Thursday, 3 October 2013

BSBI News. 

The gardens at RBGE. Image: I. Denholm.  
Last week, BSBI members enjoyed the thrice-yearly thrill of anticipation that accompanies finding the latest issue of BSBI News on the doormat. 

You can go straight for the main course and sit down with News, expecting to be engrossed for the next few hours. Or you can enjoy the hors d'oeuvres, like the flyer inside BSBI News no.124 which offers BSBI members a 20% discount on John Edgington's forthcoming book, 'Who found our ferns?' 

BSBI wins Birdfair Best Stand Award 2013 (Conservation)
Image: L. Marsh
There are booking forms in this issue for the Scottish Annual Meeting (offering a tour of the herbarium at RBGE) on 2nd November and for the AEM (with the chance of a guided tour of the NHM herbariumon 23rd November. 

The two meetings are widely acknowledged as annual highlights in the botanical world, but the chance to go behind-the-scenes at two of Britain's 'Big Three' herbaria must be the cherry on the cake! 
Sarah, Lynne and Ian at "Meetings"
Image: L. Marsh

The back cover of this issue of News displays my favourite photograph from Birdfair - apologies for showing you this again (on left) but 'Best Stand Award 2013 (Conservation)' - can you really blame me?

Opening up BSBI News, there's the usual dilemma - which way to look first? Eyes left to the first batch of colour photographs (this issue has some gorgeous ones of Michael Chalk's to accompany his note on Man x Monkey Orchid Orchis x bergonii)? Or eyes right to skim down 'Contents' and note that this issue is 72 pages long. That's comparatively slim for BSBI News, which is sometimes 100+ pages, but the length is determined by how many suitable submissions the editors (Gwynn and Trevor) receive. 


Laura at Big Nature Day, NHM
Image: O. Pescott
So if you want even more in your News, it's up to all of us to contribute - you don't necessarily have to be a member to submit an article, but it should be of relevance to the BSBI membership. Ask Trevor if in doubt. 

Notes from our new President Ian Denholm kick off this issue; he offers us a potted history of his (botanical) life so far, thanks his predecessor, Ian Bonner, and brings us up to speed on recent developments in the society.

Ian Denholm at the State of Nature launch, NHM
Image: L. Marsh
Great to read Ian's comment that he is "personally very committed to ... strengthening our external profile among potential sponsors, other related organisations, the media and the public at large". 

Ian writes about the outreach events BSBI has attended this year - like 'Big Nature Day' (above right) - and he thanks and acknowledges the BSBI volunteers who made possible our successes.
Ian on the stand at Birdfair
Image: L. Marsh
You'd expect no less from a President who has been the driving force behind all BSBI's recent publicity and outreach initiatives: whether co-ordinating and advising on strategy in his role as Chair of Meetings & Communications Committee (above left); engaging with conservationists and journalists (above) or happily pitching in on exhibition stands (right). 

I'm only on page four of News and already I've filled up a whole Blogpost! Part the second will have to follow, once I've read David Hambler's piece on page 5 about the intriguingly-named Salicornia obscura - only in BSBI News...