Monday, 31 March 2014

Irish Members' Conference III

Publicity table at the IMC/"mingling"
A few more photos from Ireland, taken by Ian Denholm over the weekend at the conference.

Ian told me "The conference went extremely well, with lots of VCRs present and a very encouraging number of youthful people. There were a few people taking photos and I'm sure their pictures will be better than mine.

"However, I'm attaching three that may be of immediate use - one of general mingling and two of the birthday party (including the cake!)".

Ah the cake... actually I hear from Maria that there were two cakes, but one was a birthday cake. Quite fitting, as the conference was intended to celebrate fifty years of BSBI in Ireland. So, Happy Birthday BSBI in Ireland, and many happy returns!

As for plaudits for the conference, here are tweets from two satisfied delegates, who were also very complimentary about the cake: 

Great day yesterday with at members conference in Dublin :)

Best conference ever :)

And it sounds as though there may be another local BSBI group in the offing: 
enjoyed yesterday. Got to finally put faces to names! Couldn't make it over today. I'll be in touch re Dublin group later next wk

Robert Pocock Herbarium

What on earth do they put in the water down in Kent? First we have Lliam's excellent plant ID videos, and now Pauline Heathcote, of the Kent Botany Group, has been in touch about an equally excellent project she is connected with, which sounds like great fun and also really highlights the importance of herbaria. 

She told me "There are some sixteen enthusiasts who have been actively searching through the Herbarium at the Natural History Museum to collate the Pocock Herbarium".

Robert Pocock was Gravesend's first local historian, printer, creator of it's 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. 

Seseli libanotis Moon Carrot
Pauline says "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 the progress of Pocock Herbarium on their Blog and on their Facebook page. You can see images of the plants and people involved in the project on Facebook and Flickr (links are on the website, or search for Robert Pocock Herbarium). A few of the images are also reprinted on this page by kind permission of Kent Botany Group.

Apparently at least five of the enthusiasts trying to track down Pocock Herbarium are BSBI members, as well as members of Kent Wildlife Trust, so I think their excellent Blog meets the criteria for inclusion on our list of 'Blogs by BSBI members'. Follow the link on the right to see all the latest Blogposts on Pocock Herbarium. 

Dr Mark Spencer & some of the Pocock Herbarium Team
Pauline also said "We have some financial support from HLF and there will be a one-day conference to celebrate the end of this part of the project. Speakers will include local historians and Dr Mark Spencer (NHM), Richard Moyse and Malcolm Jennings (his presentation will include some of the outcomes of visiting sites from which Pocock collected)." 

You can book for the Pocock conference here and learn more about the plants Pocock found, and the local places where he found them, at a one-day Conference at Millbrooks Garden Centre, Southfleet, on July 8th 2014. As well as the talks by knowledgeable speakers, there will be displays, tea and coffee on arrival, a buffet lunch and afternoon refreshments. Pauline says "Everyone is welcome. Tickets are £10 each and must be booked in advance".To book a place contact Sally at  OR  tel. 01474 322171.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Irish Members' Conference II

Talk by Fred Rumsey, BSBI's Fern Referee
The first reports are coming in from the Irish Members' Conference and it sounds as though it's a roaring success! Which is no surprise, considering the excellent Maria Long is at the helm, backed up by the Committee for Ireland. 

Maria also sent through the three images on this page, all taken yesterday, but apologies that I don't yet have the photographers' names. 

I hear that Fred Rumsey's fern session went down well, with new member Sheila tweeting:

Great afternoon Irish conference, really enjoyed the variety of topics, ferns, grasslands and grass ID workshops. Super stuff!!

I know that our President Ian Denholm has been looking forward to this meeting. As BSBI's Orchid Co-Referee, he has spent a great deal of time in Ireland over the years, happily measuring labella with Richard Bateman.

Ian Denholm & Irish members
Herbarium, Glasnevin, Dublin
But Ian has been very busy recently with presidenty stuff, so it was great to see this image of him and some of the Irish members (I hope they will send me their names!) examining some interesting herbarium  specimens and obviously engrossed in the task. 

And good to see Chris Metherell hard at work on Euphrasia, bringing the Eyebright handbook ever closer. Apparently Chris was in the Cambridge University Herbarium last month, looking at specimens, so I hope he will send an update soon  about what he found.

Chris Metherell, Irish botanist (?) & Euphrasia (?)
The conference even managed to enthuse one delegate about stoneworts. Although BSBI's brief is the study of vascular plants and charophytes, these unassuming little green things don't often take centre stage. Until you get some proper magnification on them, that is! 

Take a look at Christopher F. Carter's image here which also graced the cover of New Journal of Botany last year and you will understand the enthusiasm here: 

Great day at Irish conference at Glasnevin. I've learned to love stoneworts!

As soon as I receive more reports/photos from Ireland, I'll post them here on the Blog, so watch this space! 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Praise for New Journal of Botany (and sneak preview!)

Harebell Campanula rotundifolia
Image: C. Ferguson-Smyth
BSBI is really in the media spotlight this weekend! First the Irish Times tells its readers about 50 years of BSBI in Ireland, and now Nigel Chaffey has singled out New Journal of Botany for praise! He is the editor of "that august international botanical organ" - their words, not mine! - the prestigious Annals of Botany.

Nigel was impressed by Michael Proctor and Margaret Bradshaw's paper - the first in a planned series - on Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) examination of leaves of British sedges Carex spp. And of the illustrations, Nigel says "The images need to be seen to be properly appreciated, but the imaging of epicuticular waxes in, for example, Figure 1f attests to their high quality. Bring on Part 2!"

Ok, Nigel! I hope you will be pleased to hear that Part 2 has already been accepted for publication in New Journal of Botany 4.1, which is due to drop through your letterbox during April. And I am taking this opportunity to show you the first of four species which Claudia Ferguson-Smyth has selected to grace the brand-new cover of New Journal of Botany throughout 2014. There are three images by Claudia and a fourth by Christopher F. Carter

Irish & British BSBI members, Killarney, 2013
Image: M. Long
Nigel Chaffey closes his AoB post with a compliment that is particularly apt today, with the Irish Members' Conference in full swing. He says, of our recent name change - from the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) to the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) - that it "represents a new change every bit as slick as that of the WWF (which changed from World Wildlife Fund to Worldwide Fund for Nature in 1986) and which allows it to keep its abbreviation of BSBI (which is an initialism not an acronym) the same."

Michael Viney in the Irish Times also called this name change "long overdue". So, here's to the next fifty years of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland supporting botanists in Scotland and England and Wales and the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And  also - although it may no longer be geographically correct - from the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands

BSBI in the Irish Times

BSBI field meeting, Co. Wexford
Image: M. Long
A great start to the Irish Members' Conference today with an excellent piece in the Irish Times. Click here to read what columnist Michael Viney has to say about BSBI in Ireland and about recording Irish plants.

I have been promised photos of botanists enjoying the weekend's talks, workshops and other activities celebrating 50 years of BSBI in Ireland. Many thanks to the three BSBI members who offered to take photos - as soon as I receive them, they can be shared here on the Blog. 

Irish members and flower-rich machair in Donegal
Image: M. Long
And do keep an eye on the BSBI Ireland Facebook page- it's full of info on what's happening in Ireland this year. With great photos ;-) and news about local botany groups

This afternoon, Irish members will enjoy a Euphrasia workshop led by Chris Metherell and no doubt the observations of participants will feed back into Chris's work towards a new Euphrasia handbook. What goes around, comes around!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Celebrating 50 years of BSBI in Ireland

The Irish Members' Conference kicks off in Dublin on Saturday, and runs over the weekend with some very interesting talks and workshops in the programme. But Irish Officer Maria Long has added even more value to an already packed Conference...  

Glasshouse at Glasnevin
Image: M. Long
Some of those attending are also MapMate experts, so Maria has been very crafty and arranged for them to lead a MapMate workshop tomorrow (Friday). 

Maria said "This is not part of the conference proper, but an add-on to capitalise on the visit of MapMate experts for the conference. This will be a great opportunity for BSBI vice-county recorders in particular to learn about MapMate. Content will be designed to suit level of expertise of those signed-up".

Dr Maria Long & Prof Richard Bateman
BSBI Recorders' Conference, Shrewsbury 2013
Image: L. Farrell
Well, that should whet people's appetites for what's to follow. Getting a bit jealous here, wishing I'd booked for this event, which was open to members across Britain & Ireland... Apparently, there are talks on Saturday morning and then workshops after lunch, including:

  • "some tricky aquatic groups" (Cilian Roden & Richard Lansdown);
  • Euphrasia (Chris Metherell);
  • ferns (Fred Rumsey);
  • and Maria says "There will be one workshop tailored more for beginners/new-comers. There will be a technology theme too, with MapMate and the BSBI Distribution Database (DDb) covered".
On Saturday evening, they are all having a celebration of fifty years of the BSBI in Ireland - now this is where I'm getting really jealous - Maria says "There will be a small exhibition and a few short talks, followed by food. We hope that this will be a nice, relaxed, but well-attended and enjoyable celebration". 

And then there's another full day of lovely planty stuff on Sunday. Oh to be in Dublin now that the almost-in-April Conference is here. If you are at the Irish Members' Conference, why not leave us a comment below and tell us what a brilliant time you're all having at those workshops. Send in a photo for the Blog, make us all absolutely green with envy...

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

New Myosotis Key - on video!

Myosotis sp.
Image: L. Rooney
Video-maker Lliam Rooney has been wowing us with his ID videos for Equisetum, Ruppia and two species of Myosotis (links above). Now, rather than resting on his Laurus nobilis, he's attempted a video key for Myosotis

It is here on YouTube and also over here -->>

As this is rather a new venture, Lliam is particularly looking forward to hearing your comments. So, as our Forget-me-nots start to come into flower, why not try out the Key and send us your feedback?

You could compare it against your favourite key. This might be Rose & O'Reilly, Poland & Clement's Vegetative Flora or you could go straight to the Mighty Book of Stace!

And here are some more videos on UK trees by Markus Eichorn and a range of botany videos by lecturer and BSBI member Jonathan Mitchley

Thursday, 20 March 2014

More help for MapMate users

Jim McIntosh, Recorders Conference 2013
Image: L. Farrell
Many thanks to BSBI Scottish Officer Jim McIntosh, who has has sent me this news item about the new BSBI MapMate Handbook and updated BSBI MapMate website:

“The BSBI has just updated the BSBI MapMate website with the truly excellent and comprehensive BSBI MapMate Handbook by Martin Rand. All BSBI MapMate users are strongly recommended to browse this valuable new resource which is available to download and print chapter by chapter, and which completely supercedes all previous versions. 

"The website update included several additional training videos on creating species richness maps and a page of custom queries which will be useful for Atlas 2020 planning. The development of both website and handbook has been kindly supported by Scottish Natural Heritage.”

Thanks, Jim! The new pages look really impressive and once again the society has reason to thank the excellent and indefatigable Martin Rand, who I gather also made quite an impression at yesterday's RINSE Workshop in the New Forest. The Organisers tweeted: 

Martin Rand 'Citizen science using databases are susceptible to errors such as invalid grid references. Living Record was a solution' 

Apparently workshop presentations - including Martin's - will be available soon on the RINSE website. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

You wait all week for a Myosotis video...

John and Richard watching
Lliam's Horsetail ID videos
Image: L. Marsh
... and two arrive on the same day! Lliam has been busy putting together another Forget-me-not video, this one for Myosotis laxa Tufted Forget-me-not. -->>

 These videos have really got people talking: NFBR suggested that we produce a catalogue, and if Lliam keeps producing ID videos - and others follow suit! - then we could have a really useful resource for people trying to separate different species in the same genus.

Image on left shows two members of Publications Committee admiring Lliam's Horsetail videos on my laptop after the recent meeting. Both Richard Gornall and John Edgington agreed that BSBI members are producing/publishing some really great resources for identifying plants, whether in print (Handbooks) or using newer media such as video.   

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Feel like tracking a tree?

Hackfall Wood
Image: K. Walker
On this Blog, you won't often see details of new projects launched by botanists who are not BSBI members. That's because our botanists are full of brilliant ideas and we work, often with partners, to help them develop the best of those ideas into great projects, like SPLASH. But sometimes we are told about other initiatives which meet BSBI's aims - to promote the study, understanding and enjoyment of wild plants in Britain and Ireland - and we are also happy to promote such initiatives to our members and to anyone else who will listen! 

Monitoring ground flora at Launde Wood, VC55
Image: E. Jones
So, I was interested to hear from Dr Albert Phillimore, NERC Advanced Fellow based at the University of Edinburgh's Institute of Evolutionary Biology, about a new citizen ecology project called 'Track a Tree', developed by Christine Tansey, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, supported by the Woodland Trust and funded by NERC. 

Christine Tansey said "Climate change is already impacting on woodland, with spring plants emerging sooner than they used to. It is important that we learn all we can about how climate change could further impact on this natural heritage. Our study asks the public to become citizen scientists, tracking seasonal changes in woodlands".

VC55 recorders, Launde Wood, 2013
Image: E. Jones 
Albert said "We want to understand how the order of spring events (flowering of understorey and leafing of trees) varies across the UK in order to predict how different species might respond in the future. For instance, warmer winters in the future might see oak come into leaf before silver birch, and this might be enough to advantage more southerly adapted oaks at the expense of birch. We're asking recorders to revisit a single tree throughout the spring and monitor both its phenology and the phenology of the species that comprise the under storey". 

On the Track a Tree website, you can find out more about the projectregister to become a recorder and start making observations. Do also check out Track a Tree's sister project, Nature’s Calendar, the Woodland Trust’s recording scheme for seasonal observations. 

Sorry but Launde is one of our favourite VC55 woodlands!
Image: E. Jones
Albert also said "We think this scheme is unique in the UK given it's focus on interacting species". Hmm, arguably SPLASH does something similar, although it focuses on the mosses, lichens and ground flora associated with Ash trees, and also it's maybe aimed at slightly more experienced recorders. 

But between the two projects, there are lots of excuses for you to get out into the woods this spring. By recording what's out there, you are contributing to science and can file your outing under 'Monitoring phenology' rather than 'Hanging out with Trees (again)'. This may be more acceptable to your conscience and/or your loved ones :-)

Monday, 10 March 2014

BSBI supports the Young Darwins

We've already heard from Sue Townsend about how BSBI has been working with the Field Studies Council again this year to support the next generation of scientists via the Young Darwin Scholarship. Now Cathy Preston at FSC has sent us this account, written by one of those Young Darwins. It makes inspiring reading... 

Young Darwins at Stiperstones
Image: courtesy of FSC
<<Amy was one of our first Young Darwin Scholars in 2012. After the introductory residential in August 2012 she wrote: "Before going to Shrewsbury for the Young Darwin Scholarship, I had little idea of what I wanted to specialise in, in the future, but I knew I had a strong interest in animals and looking after the environment. We had inspirational talks from professionals of different areas, gained experience in catching and identifying different animals from insects to amphibians, reptiles and mammals and identifying plants and lichen. I overcame slight fears, had lots of fun and I want to keep in touch with all the friends I made.  I also now have a much better idea of what I want to do as a future career. It has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I’d definitely recommend it!"

Young Darwins out walking
Image: courtesy of FSC
In 2013 Amy volunteered at FSC Margam in South Wales and the Young Darwin Scholarship provided a subsidy for her to attend a Vegetative Plant Identification Course at the beginning of September. She said "‘I decided to attend the Vegetative Plant Identification course at Margam Discovery Centre because I will be studying Zoology this year and I know that to understand animals, I need to know about their habitats and food. I enjoyed learning about how to use the Vegetative Key to the British Flora (by John Poland & Eric Clement) and successfully identified plants when working alone and with others, despite previously having very little experience in identification of plants before the course."   Amy is now in her first year studying Zoology at the University of Exeter.>>

It's a shame that Amy and the other 16 and 17 year old Young Darwins would have been unable to even consider studying for a BSc in Botany at the University of Anywhere in Britain, although there are still undergraduate courses with at least some botany on the menu and NUI Galway offers this BSc in Botany and Plant Science. Maybe a bunch of botanically-enthused Young Darwins can demonstrate demand for a BSc in Botany, and so make supply in Britain more likely? 

So, many thanks to Cathy for telling us more about the Young Darwin Scholarship. She emailed "We are really grateful for the support BSBI have offered FSC for the Young Darwin Scholarship again this year". I hope you agree that this is the sort of thing to which BSBI should be actively contributing, and three cheers to BSBI's Training & Education Committee, especially Sue and Sarah, for all their hard work on this initiative. It sounds as though we've helped one undergraduate make a start with Plant ID and - as Amy points out - if you want to understand animals, you need to know about their habitats and food, and that means knowing your plants!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Just nipping down to the Pubs, dear...

Pubs Secretary Chris Boon (on left) & Chair John Poland
Image: L. Marsh
The New Journal of Botany Editor-in-Chief Dr Richard Gornall and his Editorial Assistant (me!) headed off to BSBI Publications Committee the other week, to report on all things NJB and to try and make a useful contribution to other aspects of the Committee's work. 

We were also keen to find out about progress towards publication of several new BSBI Handbooks, currently at various stages of preparation. 

Paul Westley
Image: L. Marsh
The Committee ("Pubs" to it's friends and admirers) gives small grants to assist Handbook authors and also offers support and advice during the 2-5 years that it usually takes to prepare a Handbook. 

Great care is taken that those grants are allocated wisely, so we can keep adding new titles to the list of BSBI Handbooks - ones that we will all want to use for years, when IDing difficult plant genera. And with Pubs members like designer Paul Westley on hand, there was no shortage of helpful advice for our Handbook authors.

Trevor James, Paul O'Hara & Arthur Chater (l to r)
Image: L. Marsh
So, here are the latest updates on those Handbooks in the pipeline:

Mike Porter circulated samples of text from his forthcoming Viola Handbook and images of V. odorata var. praecox that made us all want to jump on a train for the south-west, where it is recorded. 

We also heard a progress report on illustrations for the forthcoming handbook on Oenothera Evening Primrose from Arthur Chater, herbarium guru, VCR and author of the fabulous Flora of Cardiganshire. 

Alchemilla minima
Image: M. Lynes
Euphrasia handbook? If you've been following the regular updates on this Blog about 'Which herbarium is Chris in?' then you already know as much about progress towards the Euphrasia Handbook as Pubs does. It's coming on very nicely, thank you!

Alchemilla Handbook: Mark Lynes reports that he is "writing up Alchemilla minima" and will be making a (self-funded) trip to Norway this summer to hook up with Scandinavian Alchemilla guru Stefan Ericsson and look at A. glabra and A. wichurae. 

Mark flagged up his concerns here in his initial pitch to Pubs about this Handbook, saying "Taxonomy-wise, the main issues as I see them revolve around A. glabra and A. wichurae, particularly the wichurae-like plants which currently reside within glabra".

 And if you aren't sure why this is remotely deserving of your consideration, try Sandy Knapp's brilliant video on why taxonomy matters here before you read Mark's tweet below: 

Norway trip will hopefully help me finally sort UK A.glabra & A.wichurae. Some UK stuff doesn't seem right. Hairs where they shouldn't be
Paul, Arthur, Trevor and Chris: Pubs in the pub
Image: L. Marsh
Lots to say about Handbooks this time, including those wayward hairs, so the latest news on New Journal of Botany will have to come in a subsequent post. 

I'm running out of space and there is so much to tell you about the six papers we've accepted for publication, and the gorgeous new cover that Claudia Ferguson-Smyth has produced for us: I think it's her best yet. 

But there's one final bit of news from Pubs that can't wait. Paul O'Hara from Summerfield Books (the BSBI booksellers) announced that their new website has just gone live! 

Richard Gornall (NJB)
Image: L. Marsh
Oi, hang on, finish reading this Blog before you head over there and start browsing the catalogue of new and second-hand botany titles and the separate handlenses section.

Summerfield also offer special discounts on selected books, but only to BSBI members[Psst, non-members: I had a quick peek behind the Green Door to the Members-only section and there are 37 titles in there right now, including 17 BSBI Handbooks, the famous Plant Crib and I also spotted the Wildflower Key, 2nd ed., (2006) on sale for £20 rather than the usual £25. Bargain!] 

John Poland and Mentha cf spicata
Image: L. Marsh
But after three and a half hours (!) in Committee, the customary post-Pubs craving for a pint and then some grub led us eventually to the memorable sight of John Poland, co-author of the celebrated Vegetative key to the British Flora, examining the mint leaf garnishing his pudding and wondering if he should send it off to Mentha referee Ray Harley for ID. 

Sadly, the voucher specimen never reached the plant press. Pubs does have a reputation to maintain and we weren't sure we could get away with a herbarium label that included: 
Locality: restaurant (Italian);
Habitat: plate (dessert); 
Associates: cream, sugar, eggs... 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

BSBI Field Meetings: the season has started!

BSBI's national Field Meetings Programme 2014 kicked off last Sunday in VC50 with a Winter ID session on deciduous trees led by Martin Price and Welsh Officer Polly. She has posted an account on her Blog here and BSBI member Gail, who attended the meeting, posted the image below on Twitter.

BSBI field meeting, Castle Wood, Ruthin, Wales
Image: G. Quartly-Bishop
 If you haven't yet checked the Field Meetings Programme, remember that spaces fill up really quickly, so you'd better get your skates on! And don't forget to click on the interactive map on our homepage to find out what your local botany group is doing this year. In VC63 last month, the newly-formed South Yorkshire Botany Group met to look at mosses. They already have their own Blog so click here to see what they found.

If you don't yet have a local group in your area, why not start one? It's quick and easy to do, and you can soon build a local botanical network and decide where to visit for some serious plant-hunting once spring really gets going! Email me for an info pack and tipsheet to help you set up a local group. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Botanical snippets: opportunities for training, celebrating and getting involved.

Mystery plant #1
Image: C. Ferguson-Smyth
Sorry the Blog's been a bit quiet this past week. Between editing copy for the April issue of New Journal of Botany (more on this soon!) and updating the website software (nearly there after a few hiccups, sorry), it's been all go here at BSBI Central. But here are a few snippets that have come in during the past week:

1. A symposium is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the Biological Records Centre. David Roy emails "We hope that you will join us in celebrating the rich and inspiring legacy of biological recording in Britain and Ireland. The symposium will review the causes of change in species distributions and consider the opportunities for biological recording which will be presented by scientific and technological developments. 

Mystery plant #2
Image: C. Ferguson-Smyth
"The symposium will be held in Bath from 27th to 29th June 2014 and will be combined with a field visit to Salisbury Plain – see for more details, including how to register. There is no charge for attending the symposium but pre-booking is essential. Early registration is strongly recommended as places are likely to be in high demand".

2. Jim McIntosh, BSBI Scottish Officer, has been in touch about three workshops on identifying plant families, to be held across Scotland this year. Find out more here.  
Mystery plant #3
Image: C. Ferguson-Smyth

3. Sue Townsend and T&E have found yet another way to support the next generation of botanists and help them as they learn. Sue emails about the Young Darwin initiative – she is "Getting some material together that we can share with BSBI members to demonstrate the support BSBI gives to the course and the good learning outcomes that come from it." She also points out that around halfway through this video there are some images of Sue herself teaching botany to those Young Darwin scholars.

 4. Finally, we have been invited to participate in an event in Wales, to celebrate biodiversity. Every year, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly share the annual Go Wild! event, and this year it is Blaenau Gwent’s turn to host the event, which will take place on the 14th June 2014 at Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar. 

Mystery plant #4
Image: C. Ferguson-Smyth
Go Wild! Organiser Katie Partington asks if BSBI would like to have a stand promoting the society's work and botanical recording in general, and I'm wondering if any local members would like to get involved with this? Katie says "The event is well attended by local wildlife nature conservation organisations and is well known by the general public, with approximately 3000 visitors if the weather is favourable. This year we having a pollinator themed event and we are requesting that attendees try and tailor their displays to fit the theme if possible". 

If you are interested, why not get in touch with me to arrange which BSBI display materials you would like? We have a range of BSBI literature that we can send you for distribution and/or display, and there are also BSBI banners and posters that can be booked now and couriered to you in time for the event. 

The images illustrating this post - four "mystery plants" for you to try and name! - are all by Claudia Ferguson-Smyth, who has been working on a new cover for NJB Volume 4 - we have three issues for you in 2014. Sneak previews to follow as soon as possible :-)