Access to the site is really only possible by road. The site is quite isolated, with no nearby shops or hostelries, so please bring everything that you will need for the day. There is a portable toilet located at the carpark. The terrain is moderate. It is largely flat, but we will encounter steep-sided seawalls, borrowdykes and ditches, and the intertidal zone may be uneven or muddy.

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Poulaweala Creek and Limerick City

Co. Limerick 9th – 10th September 2023
general
led by
Tanya Slattery, Paul Green

CANCELLED

This is two days of very different habitats. On the Saturday we will be exploring the coast looking at saltmarshes where we hope to learn how to identify Salicornia (Glassworts), Atriplex (Oraches) and many other coastal plants.  The Sunday will be a complete contrast as we will be exploring the urban flora of Limerick City.

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Newry (West)

Co. Armagh 16th September 2023
training
led by
John Faulkner

The purpose of this meeting is to acquaint participants with some of the up-and-coming, as well as the long-established weeds, of urban Ireland. As a transport hub with a mainline railway, both used and disused canals, and a port area developed for recreation, it has a rich urban flora, including Potamogeton trichoides (Hairlike Pondweed) at its first confirmed Irish site, Galinsoga quadriradiata (Shaggy-soldier) and two species of Erigeron (Fleabanes). Our aim will be to refind and quantify some of the less common species and foster interest in a sometimes neglected aspect of the Irish flora.

Meet in car park at Newry Railway Station (Grid Ref J069279) at 11.00 am. Please let John know what time you will arriving and whether you will be travelling by train or car. Packed lunch advised!

 

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Caughwell and Monivea

South-east Galway, North-east Galway 17th September 2023
recording general
led by
Cilian Roden

There are a number of small lakes and ponds on both limestone and cut over raised bog in the area; few have been surveyed. The day will be spent exploring these sites, (bring grapnels and chest waders if available). We expect to find a mixture of charophytes and acid loving water plants but anticipate some sites may be damaged by excess phosphorus.

Meet: Croughwell railway station at 10:30 am.

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Recorders’ Meeting, Preston Montford

Shropshire 6th – 8th October 2023
recording

This residential meeting is aimed at all BSBI members, especially County Recorders and referees, who make botanical records. There will be a mix of talks, walks and workshops, with plenty of time for general discussion.

More information to follow on the Recorders' Conferences & Meetings webpage.

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Irish AGM and Autumn Conference, Glasnevin, Dublin

Co. Dublin 21st October 2023
general

The Irish Autumn Meeting and AGM will be held at the National Botanical Gardens, Glasnevin. There will be talks on subjects including good farming practice, botanical networks, Irish bryophytes and the life and work of botanist Evelyn Booth, plus a workshop, tour of the Gardens and the AGM. A programme, info sheet and booking link can be found on the Irish Autumn Meeting webpage.

Scottish Botanists' Conference 2023, RBG Edinburgh

4th November 2023
general
led by
Matt Harding

Scotland's leading botanical event of the year features talks on plant taxonomy, a year in the life of a conservation botanist, and how to get the most out of the Plant Atlas; workshops on willow-herbs and montane willows; exhibits, networking, the results of the BSBI Photographic Competition and more! To view the programme and book your space, please visit the Scottish Botanists' Conference webpage.

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BSBI Annual General Meeting (online)

16th November 2023
general
led by
Steve Gater

The AGM is a chance for BSBI members to have their say in how the Society is governed. Everyone is welcome but only members may vote. The AGM starts at 7.15pm and will be preceded by talks starting at 6.15pm.

Find out more and book to attend: bsbi.org/annual-general-meeting

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British & Irish Botanical Conference 2023, University of Newcastle

South Northumberland 2nd December 2023
general
led by
BSBI Events & Comms Team

Our biggest indoor event of the year features a full day of talks on urban botany, research on rare plants and resources for botanists; exhibits, posters, a quiz and flash talks; a demo by Prof John Richards, BSBI Referee for Dandelions; a behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural History Society of Northumbria's archive; Summerfield Books pop-up shop and more! Free to attend, free for exhibitors. More details, programme & booking link here..

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Winter Talk - The Somerset Wetlands. A conservation success?

6th December 2023
general
led by
Stephen Parker

Our Winter Talks take place at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of each month from December to March on Zoom.

Stephen Parker joins us to talk through the conservation challenges of the Somerset Levels.

BSBI County Recorder for South Somerset and member of the Somerset Rare Plant Group, Steve previously worked for Natural England and was particularly focused on the Somerset Levels and Moors.

Winter Talk - Building an online multi-access identification key to the mega-diverse and economically important genus Solanum (Solanaceae family)

10th January 2024
general
led by
Rebecca Hilgenhof

Our Winter Talks take place at 7.30pm on a Wednesday of each month from December to March on Zoom.

Rebecca Hilgenhof, Postgraduate Programme Coordinator at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, has spent the past 4 years constructing an online multi-access identification key to the mega-diverse genus Solanum (1,242 spp. total) of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family using the software Xper3. The key currently covers over 60% (572 spp.) of species including all non-spiny species and crop wild relatives of the cultivated tomato and potato along with spiny species from Africa and Asia, which includes the cultivated eggplant. Each of the 52 morphological character (incl. geography) assessed in the Solanum key and their states are explained in written and with photographic plates making the key user-friendly for expert and non-expert users.

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Winter Talk - Using plants of local provenance to create wetland habitats in the Lower Ure

7th February 2024
general
led by
Martin Hammond

Our Winter Talks take place at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of each month from December to March on Zoom.

Martin Hammond, ecologist with the Lower Ure Conservation Trust, will be talking about using plants of local provenance to create wetland habitats. Martin will then be joined by two lead volunteers, Pandora Thoresby and Laurie Reed, to talk about plant propagation methods.

England Annual Meeting and AGM

25th February 2024
general

The fifth England Annual Meeting and AGM will be an afternoon Zoom meeting. In addition to a short AGM, there will be a mix of short talks, a keynote talk by Daisuke Kurose (CABI) on the biological control of invasive plant species and the Chair’s address on “Where and what do I record?” – which will cover more than plants. More info here: England Annual Meeting.

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Introduction to Conifer Identification workshop, Nesscliffe, nr Shrewsbury

Shropshire 2nd March 2024
training beginners
led by
Mark Duffell

A joint meeting with The Wildflower Society.

Fancy getting to grips with Conifers, can't tell your Spruce from your Firs, or would like to separate the 'Cypresses'? Then join Mark Duffell on a BSBI/WFS field-based training workshop on Nesscliffe Hill. A range of different keys and other resources will be used to show the beginner and intermediate how to accurately identify a variety of conifer species. There will be a charge of £2 to cover the cost of printed resources including a mini-booklet. The number of participants will be capped at 15. Priority will be given to those who booked for 2023 when the workshop was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

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Winter Talk - Fenland Flora

6th March 2024
general
led by
Owen Mountford

Our Winter Talks take place at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of each month from December to March on Zoom.

Owen Mountford is responsible for the Fenland Flora Project and works for the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. More on the Fenland Flora Project including annual updates can be found here.

Islington streets, London

Middlesex 9th March 2024
recording general
led by
Mark Spencer

This is an opportunity for attendees to familiarise themselves with some of the rapidly increasing community of Mediterranean ecosystem plants that are establishing in our cities. Species such as Sisymbrium irio (London-rocket), Polycarpon tetraphyllum (Four-leaved Allseed), Urtica membranacea (Mediterranean Nettle) and Laphangium [Gnaphalium] luteoalbum (Jersey Cudweed) are locally frequent. Other, more unusual species such as Genista aetenensis (Mount Aeta Broom), Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat), Calocedrus decurrens (Californian Incense-cedar) and Persea americana (Avocado) will also be seen. This meeting is suitable for beginners and for more experienced botanists. Please bring a packed lunch.

Meet at 11:00am outside the entrance of Farringdon Underground, Cowcross Street, Clerkenwell (TQ31598183).

contact

Training for Trainers, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Midlothian 23rd March 2024
training
led by
Faith Anstey

This is a new one-day workshop for anyone engaged in or considering working on a training event. This could be running or assisting with a beginners’ or specialist workshop, leading a field meeting at local or national level, giving a talk to non-botanists, acting as an Identiplant tutor, and so on. As well as an introduction to the psychology of learning, there will be plenty of opportunities for participants to assess different styles of teaching, try their hand at planning workshop programmes, hone their communication skills, and find out how their own voice comes across in real-life training situations. No charge, but places are limited, so booking is essential.

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Ruislip Woods

Middlesex 6th April 2024
recording general
led by
Mark Spencer

We will be aiming to record regional rarities in this important, but increasingly degraded, series of ancient woodlands. Several of our target species, such as Melampyrum pratense (Common Cow-wheat), Achillea ptarmica (Sneezewort), Carex pulicaris (Flea Sedge), Eleocharis acicularis (Needle Spike-rush), Genista anglica (Petty Whin) and Pedicularis sylvatica (Lousewort) are now restricted to a very small number of highly fragmented populations and may become regionally extinct in the near future. This meeting is suitable for beginners and for more experienced botanists. Please bring a packed lunch.

Meet at 11:00am outside the Water's Edge Pub, Reservoir Road, Ruislip Common (TQ08648919).

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Taraxacum training and recording weekend, Devizes

North Wiltshire, South Wiltshire 19th – 22nd April 2024
specialised
led by
John Richards, Richard Aisbitt

This is the tenth long weekend dedicated to the genus Taraxacum. Compared to surrounding counties, the dandelions of Wiltshire are poorly studied, and v.c.8 (S. Wilts.) in particular has only 20 records of 14 species. Nevertheless, some interesting species are known from v.c.7 (N. Wilts.) including T. anglicum and T. cherwellense. Our centre will be Devizes, close to the boundary between the v.cc. and handy for distinguished calcareous grasslands and flood meadows which we hope to visit. A full programme including details of a room for evening meetings will be sent to participants.

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Recording Meeting, FSC Preston Montford

Shropshire 19th – 21st April 2024
recording
led by
Jonathan Shanklin

This residential meeting is aimed at all members who would like to progress to making botanical records, and to existing recorders, VCRs and referees who will support them. There will be a mix of talks, walks and workshops, with plenty of time for general discussion. More info and a booking link here.

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Irish Spring Conference, Glasnevin, Dublin

Co. Dublin 20th April 2024
general
led by
Bridget Keehan

The Irish Spring Conference will be held at the National Botanical Gardens, Glasnevin. Further details here.

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Ballyteige Burrow, Kilmore Quay

Co. Wexford 11th May 2024
general
led by
Paul Green

This will be a walk to see the spring flora of this extensive area of dunes which stretch for over 8 km. There is a good mixture of tiny annuals to see such as Cerastium semidecandrum (Little Mouse-ear) and Myosotis ramosissima (Early Forget-me-not). Small perennials include Viola canina (Heath Dog-violet), and the endemic Rumex acetosa subsp. hibernicus (Irish Sorrel). These dunes hold the largest population of Asparagus prostratus (Wild Asparagus) in Ireland. We should also see Erodium lebelii (Sticky Stork's-bill).

Meet at 10:00am at the public car park on the sea front at Kilmore Quay (S965031).

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Correl Glen and Lough Navar Forest

Fermanagh 11th – 12th May 2024
general
led by
Robert Northbridge, Joanne Denyer, Rory Hodd.

Following the talks on bryophytes at the Irish Autumn Conference, this is a joint meeting of the BSBI and the British Bryological Society (BBS) to enable BSBI members to learn more about bryophytes in the field. The Correl Glen and Lough Navar Forest are among the richest areas for bryophytes in Northern Ireland. Apart from mosses and liverworts there will be an opportunity to see some of the specialities of the north facing scarps and woodland: both filmy ferns (Hymenophyllum spp.), Dryopteris aemula (Hay-scented Buckler-fern), Asplenium viride (Green Spleenwort), Orthilia secunda (Serrated Wintergreen) and Saxifraga aizoides (Yellow Saxifrage) are possibilities.

Meet at the car park at the entrance to Lough Navar Forest Park (H074547) at 10:30am on both days. Bring packed lunches and be prepared for some rough ground.

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Tramore Dunes

Co. Waterford 12th May 2024
general
led by
Julie Larkin

Tramore dunes are located on a long spit reaching across the bay between Brownstown Head to the east side and the Metalman to the west. They are some of the tallest fixed dunes in Ireland and are backed by saltmarsh to the north. We plan on walking the dunes in the hope of seeing some rarities including Vicia lathyroides (Spring Vetch), Viola canina (Heath Dog-violet) and Vulpia fasciculata (Dune Fescue). Other species we are likely to see include Ononis repens (Common Restharrow), Cakile maritima (Sea Rocket), Anacamptis pyramidalis (Pyramidal Orchid) and Salsola kali (Saltwort).

This may be a long walk as the dunes are 3 km long from the parking spot to the tip of the spit. Please bring sturdy boots, a packed lunch, water, suitable clothing (hat, waterproofs etc.) and a hand lens.

Meet at 10:30am at car park at Tramore Beach, on the spit (S5949601021).

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Plant Families Workshop, Townhill Community Centre, Dunfermline

Fife & Kinross 18th May 2024
training beginners
led by
Aileen Meek

The Plant Families workshops are suitable for anyone who can tell a buttercup from a daisy but wants to learn more about plant identification within a structured framework. There will be a mix of classwork, small groups with expert tutors, and fieldwork, following the principle of 'finding the family first'. This is a tried and tested way of getting to grips with ID instead of just playing 'snap' with a field guide or wading through incomprehensible keys. A copy of the booklet on which the course is based – Pocket Guide to Wildflower Families by Faith Anstey – will be included in the charge for the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, booking essential.

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Abbeyleix Estate Woods

Co. Laois 18th May 2024
general
led by
Fiona MacGowan, Mark McCorry

This trip will explore Abbeyleix Estate Oak wood. These woods have been described as the finest and largest remnant of lowland old Oak woods left in Ireland and the display of bluebells will be spectacular! We will get the opportunity to visit the oldest Oak tree in Ireland, reputedly 700 years old, and see many other veteran Oaks. We will also investigate some patches of Hazel woodland and wetter woodland areas where the River Nore flows through the estate.

This is a private estate but we have been granted permission to arrange a visit. There will be some additional details needed to gain entry to the estate, so booking is essential. Dress for the weather. Bring a packed lunch.

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Annual Summer Meeting, Guernsey

Channel Islands 20th – 24th May 2024
recording general training beginners
led by
Jonathan Shanklin, Helen Litchfield

Guernsey is famous for its orchid meadows, shaded hedge banks, cliff tops and coastal heaths. There will be a mix of excursions to interesting sites, recording trips and evening talks or workshops. Excursions and recording visits will cover the island and species that we might see include Anacamptis laxiflora (Loose-flowered Orchid), Asplenium x microdon (Moore's Spleenwort or Guernsey Fern), Hypericum linariifolium (Toadflax-leaved St John's-wort), Isoetes histrix (Land Quillwort), Ophioglossum lusitanicum (Least Adder's-tongue) and Ophioglossum azoricum (Small Adder's-tongue).

Further information and links to register and book accommodation and evening meals can be found here. Please register by 3rd May. B&B accommodation at the Premier Inn, St Peter Port is £430 (single or double) for the week and you can book this through the BSBI up to 31st March or through the hotel. There are nearby campsites, or you can book your accommodation elsewhere. There is a weekend meeting in Jersey immediately after the Summer Meeting, but you will need to make your own arrangements for travel and accommodation and to book.

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Green Road, Fanore

Co. Clare 25th May 2024
general
led by
Phoebe O’Brien, Hannah Mulcahy, Donncha Ó Catháin

This meeting will explore some Burren flora found in this area including Helianthemum oelandicum (Hoary Rock-rose), Gentiana verna (Spring Gentian), Arenaria norvegica (Arctic Sandwort) and other Burren specialities. Booking is essential as numbers will be limited.

Meet at 11:00am at Fanore (near campsite) (M142208).

contact
Phoebe O’Brien,; tel. phoebeob@gmail.com

Jersey

Channel Islands 25th – 26th May 2024
general
led by
Anne Haden

On Saturday 25th May we shall meet at Le Charriere car park in St Ouen and head off into the sand dunes. There we should find Bupleurum baldense (Small Hare’s-ear), Anacamptis morio (Green-winged Orchid), Silene nutans (Nottingham Catchfly) and Viola kitaibeliana (Dwarf Pansy). After having lunch at Le Braye café we will move to another sandy area nearby where we hope to find Taraxacum platyglossum (Tongue-leaved Dandelion), Crassula pubescens (Jersey Pigmyweed) and Crassula tillaea (Mossy Stonecrop).

On Sunday 26th May we will meet at the car park at Beauport and go on a hunt for Ranunculus paludosus (Jersey Buttercup) and Orobanche rapum-genistae (Greater Broomrape). Other plants we might find include Juncus capitatus (Dwarf Rush), Silene gallica (Small-flowered Catchfly) and Ornithopus perpusillus (Bird’s-foot). In the afternoon we will visit Jersey’s best known site for Anacamptis laxiflora (Jersey Orchid). We should also see many wet meadow plants such as Parentucellia viscosa (Yellow Bartsia), Cuscuta epithymum (Dodder), Cyperus longus (Galingale) and possibly Oenanthe fistulosa (Tubular Water-dropwort).

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Glynhir Recording Week (Residential)

Carmarthenshire 27th May – 3rd June 2024
general training
led by
Kath Pryce, Richard Pryce

The week-long annual Carmarthenshire Recording and Monitoring Meeting will include visits to sites around the county. The meeting will cater for both experienced and less proficient botanists and will provide an opportunity for the informal development of identification skills. Arrangements will be flexible, some days the group may stay as one body, other days smaller groups will visit different sites to monitor rare or scarce species or update grid squares not visited recently. Day outings will be tailored to individual needs to cover all fitness abilities.

Glynhir Mansion is located about 2 km east of Llandybie on the western flank of Mynydd Du (the Black Mountain) at SN640151. The River Llwchwr runs through the estate and at one point plunges over a 10 m waterfall into a humid, rocky gorge where Dryopteris aemula (Hay-scented Buckler-fern), Hymenophyllum tunbrigense (Tunbridge Filmy-fern) and Asplenium trichomanes subsp. trichomanes (Maidenhair Spleenwort) are among the ferns growing on the cliffs. There will be ample opportunity in the timetable to visit the site. Large parkland trees provide the setting to the mansion, including Tilia cordata (Small-leaved Lime), and there remains much scope for further discoveries to be made in the vicinity.

The cost of the week from lunchtime on 27 May to breakfast on 3 June, including bed, breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals, will be approximately £600 and will be limited to about 15 participants. Accommodation for part of the week will be charged pro rata. A limited number of en suite rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis. Participants not requiring accommodation will also be welcome on a day to day basis. A 35% deposit will be required by Glynhir on booking.

Initial bookings, preferably by the end of January, to Kath and Richard Pryce

There is further information on the Carmarthenshire webpage.

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Isle of Wight 1st – 2nd June 2024
general beginners
led by
Colin Pope, Nick Aston

The Isle of Wight has a diverse and spectacular flora that includes an impressive assemblage of scarce and rare native plants as well as interesting aliens. During this weekend meeting we hope to see an exciting range of the Island’s flora across different habitats.

Our first day will focus on the west side of the Island, where we will explore the flora of unimproved chalk downland and chalk costal cliffs around Freshwater Bay. The meeting is timed to enable us to see many of the Island’s specialities associated with these habitats such as Gentianella anglica subsp. anglica (Early Gentian), Lobularia maritima (Sweet Alison), Matthiola incana (Hoary Stock), Orobanche picridis (Oxtongue Broomrape) and Pilosella peleteriana subsp. peleteriana (Shaggy Mouse-ear-hawkweed). The second day will concentrate on sites in the east of the Island. We intend to visit the rich dune grassland of St Helen’s Duver where, if the season is conducive, we shall see a rich array of Trifolium species including Trifolium suffocatum (Suffocated Clover) and a good selection of dune grasses. In addition, we will explore the coastal cliff top grasslands around Sandown that are home to specialities such as Phelipanche purpurea (Yarrow Broomrape) and Silene nutans (Nottingham Catchfly). There may be opportunities to see other rarities for which the Island’s flora is famous, such as Melampyrum arvense (Field Cow-wheat) and Fumaria reuteri (Martin’s Ramping-fumitory). However, please note, we will be too early in the season to visit the site for Clinopodium menthifolium (Wood Calamint).

Meet on Saturday in the (free) National Trust carpark on Afton Down, east of Freshwater (SZ351856) at 11:00am.

Booking is essential and numbers are limited to 20. Participants will need to organise their own accommodation but there is plenty of accommodation available on the Island, although early booking is probably worthwhile. Red Funnel, who sail from Southampton, do car ferry/accommodation deals. Car sharing should be possible and is encouraged where parking is limited.

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Joan’s Hill Farm Plantlife Nature Reserve, Checkley,

Herefordshire 8th June 2024
recording general
led by
Jonathan Stone, Sarah Shuttleworth

Joint with Plantlife

At Joan’s Hill Farm there are around 40 acres of neutral hay meadow to explore, as well as traditional orchards and a small area of broadleaved woodland. Species of note include Silaum silaus (Pepper-saxifrage), Genista tinctoria (Dyer’s Greenweed) and Orchids Anacamptis morio (Green-winged), Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted) and Platanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly). We will also look out for Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath Spotted-orchid) and the hybrid Dactylorhiza x transiens. A single spike of Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Southern Marsh-orchid) appeared for the first time in 2022 and we hope to re-find it.  This meeting is suitable for beginners and more experienced botanists. Please bring a packed lunch. Numbers may be limited.

Meet at 11:00am at Forestry England’s Haugh Woods Car Park (SO59233657) where it is free to park. From the car park, there is a 1 km walk on forest tracks to reach the reserve.

Jonathan Stone is Nature Reserves Manager for Plantlife - contact him to book and for further information.

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Sedges at Tarn Moor and Orton

Westmorland 8th June 2024
training specialised
led by
Mike Porter

Tarn Moor is a rich botanical site on the Orton limestones of Westmorland and is a mosaic of base-rich and acidic areas. More than 25 different species of Carex have been recorded here with Carex capillaris (Hair Sedge), C. diandra (Lesser Tussock-sedge), C. dioica (Dioecious Sedge), C. elata (Tufted Sedge) and C. hostiana (Tawny Sedge) probably the pick of the bunch. There are also numerous non-Carex sedges and records for 3 Carex hybrids, two of which we should certainly see. Many other attractive species, including Primula farinosa (Bird’s-eye Primrose) and a fine array of orchids, are frequent and should be at their best in early June. If time allows we will also look at some drier limestone grassland near the village of Orton where C. ornithopoda (Bird‘s-foot Sedge) grows.

All sedge enthusiasts are welcome, whether experienced or not, but numbers will be limited to 15 to minimise damage to fragile habitats. This is a repeat of the overbooked 2023 meeting and priority will be given to those who could not be accommodated last time.

This will be a full day meeting so please bring a packed lunch. The distance covered will not be great, 5 or 6 kilometres, but parts will be very wet so wellies or waterproof boots are essential. Although Tarn Moor can be idyllic at this time of year please come prepared for less clement conditions. There are no facilities at Tarn Moor but later in the day we will visit Orton which has a shop, cafes and toilets.

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SHARPP recording along the Banffshire coast, Portgordon to Portsoy

Banffshire 8th – 9th June 2024
recording general
led by
Flora Donald

Everyone is very welcome for a weekend of botanical recording in and around the coastal towns of Banffshire, looking for notable Scottish plants not seen since 2000 (SHARPP). With over thirty species of interest, there will be treasures to refind for all experience levels, ranging from mulleins and mints to pondweeds and rushes. Eyebrights optional! We will explore a variety of habitats, from beaches to coastal grassland and fringes of arable fields. There will also be opportunities to update inventories in monads not visited for the past ten years. Please note descents to beaches can be steep; easier terrain options will be available (but inland).

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Poaceae walk on Northeast Yorkshire’s coastal path

North-east Yorkshire 15th June 2024
training specialised
led by
Ambroise Baker

The aim of this botany walk will be to identify as many different species of grasses (Poaceae) as possible, taking advantage of the variety of habitats encountered on the way. This is an ideal day to practice knowledge of grass identification and observe a variety of floral and vegetative characters.

The walk will follow the coastal path on rights of way and there will be full consideration of the conservation value of the habitats visited. Last year we observed nearly 50 taxa of Poaceae, including a range of common grasses, seaside species and rarer taxa such as Koeleria macrantha (Crested Hair-grass), Bromopsis inermis (Hungarian Brome), and Anisantha madritensis (Compact Brome).

All grass enthusiasts welcome, however complete beginners at grass identification should expect a steep learning curve. Numbers limited to 20. All participants come at their own risk. The distance is about 3.5 miles but expect to walk more including some steep coastal slopes. Meeting 10:00am on Marske-by-the-Sea main square by the roundabout (Marske-by-the-Sea TS11 7LD, NZ63472228) with a chance to use the public toilets, shops and cafes, for a prompt departure at 10:15am. Please bring packed lunch and drinking water as we will not be arriving into Saltburn-by-the-Sea until later in the afternoon. Saltburn has public toilets, shops, etc. as well as trains and bus services to get you back to Marske.

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Training Field Meeting, Tentsmuir

Fife & Kinross 16th June 2024
general training
led by
Sandy Edwards

Primarily this is to see dune succession and the related flora which occurs as the dunes change from the beach to the land. Also, to see the unique Great Slack and how it is formed, an area stretching behind the dunes which is freshwater in winter and dry in summer. This meeting is ideal for beginners using the Pocket Wildflower Guides to Wildflowers and to Grasses and to improvers as there is a rich dune and saltmarsh flora. There are also some very rare and scarce species to be seen for some more detailed identification. There is no difficult terrain, just sand dunes and grassland. Entry to carpark is £2. There are good toilets, picnic benches and a snack shack.

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Grasslands

Co. Limerick 16th June 2024
general training
led by
Olly Lynch, Maria Long and Phoebe O'Brien

This grasslands-focused event will explore some of the variety of flora that occurs in Limerick's grasslands. On the day, there will be an opportunity for training to focus on the identification of specific plant groups such as Carex spp. (Sedges) and grasses, for example, as well as general plant recording. Bring notebooks, any keys you may have, and a hand lens. There will be a limited supply of these available on the day also. Throughout the day, there will be discussions on grassland ecology, and management from grassland ecologists.

Appropriate footwear and clothing should be worn to cover any eventualities of difficult terrain and weather.

Meeting point to be arranged. The location is to be decided, but is expected to be held approximately 30 minutes from Limerick city.

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Tiree

Mid Ebudes 18th – 23rd June 2024
recording general
led by
Lynne Farrell

The purpose of this meeting is to record an NPMS square, visit different habitats on the island, record SHARPP species, and enjoy the island, especially on midsummer's eve. The group is staying at the self-catering Millhouse hostel, which has room for 10-12 people, but is already fully booked. Additional people can join the meeting, but they will need to arrange their own accommodation. We will eat at the hostel on some evenings, but the organiser is hoping to arrange some evening meals at local cafes and fish & chip van one night! There may be an opportunity to share travel on the ferry to reduce costs.

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North Norfolk coast

East Norfolk, West Norfolk 21st – 22nd June 2024
general beginners
led by
Bob Ellis, Jo Parmenter and Francis Farrow

We will visit a mixture of habitats including the heath and mire at Beeston Regis Common SSSI, as well as dunes, coastal woodland and saltmarsh at Holkham and Burnham Overy. Further details to follow. Botanists of all skill levels are welcome, from beginners to specialists.

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Syon Park

Middlesex 22nd June 2024
recording general beginners
led by
Mark Spencer

Joint with the London Natural History Society

This is a return visit to cover the remaining areas of this large site that we were unable to see last year. Syon Park has the last remaining extensive stretch of semi-natural and un-embanked landscape adjoining the Thames in Greater London. We aim to record the flora in this important landscape and rediscover, hopefully, some lost treasures such as Sium latifolium (Greater Water-parsnip), Cyperus longus (Galingale), Mentha pulegium (Pennyroyal) and Persicaria mitis (Tasteless Water-pepper). Please note, the terrain is unlikely to be easy going and may be flooded depending upon the tide. If this the case, we will focus on exploring other areas of the park. This meeting is suitable for beginners and for more experienced botanists. Please bring a packed lunch.

Meet at 11:00am in front of All Saint's Church, Church Street, Isleworth (TQ16787605) on the Thames Path route.

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Start to Identify Grasses Workshop, SWT Classroom, Falls of Clyde, New Lanark

Lanarkshire 22nd June 2024
training
led by
Michael Philip

This workshop aims to introduce identification of common grasses to beginners and improvers who already have a basic grasp of plant ID. There will be a mix of classroom study and fieldwork, much of it in small groups with expert tutors. The programme will be based on Start to Identify Grasses by Faith Anstey, a copy of which will be included in the cost of the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, booking essential.

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Lough Talt

Co. Sligo 22nd – 23rd June 2024
general
led by
Eamonn Gaughan

We will explore the Lough Talt area where several uncommon species occur in lakeside fen and on the slopes of Crummus mountain. Target species will include Marsh and Butterfly Orchids, Eriophorum latifolium (Broad-leaved Cottongrass) and some aquatics. It will be flat walking across marshy ground in places. Please bring a packed lunch and appropriate gear.

Meet on both days at 10:30am to start at 11:00am at the parking area at the south east end of Lough Talt G402145 (signed off the Ballina to Tubercurry road R294).

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Rubus weekend, Okehampton

North Devon 29th – 30th June 2024
recording training specialised
led by
Rob Randall

Joint with the Devonshire Association's Botany Section

Saturday will be spent investigating the Belstone/Sticklepath area on the Dartmoor fringe, which includes a variety of bramble-friendly habitats and should provide an introduction to brambles for those botanists wishing to expand their knowledge of Rubus species. Sunday will be spent exploring other localities in the vicinity to improve coverage of this critical group, for which there are very few recent records.

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Progress in Bramble Identification

Dumfriesshire 29th – 30th June 2024
training specialised
led by
Chris Miles, Angus Hannah

This meeting offers an opportunity to develop skills in bramble identification for anyone who has started to explore this neglected group. A brief indoor session on Saturday morning will show us specimens of some species we are likely to encounter and characters helpful for their identification. We will then try out our skills in places nearby. On Sunday we will quickly refresh the id characters and visit other areas to extend the range of brambles seen and contribute to a better understanding of the groups presence in Dumfriesshire. Angus Hannah, Bramble Referee for Scotland will lead the sessions.

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Filmy ferns and old Oak woods, Slieve Aughty Mountains

Co. Clare, South-east Galway 29th – 30th June 2024
general
led by
Cilian Roden, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington

This will be a two day event. We will be exploring some sites in the Slieve Aughty Mountains and will be looking for new records or re-locating old records of filmy ferns and other species by following clues in old geological maps. Along the way we will look at fens with Eriophorum gracile (Slender Cottongrass), rock outcrops with filmy ferns and old Oak woods.

Meeting location to be arranged.

Booking is essential as participant numbers will be limited to 10.

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Wales Annual Meeting

Glamorganshire 5th – 7th July 2024
general
led by
Julian Woodman

The 2024 Wales Annual Meeting exhibition and AGM will be based at Swansea University, Bay campus, South Wale, SA1 8EN.

The theme will be brown field and coal spoil habitats, otherwise known as open mosaic habitat on previously developed land. Or perhaps in the old days and less generously – ‘wasteland’. Some of the most diverse habitat, currently, and not just for flowering plants – invertebrate and fungi diversity is often high at many sites.

A preliminary programme includes:

  • Friday pm: Visit to Crymlyn Burrows SSSI to take a look at some dune habitat next door and hopefully spot some (Sea StockMatthiola sinuata and look at some of the management / restoration work here.
  • Field visit to Baglan (and possibly Port Talbot). A vast area of currently undeveloped brownfield with some amazing juxtapositions of species from wet and dry habitats with a sprinkling of dune species. Expect to see some of the largest amounts of (Basil ThymeClinopodium acinos, you will ever see and other species such as (Hare’s foot CloverTrifolium arvense, (Wall BedstrawGalium parisiense We should have time to take a look at Baglan dunes as well on this day
  • On the other day we will visit some of the most diverse coal spoil sites in the Valley’s where we should see (Small CudweedLogfia minima, (Pearly EverlastingAnaphalis margaritacea, (Southern Marsh OrchidDactylorhiza praetermissa and hybrids. Also, possibly some oddities like (Blue-eyed grassSisyrnchium bermudiana and (Round-leaved WintergreenPyrola rotundifolia.
  • Evening talks including a keynote talk by Kevin McGinn of National Botanic Garden Wales, and workshops (so far Andy Jones has offered Myosotis)
  • The BSBI Wales AGM
  • Exhibits and posters prepared by members (this is a valued part of any AGM; you are encouraged to contribute)
  • We hope to have a book stall.

Booking and online payment are possible via the Wales Annual Meeting & AGM webpage, with a deadline of 30th April. Meanwhile, please contact Julian to express an interest; further details will be sent to participants prior to the event.

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Hawkweed hunt - Fionn Gleann and Clach Leathad, Glen Coe

Argyllshire 6th – 7th July 2024
specialised
led by
Tim Rich

The aim of this meeting is to look for the Fionn Gleann hawkweed Hieracium basicrinum, a rare species of mountain ledges and screes. It has only ever been recorded in 1889, 1897 and 1953 from Fionn Gleann and Clach Leathad in the mountains above Glen Coe and no precise locations are known. Hieracium basicrinum is a relatively distinct hawkweed in having toothed, spotted leaves and thus no specialist knowledge is required (identification guidance will be given!). Whilst the meeting will focus on H. basicrinum, other hawkweeds and mountain species will also be recorded. We will access the mountains via the chairlift in Glencoe Mountain Resort on both days (c.£15/trip), and the terrain will be challenging with cliffs, screes, steep ground and possibly wading the River Etive. As the practicality of survey is very dependent on weather, we will take a cautious approach for safe access in the mountains, perhaps even abandoning the high ground for the safer areas near the chair lift. Even if we do not find H. basicrinum we should see a good range of other species.

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North Connemara coast

West Galway 6th July 2024
general
led by
John Conaghan

This field meeting will explore areas of coastal habitat in the Glassilaun/Lettergesh areas of north Connemara. The main habitats occurring are sand dune, coastal heath and acid grassland which combine to produce a species-rich flora. Among the more unusual plant species which have been recorded from the area in the past include Erica erigena (Irish Heath), Anacamptis morio (Green-winged Orchid) and Botrychium lunaria (Moonwort)

Meeting point & location to be arranged. Booking essential.

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Priddy Mineries and Stockhill, Mendip Hills

North Somerset 7th July 2024
general beginners
led by
Helena Crouch

In contrast to the meeting on Mendip in 2022, which focused on species-rich limestone grassland, this will be a visit to acidic habitats largely on Old Red Sandstone, which outcrops at the highest points of the Mendip Hills. This is also an area of centuries of lead mining and smelting industries, the complex geology and disturbance resulting in a mosaic of habitats.

At Priddy Mineries we will see species typical of Calaminarian Grassland: Sabulina [Minuartia] verna (Spring Sandwort), Noccaea caerulescens (Alpine Penny-cress), Silene uniflora (Sea Campion) and the diminutive fern Botrychium lunaria (Moonwort). Mire and heath communities include Eriophorum angustifolium and E. vaginatum (Cottongrasses), Juncus squarrosus (Heath Rush), Carex paniculata (Greater Tussock-sedge), Narthecium ossifragum (Bog Asphodel) and Trichophorum germanicum (Common Deer-grass). Typha angustifolia (Lesser Bullrush) and Carex rostrata (Bottle Sedge) grow by the pool. Limestone outcrops and grassland support calcicoles such as Polygala vulgaris (Milkwort) and Arabis hirsuta (Hairy Rock-cress). The remains of stonework support a variety of ferns, including Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder-fern). Four Asplenium spp. (Spleenworts) grow on one wall!

Stockhill is a large Forest England plantation, also on “gruffy” ground. The wide rides have a diverse flora and there is an abundance of ferns, with 26 taxa recorded across the two sites. We will see several of the Dryopteris affinis group (Scaly Male-ferns), found here on visits by members of the British Pteridological Society.

Beginners welcome. Please bring a packed lunch, wear appropriate footwear for rough ground and bring waterproofs and sun cream.

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Trent Country Park

Middlesex 13th July 2024
recording general
led by
Mark Spencer

Joint with the London Natural History Society.

Trent Country Park is part of the former, much larger, Enfield Chase. The site has extensive areas of woodland, grassland and some aquatic habitats but has been poorly recorded in recent years. As well as general recording, we will also be aiming to refind regional rarities such as Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell), Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Southern Marsh-orchid), Dryopteris carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-fern) and Hypericum humifusum (Trailing St John's-wort). The site also has a number of veteran Malus sylvestris (Crab Apple), a regionally scarce but often over-recorded plant, that need verifying. This meeting is suitable for beginners and for more experienced botanists. Please bring a packed lunch.

Meet at 11:0am outside the entrance of Cockfosters Underground station on Cockfosters Road, Cockfosters (TQ28099637).

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Craig y Nos and Craig y Rhiwarth

Breconshire 13th July 2024
recording general
led by
Steph Coates

Recording and general meeting to explore the scree, limestone outcrops and (for the less adventurous) other nearby habitats around Craig y Rhiwarth and Allt Rhongyr. A great range of possible species, including Antennaria dioica (Mountain Everlasting), Carex montana (Soft-leaved Sedge), Sorbus leptophylla (Thin-leaved Whitebeam), Geranium robertianum subsp. celticum (Herb-Robert), Botrychium lunaria (Moonwort) and many more.

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Sedges & Rushes

Dumfriesshire 13th July 2024
training
led by
Chris Miles

This workshop aims to introduce identification of common sedges and rushes to beginners and improvers who already have a basic grasp of plant ID. There will be a mix of classroom study and fieldwork, much of it in small groups with expert tutors. The programme will be based on the booklet Start to Identify Sedges & Rushes, a copy of which will be included in the cost of the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, booking essential.

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Annaghmore Lough Fen

Co. Laois, Offaly 13th July 2024
general
led by
Mark McCorry, Fiona MacGowan, Fiona Devery.

This trip will explore Annaghmore Fen, which is divided between Cos. Laois and Offaly. This site is one of the largest fens in Cos. Laois and Offaly and many typical fen species have been recorded at this site. Other habitats include some Birch woodland, wet woodland and raised bog. We will explore part of the wetland area in both counties.

Meet at Clonalslee (N320211). The terrain will be rough and wet in parts. Dress for the weather. Bring a packed lunch.

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Arable weeds, Scotland

14th July 2024
general
led by
Luke Gaskell

Details to follow - save the date!

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Wild Flower Society Meeting

Co. Clare, West Galway 17th – 20th July 2024
general

The Wild Flower Society (WFS) are planning visit to Cos. Galway and Clare in July. They would like to invite members of the BSBI to attend. Contact WFS for more info.

Ystrad Fflur and Llyn Gynon

Cardiganshire 20th July 2024
recording general
led by
Steve Chambers, Andy Jones

Recording and general meeting to explore the Afon Mwyro valley mires, where there is Cirsium dissectum (Meadow Thistle) and Wahlenbergia hederacea (Ivy-leaved Bellflower) etc. For more energetic members of the party, Llyn Gynon has Luronium natans (Floating Water-plantain), Nitella gracilis (Slender Stonewort) and historical Pilularia globulifera (Pillwort) etc.

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Grasses, Sedges and Rushes, Ben Lawers

Mid Perthshire 20th July 2024
training
led by
Dan Watson, Faith Anstey

Joint with National Trust for Scotland and Perthshire Society of Natural Science

This meeting will provide field training in the identification of grasses, sedges and rushes and repeats by popular request the training event held for several consecutive years at Ben Lawers. Copies of the booklets Start to Identify Grasses and Start to Identify Sedges & Rushes are recommended and will be available for purchase on the day. The meeting is open to all members of BSBI, NTS, PSNS and anyone else interested, whatever level they are at. After some revision on what to look for, we will split into those who want to go on up the hill (perhaps those with more experience of grasses etc.) and those preferring to stay on lower ground (and/or perhaps needing more ID guidance). Places are limited, booking essential.

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Ballyhoge

Co. Wexford 20th July 2024
general
led by
Paul Green

A walk along the River Slaney to look at aquatic species such as Callitriche truncata (Short-leaved Water-starwort) and Ruppia maritima var. brevirostris (Beaked Tasselweed), and a variety of Potamogeton spp. (Pondweeds). There is a marsh to explore which has a good mixture of species including Oenanthe fistulosa (Tubular Water-dropwort) if the area hasn’t been grazed. There will also be areas of woodland and semi-natural grassland to look at. Fairly easy walking, but can be muddy in places.

Meet at 11:00am in the Ballyhoge church car park (S982 294).

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Alchemilla weekend, Glenshee ski centre

East Perthshire 20th – 21st July 2024
specialised
led by
Mark Lynes

This two-day meeting will be a great opportunity to get familiar with a number of Alchemilla (Lady’s-mantle) species which will hopefully include A. glomerulans, A. wichurae and the recently described A. sciura, along with various flavours of A. filicaulis and some other more widespread taxa. Day 1 will focus on various sites either side of the road down from the ski centre at Glenshee. Subject to the necessary permissions from the landowner, day 2 will be spent on the Fealar estate where we know there are good populations of extremely typical A. wichurae. The meeting will involve some walking over rough terrain. There will also be an opportunity to get specimens identified (ideally over tea and cake in the ski centre café). Places are limited and booking is essential. Participants will need to arrange their own accommodation.

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Kilclooney, Comeragh Mountains

Co. Waterford 23rd July 2024
general
led by
Paul Green

A joint meeting with the Wild Flower Society

 The aim of the meeting is to show Minuartia recurva (Recurved Sandwort) found in 2006 new for Co. Waterford. While there we will do a population count of the Sandwort. This is a harsh walk; a good level of fitness is required. Strong footwear is a must. This is a joint meeting with the Wild Flower Society.

Meeting point will be the forest car park at 11:00am on the side of the R676, the Lemybrien to Carrick-on-Siur road (S341 102).

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Plant Families Workshop, Fort William

West Inverness-shire 27th July 2024
training
led by
Aileen Meek, Faith Anstey

The Plant Families workshops are suitable for anyone who can tell a buttercup from a daisy but wants to learn more about plant identification within a structured framework. There will be a mix of classwork, small groups with expert tutors, and fieldwork, following the principle of 'finding the family first'. This is a tried and tested way of getting to grips with ID instead of just playing 'snap' with a field guide or wading through incomprehensible keys. A copy of the booklet on which the course is based – Pocket Guide to Wildflower Families by Faith Anstey – will be included in the charge for the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, booking essential.

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Carrigtwohill

East Cork 27th July 2024
general beginners
led by
Edwina Cole, Finbarr Wallace

We will focus on urban plants and explore various habitats and areas around Carrigtwohill. Please bring suitable clothing and footwear for all weather conditions, sun protection, a packed lunch and hand lens and ID book if you have them.

Meet at 10:00am at the train station carpark in Carrigtwohill (W81897380).

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Field Meeting, Fort William

West Inverness-shire 28th July 2024
training
led by
Aileen Meek, Faith Anstey

This meeting is particularly aimed at beginners/improvers and would be an ideal follow-up for anyone who attended the Plant Families Workshop on Saturday. Beginners will be helped to identify the commonest species using the Pocket Guide to Wildflower Families – and hopefully some of the more unusual ones too. A copy of the booklet explaining the principle of ‘finding the family first’ will be provided to use on the walk and will be available to buy on the day. Places are limited, booking essential.

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Campsie Fells above Queenzieburn

Stirlingshire 3rd August 2024
recording
led by
Matt Harding, Lyn Jones

Much of the Campsie Fells has been poorly recorded in recent years, despite supporting a range of interesting upland habitats and species. This meeting will explore the south slopes of the Campsies above Queenzieburn, taking in a range of habitats including narrow stream gorges, outcrops and waterbodies, and aims to record across a number of previously unexplored monads. There are small areas of limestone bedrock here, potentially holding interesting calcareous species, and old records of unusual plants such as Sedum villosum (Hairy Stonecrop) and Cryptogramma crispa (Parsley Fern) suggest the area may repay further investigation.

This area has some access tracks, but much of the day will be spent on rough, untracked ground, exposed to the elements. Parking will be available nearby, with the meeting location to be confirmed depending on the number of attendees. Everyone from beginners to experts are welcome to join us, but places are limited so booking is essential.

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Identifying Composites, Kirkhill Community Centre, Inverness

East Inverness-shire 10th August 2024
training
led by
Faith Anstey

This workshop is one of the series of ID workshops for beginners and improvers. There will be a mix of classroom training and hands-on study in small groups, including fieldwork. The course will be structured around the booklet Start to identify Composite Flowers which is based – as are all these workshops – on the concept of homing in to ID via a dedicated flowchart, rather than by exhaustive keys, and by using field characters that avoid the need for microscopic examination. The booklet will be included in the cost of the workshop. £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, booking essential.

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Legnaboe and Killard Point NNR

Co. Down 10th – 11th August 2024
general
led by
Graham Day, Jake Dalzell

An opportunity to examine the flora of Killard Point NNR including the recently discovered colony of Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Lady’s-tresses) at its only site in Northern Ireland and record along the coast at Legnaboe including a visit to the colony of Limonium procerum subsp. procerum (Tall Sea-lavender).

Meeting point to be arranged.

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Ferns for Complete & Utter Beginners Workshop, Three Villages Hall, Arrochar

Dunbartonshire 17th August 2024
training
led by
Michael Philip

This workshop aims to introduce the identification of some common ferns and is for complete and utter beginners in fern identification. Ferns are often thought of as difficult, so participants will gain some foundational knowledge which may then be confidently built upon through outings, field meetings and workshops elsewhere. Introductory work in the classroom with experienced tutors will be followed by fieldwork along the wooded shore of Loch Lomond. The programme will be tailored carefully, assuming no previous knowledge. All course materials will be provided and included in the cost of the workshop: £40 (50% discount for BSBI members and full-time students). Places are limited, booking essential.

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Carrowmore, Doonbeg

Co. Clare 17th August 2024
recording general
led by
Donncha Ó Catháin, Phoebe O’Brien, Hannah Mulcahy

This meeting will explore the southern part of Carrowmore coastal dune complex. Habitats we will record in will include strandline vegetation, mobile & fixed dunes, and dune slacks. There hasn't been any recent recording in this site, and a couple of monads at the south end of the dunes have no records at all, so it should be interesting to see what's there. There are old records of locally rare species including Anacamptis pyramidalis (Pyramidal Orchid), Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder's-tongue) and interestingly Viola lutea (Mountain Pansy).

Meet at 11:00am at public car park at south end of Doughmore Beach (Q984670)

Booking is essential as numbers will be limited.

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Yiewsley and Cowley Peachey

Middlesex 24th August 2024
recording general beginners
led by
Mark Spencer

Joint with the London Natural History Society

The LNHS visited this area in 2018 and made several significant records of aquatic plants for the county, particularly Potamogeton spp. (Pondweeds); we will be aiming to re-record some of these species as well as explore of parts of this complex area of waterways with the aim of finding other regionally scare wetland and aquatic plants such as Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (Frog-bit), Cardamine amara (Large Bitter-cress) and Thalictrum flavum (Common Meadow-rue). This meeting is suitable for beginners and for more experienced botanists. Please bring a packed lunch.

Meet at 11:00am outside West Drayton Overground station, Station Approach, West Drayton (TQ06108013).

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Chobham Common NNR

Surrey 25th August 2024
recording general
led by
Isobel Girvan

Joint with Surrey Botanical Society and Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT).

Join us on a walk around part of Chobham Common lowland heathland that is managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT). We will be checking on Surrey rare species such as Gentiana pneumonanthe (Marsh Gentian) and other heathland specialist plants, whilst meeting new people and having a lovely day out. All standards of botanists are welcome, including beginners.

Meet and park in the SWT Staple Hill car park at SU97356487. Please arrive by 10:15am for a 10:30am start. Terrain will be mostly flat with some slopes, it may be damp underfoot so wellies would be useful or stout shoes. Remember to bring your own lunch. Numbers will be limited. Please book your place by contacting Isobel via email. On the day she can be contacted on 07811 440892.

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Plant Identification for Habitat Surveys, Dumyat

West Perthshire 31st August 2024
training
led by
Lindsay Mackinlay

This meeting aims to introduce participants to the main indicator species which assist in habitat classifications, touching on several Phase 1 habitats and NVC plant communities. The workshop is not suitable for complete beginners but is more aimed at those who have some basic or intermediate plant identification skills who are also interested in understanding the relationships between plant species and the habitats in which they grow. (Please note this is not a training course on Phase 1 habitat or NVC surveys but rather a workshop to assist participants in identifying key plant species in different habitats).

The meeting is open to all members of BSBI and Botanical Society of Scotland (BSS) or anyone else who may have an interest (priority will be given to BSBI and BSS members in the first instance). It is likely that the workshop will involve some rough walking over the open hill in places. Come prepared for a day in the hills! Places are limited, booking essential. £40 (50% discount for BSS and BSBI members and full-time students).

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Irish Autumn Meeting and AGM, Glasnevin, Dublin

Co. Dublin 21st September 2024
general

Save the date! When available, there will be more information here.

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Scottish Botanists’ Conference, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Midlothian 2nd November 2024
general

Date to be confirmed. When available, there will be more information here.

  • All our annual conferences are open to everyone, wherever you are based, and you don't need to be a BSBI member to attend but you will need to book in advance.
  • Unless otherwise stated, our non-residential field meetings are free to attend and you don't usually need to be a BSBI member, although if there are more applicants than spaces available, we reserve the right to prioritise our members.
  • For field meetings, you will need to book in advance and/ or contact the organiser to find out where to assemble: please don't just turn up at a field meeting where pre-booking is required.
  • For general enquiries about field meetings contact the Field Meetings Secretary, Jonathan Shanklin.

Information for those attending field meetings

Local meetings

For more info about botany meetings in your area, organised by local groups and County Recorders, check our Local Botany page and click through to your county page or contact your County Recorder.

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