Thursday, 11 September 2014

First England Red List for Vascular Plants

Pete (on left) and Kevin with NPMS volunteers 
The first ever England Red List for Vascular Plants will be unveiled at Kew Gardens next Wednesday, 17th September, at a BSBI press launch with lead author Pete Stroh (BSBI's Scientific Officer) and his co-authors, fellow botanists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Natural England, the Natural History Museum, Plantlife and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Now that's what you call a botanical all-star line-up!

But that's all I can tell you about the England Red List today because its contents are, as you might expect, strictly embargoed until next Wednesday. 

Recording our wild plants this summer
Image: B. Barnett
I can, though, tell you that Pete and his team have been working on this analysis for almost two years and some of their findings will surprise you. 

And I don't think anyone will mind if I tell you that both Kevin Walker (BSBI's Head of Science & Research) and former President David Pearman (co-author of the New Atlas of the British & Irish flora2002) were also on the team and are ERL co-authors.  

Pearman, Preston & Dines: the Atlas 2000 Team reunited
Image: L. Marsh
I can certainly tell you that several generations of BSBI recorders have played a huge part in collecting the data used for the analysis. That's all of you who go out and record what grows where on your local patch. 

So if the England Red List proves a useful tool for better targeting our conservation efforts towards wild plants - and we think it will - then its success will be down to all of you botanical recorders. We salute and thank you and so, perhaps, will posterity! 

I think you will all be extremely interested in the results of the analysis and many of you will want to take advantage of some of the many ways that you can get involved now in mapping and monitoring our threatened wild plants. Click here here and here to find out more.