Friday 13 June 2014

BSBI Summer Meeting: Part Nine

Killiecrankie, looking at Pyrola minor on a mossy trunk
Image: J. MacKinnon
There's only one talk from the BSBI Summer Meeting 2014 that hasn't yet been covered here: our President's address to the members, designed to inspire, enthuse and inform in equal parts. Is BSBI the latter-day BBC? Well, here at BSBI Central, we like to aim high! 

So here are Jon's notes on what Ian Denholm had to say, illustrated by our final batch of images from Perthshire: "Ian began by thanking everyone who had helped put together the meeting. Although initially conceived as an AGM, a change to the BSBI’s accounting year means that we will be holding future BSBI AGMs in the autumn, and the idea is to move the AGM between countries.  

Pseudorchis albida, Keltneyburn
Image: J. MacKinnon
"The restructuring process is almost over and the “old” BSBI (British Isles) will be wound up shortly. The first AGM of the “new” BSBI (Britain and Ireland) will be held in conjunction with the Annual Exhibition Meeting in Leicester in November. Ian then highlighted some new or ongoing projects.

"BSBI has committed to Atlas 2020, and is now engaged in planning the work programme, allocating staff responsibilities and fundraising. [See also what Jim McIntosh had to say about Atlas 2020]. 

"The National Plant Monitoring Scheme is a new collaboration between BSBI, Plantlife and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, supported by JNCC, and we are currently involved in piloting the scheme, which will operate in a similar way to butterfly and bird monitoring. It is specifically designed to encourage participation by botanists of all abilities. 

Wading for plants at Cluanie, BSBI ASM 2014
Image: M. Tulley
"A third project - Herbaria at Home - aims to provide digital access via a website to as many herbarium records and specimens as possible. About 150,000 sheets have been scanned so far. This is providing a unique resource for botanical research and can also be seen as something of a safeguard against local herbaria closing or collections falling into a state of disrepair. At present the project is being funded almost exclusively by BSBI; funding is being sought to expand its scope and speed up progress.
Botanists at Killiecrankie
Image: J. MacKinnon
Ian then referred to work within BSBI to publicise its resources and achievements, and Jon’s notes show that Ian was very complimentary about this News & Views Blog, our BSBI Twitter feed, launched in December, and the many media contacts with whom we are building links. Modesty prevents me from quoting from this section of the notes - suffice to say that El Presidente is very happy! 

Many thanks to all of you who have contributed words and images to these pages over the past 16 months, and who have successfully promoted the society, whether at local events or at big national outreach events such as British Birdfair - follow the link to see what the Birdfair judges thought of our outreach efforts last year! 

Jon's notes continue: “There are many other important developments underway, and Ian highlighted three of these at the conclusion of his presentation. The Digital Database of plant records continues to go from strength to strength, and clearly has a vital role to play in underpinning projects such as Atlas 2020. A new strategic plan is being drafted and will shortly be presented to the BSBI Trustees. Considerable improvements are being made to the BSBI website to provide more intuitive pathways to the huge number of resources it contains.

Trollius europaeus at Birks o'Aberfeldy
Image: B. Barnett
“The Summer Meeting in Perthshire marked Lynne Farrell’s retirement from the post of Hon Gen Sec of BSBI. Ian paid tribute to Lynne’s huge contributions over the last five years and his thanks were accompanied by resounding applause from all present. Lynne has kindly offered to assist with the induction of a successor. 

ASM Dinner 2014, Baronial Hall, Birnam, Perthshire
Image: B. Barnett
"Unfortunately, we don’t have one at present and Ian ended with a plea for anyone interested in hearing more about this extremely rewarding post to contact Lynne or himself”.

And that closes the coverage of our 2014 Summer Meeting – we hope you enjoyed the event, whether you were there in person or whether your attendance was by proxy, i.e. you stayed at home and read all about it on these pages!

Many thanks to Mark, Jay and Bert for contributing the images, to Jon "Finder of Hole in Ozone Layer" Shanklin for taking the notes and sending them through live from the field, and congratulations to Ian on everything he has achieved during the first year of his Presidency of BSBI. Here's to the future - slainte, botanists!

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