Thursday 24 November 2016

BSBI Exhibition Meeting 2016: the countdown

Tim Rich hunting hawkweeds in the Hebrides:
he has a hawkweed exhibit at the AEM.
Image: P. Smith (who's speaking at the AEM!)
This Saturday's BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting is rapidly approaching and many months of hard work, led by Jodey and Kylie of BSBI's Meetings & Communications Team, are about to pay off and give us one fabulous day for botanists. 

At least that's what we, and 181 people who have already booked, are hoping!

You will have seen the programme of nine speakers, including keynote speaker David Roy, Head of the Biological Records Centre at CEH Wallingford, who are our hosts this year. 

We also look forward to welcoming speaker Jo Judge, CEO of the National Biodiversity Network to tell us about some of the changes we can look forward to at the NBN in the coming months.

Exhibitor Lynne Farrell presenting an award
in her name at the recent NBN Conference
Image: Sue Townsend (AEM co-chair!)
But the AEM is also about exhibits and we have 38 for you to enjoy this year. 

Some are familiar names like George Garnett, Tim Rich, Lynne Farrell, Oli Pescott, Monica Frisch, Fred Rumsey and John Poland... 

Some are first-time exhibitors and we are mostly keeping them under wraps until Saturday; we'll be uploading as many as possible of the exhibits as pdfs to the AEM webpage next week, so we'll tell you a bit more about each exhibitor as their exhibit becomes available.

John Poland (right) signs a copy of his & Eric's
celebrated Vegetative Key. Catch John's
Vegetative Plant ID Quiz at the AEM
Image: L. Marsh 
One new exhibit I just have to spill the beans about comes from A Focus on Nature, the network for young nature conservationists and naturalists - they are doing an amazing job and I'm really looking forward to finding out more and sharing it with all of you. 

There will also be a demonstration of something that's an absolute first for BSBI and will (we hope) knock your socks off but I really am sworn to secrecy on that one until Saturday!

Another treat which can be discussed now: at the AEM, we will all see Dr Sandy Knapp presenting the Engler Silver Medal to co-authors of the fabulous Hybrid Flora of the British Isles

Chris Preston at the 2014 launch of the
England Red List at Kew Gardens
Image: L. Marsh (also exhibiting at the AEM!)
We're delighted that at least two of the three co-authors will be joining us: David Pearman and also Dr Chris Preston, who will be offering a talk straight after the presentation.

Chris spent over 30 years working as a Botanist at the Biological Records Centre and he has been an active, highly respected and much loved BSBI member for more than forty years, so who better to tell us something of how both organisations started working together in those pioneer days for biological recording. Chris is also offering an exhibit on the same theme for which he has raided the BRC/CEH archives, but he won't tell us any more than that!

And then David Roy will bring things bang up to date with his keynote on how we are continuing to develop and build on that very successful partnership between BSBI and BRC/CEH in the 21st century - and some of our exhibits will show the results of that partnership so far.

It should be a great day! If you can't make it to CEH Wallingford on Saturday, you can follow the action via our Facebook account and via our Twitter account using the hashtag #BSBIExhibitionMeeting  - and watch this space for updates.  

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