Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Bookings now open for BSBI Annual Summer Meeting 2015!

Giant's Causeway, one of the fieldtrip locations
Image: J. Faulkner
If you've never been to one of BSBI's Annual Summer Meetings, maybe this is the year to give it a go? And if you have, you're probably already itching to find out more about this year's event and how you can book for it.

The Annual Summer Meeting (ASM) moves around the country, so last year's event was held in Scotland and if you click here, you can read the ninth in a series of blogposts about the fieldtrips, the talks and the plants. 


Honckenya peploides at the Giant's Causeway on shingle
which is a mixture of dark basalt and pale limestone.
Image: J. Faulkner
In 2013, the ASM was held in Beaumaris in North Wales and although the News & Views blog was only a few months old at that point, I did post here, here and here about the people who attended and some of the plants that we saw. In those days, it was called the AGM because we had to miss out on a bit of field time to sit indoors and vote on things like who gets to sit on Council, but nowadays we save those delights for the AEM in November ;-)

Apologies that there are no posts about the 2012 ASM. It was an excellent 2-day event, held at the University of Reading, but this was a few days before I became BSBI's Publicity & Outreach Officer, so you'll just have to use your imagination about what went on! There are no photographs available and I couldn't possibly comment on any of the unsubstantiated rumours...


A Fragrant Orchid, subspecies uncertain.
Image: J. Faulkner
This year, the ASM will be held in Northern Ireland from 12th-16th June and you can see the flyer for the event on this shiny new webpage. We hope that we've made it easier than ever to book and there is also a new Gmail account asm2015@bsbi.org so you can just send us an email if you have any questions. 

Maybe you'd like to find out a bit more about the accommodation that we are offering at the University of Ulster at Coleraine, where the event is based? Or you want to know which of the puddings offered at the Conference Dinner is gluten-free? Or maybe you just can't decide which excursion group you'd rather book for? 

Both Binevenagh and Umbra sound amazing, and I'm finding it really hard to chose between White Park Bay with its 9 species of orchids and Ness & Ervey Woods, where I hear the trees are dripping with interesting mosses and rich with unusual lichens, and there is some fascinating history attached to the site. 


White Park Bay, another fieldtrip location.
Image: J. Faulkner
Ian Denholm, BSBI President and Orchid Referee, will be at the ASM and will be on hand to help us with identifying some of the trickier orchids, like the Fragrant Orchid (above right), which may be ssp. borealis. Or maybe not. Even Clive Stace says "distribution very uncertain". If you want to know for sure, why not get your diary out, head over to the ASM page here and see if you can join us in June for what promises to be the botanical highlight of the year? 

There is one exception though - one name that we really don't want to see on the booking list. Find out whose that name is by clicking here.