Thursday, 20 November 2014

Guess who's coming to the AEM?

Melampyrum arvense
Image: B. Laney
Apologies that preparations for the Annual Exhibition Meeting, being held this Saturday in Leicester, have taken up so much time in the past fortnight that I haven't had time to keep you updated on these pages.

The good news is that we are all set for a great AEM, and almost 150 of you have already booked to attend. The even better news is that it's still ok to drop in unannounced, although you may not get a lovely name badge with your name printed on it! But the venue is big enough so I think we can fit in a fair few more of you.

You already know who is on the programme and that John Poland will be running one of his vegetative ID quizzes. This year's is on IDing winter twigs.
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M. pratense habitat
Image: B. Laney
But here's some news for you: plantfinder extraordinaire Brian Laney will also be coming along for the day! Brian tells me he has "collected a large number of samples especially from Northamptonshire but also the odd specimen from other counties for the past couple of years that I am struggling to identify. Some of the species were found while square bashing for Atlas 2020."  Brian is hoping that fellow members might offer some help with ID. 

I'm hoping to find out more about the habitat management projects Brian is carrying out, to conserve rare and endangered species such as Field cow wheat Melampyrum pratense.

You may want a little light relief after struggling with all those IDs. Jonathan Mitchley may be able to provide that with his trial of plant ID Apps. And if you really can't make it to the AEM, why not check out Jonathan's blog and then maybe trial one of the Apps yourself on Saturday? 

You can leave a comment below - we will have this page open (wifi permitting!) to receive your comments and Jonathan or I can respond and we will share your comments with other guests trialling the Apps. You could also use Twitter - tweet your comments to us: @BSBIbotany for me, or @DrMGoesWild  to reach Jonathan. Let's see if the technology can support a lot of botanists with opinions to share :-)