With one day to go before the BSBI Annual Summer Meeting, Field Meetings Secretary Jonathan Shanklin is feeling the strain!
He says: "The venue is expecting us (checked), the coaches are booked (checked), and everyone is due to arrive in time for dinner at 18:30 (e-mailed all). The weather will do what it will (probably rain). The hard part has proven to be matching up the requests on the booking tick sheet with the recording parties over the weekend. The initial matching up tried to include a recorder, a driver and a passenger in each group, matched according to the ticks, and made sure that everyone was in a different group each day. Whilst the theory worked fine, time had passed since the forms were sent in and for several people their plans had changed, so there have been quite a few revisions. I somehow suspect that there will be more when we all assemble.
"In the meantime Jon has been quite busy recording: he spent a week in north Oxfordshire at the beginning of May (nicest find probably Lithospermum arvense on a disturbed road verge), but still has a lot (maybe 2000) of records to type in, lead a party for an evening walk round part of Wandlebury Country Park near Cambridge, which required cycling up one of the biggest hills in Cambridgeshire (so not very big), spent a day with the local Environmental Records Centre surveying Cheveley (nicest find Trifolium subterraneum on a rather upmarket housing estate verge), had a joint excursion with the Essex local group (nicest plant Cerastium arvense in flower), and stopped off for an afternoon recording near Chester (Valerianella carinata probably the scarcest find) on the way to Blencathra. Much of today has been spent scything nettles from Dodleston motte & bailey!
"So that's it - fingers crossed that everything works and we all have a great time. More blogs to come".