Tuesday, 13 December 2016

New Year Plant Hunt 2017: invitation to take part

The new app was launched at the AEM
Image: Ryan Clark
You are cordially invited to take part in the New Year Plant Hunt 2017. 

Details of how to take part are here and you'll see that we are trialling a brand new app this year. It was developed by our colleagues at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and we'd like to thanks Karolis Kaslauskis and Markus Wagner for all their great work. 

At the BSBI Exhibition Meeting last month, Karolis gave us a demonstration of the new app and Markus gave a talk about the various apps CEH has developed to help recorders of wild flowers, including the recent Rare Arable Flowers App and the app for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (BSBI is a partner in this national project, along with CEH and Plantlife).

These apps are helping a new generation of naturalists get more involved with biological recording and for us oldies, they are actually much easier to use than you might expect. 

Markus telling us about CEH apps at AEM 2016
Image: Ryan Clark
If you have an iPhone or a smartphone that uses Android, you can download the app free of charge by clicking the links here

If not, you will appreciate the desktop version that BSBI's Database Officer and software designer Tom Humphrey is currently working on. This will make it possible for you to record plants in the field as usual (using a BSBI recording card or just writing a list) and then upload your results quickly and easily once you get home. 


Karolis gets ready to demonstrate
the New Year Plant Hunt app
Image: Ryan Clark
Tom is also working on a new webpage where we can share with you the latest images sent to us, an interactive map showing where New Year Plant Hunt records have been submitted, and reports on any trends we are spotting or interesting plants to look out for on your patch. The webpage and the desktop version of the app should be ready next week so watch this space.

We hope you will also share images and observations via Facebook and Twitter, as you have in previous years, but only records submitted by the app will make it into our New Year Plant Hunt database, where this year's records can be compared against those from previous years and we can see if any patterns are starting to emerge.   

Last year, 865 of you went out New Year Plant Hunting and we are hoping the new app will help us break that record next month. You recorded 653 species in bloom - I wonder how many we'll find during the 2017 Hunt? 

If you'd like to know more about the Hunt or about the new app, please contact the new Year Plant Hunt 2017 team of volunteers - Ciara, Ian, Kevin, Louise, Richard, Ryan and Tom - at this address: nyplanthunt@bsbi.org