Thursday, 23 October 2014

Botanical training event of the year!

If a meteor had hit Shrewsbury's Gateway Centre yesterday afternoon, Britain would have lost the cream of its botanical trainers... fortunately it didn't and reports are filtering in via social media about how useful and enjoyable this Training the Trainers workshop was! 

Those of us who couldn't make it can only weep and rend our garments - at least until the presentations are uploaded to the Training page next week and we can see exactly what we missed. Then we can weep a bit more. 

For now I'm afraid you'll have to make do with these images and many thanks to Peter Gately for taking his camera along - trust a member of BSBI's Training & Education Committee to come prepared! 

If you have attended any botanical training events, or been on a BSBI field meeting, you may want to play 'Spot the Botanist' at this point. I can see at least three members of the Hebridean Recording Team in this pic (on left) with County Recorder Paul Smith, smiling as he does when surrounded by plants and botanists, and (far left) there's Mags and Sally Peacock, the Utricularia Queen


And you can see Sarah Whild (standing), the driving force behind Training the Trainers, presiding over the day's proceedings, and Tim Rich (on right of pic). Tim is a BSBI Referee and author of several BSBI Handbooks, including ones on Hawkweeds, and he was offering a session on difficult plants and "How to fall in love with apomicts". 

You may also spot Chris Metherell, who gave a talk about identifying Euphrasia species & hybrids and - according to Oli Pescott - is throwing out a few teasers in advance of the AEM, where he is due to spill the beans on all things Eyebright, with a talk about work towards the new Euphrasia Handbook, an ID workshop and some big plans in the offing. Here's what Oli and Chris tweeted: 


Inspiring talk from at Training the Trainers meeting. Plans afoot for a Euphrasia 'ID Cadre!'

 Just finished my talk at BSBI training event. Maybe the next Euphrasia referee is in the room!
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Oli also tweeted about a very enjoyable session by the excellent Ros Bennett (pic on right) about the benefits of genus level lateral keys for training. Ros's masterful Plant Families presentation in 2012 is still mentioned in botanical circles! 

Do keep an eye on the Training page for the presentations from this year's event, and for more info on botany courses in general. 

You can also find out more about training opportunities at this year's AEM, where Sue Townsend and Brenda Harold are offering an exhibit on the IdentiPlant course.