Monday, 14 August 2017

Inaugural meeting of the Kerry BSBI group

In the throes of recording
Image: J. Hamilton
The last time Jessica appeared on these pages, she was telling us about the very successful #KerryBSBIevent on the Dingle Peninsula. Now she's back to tell us about the inaugural meeting of the local botany group. Over to Jessica:

"The Kerry local BSBI group has found its legs and our first ever outing took place in Killarney on the 16th July. The aim was to get some recording done for Atlas 2020 but to also have a nice relaxed day for participants who are new to the world of botany and the system of recording used by the BSBI. 

Image: J. Hamilton
"The group was led by Therese Higgins and myself and we had 18 enthusiastic participants, majority of whom were all beginners, all of whom were able to take something new they learned away with them. 

"Botany is a subject that you really benefit the most when you get out in the field with more experienced people, I can attest to this, as when out you really learn ID tips and familiarity with species you might not have been aware of before. Sometimes a line or couplet in a botanical key may seem quite ambiguous but once someone shows a feature or the species in the field, it suddenly ‘clicks’.

Lough Leane
Image: J. Hamilton
"Once a plant has been pointed out and you get your eye in, you realise it’s often all around you. This is an aspect of the BSBI I love, whether a complete beginner or an improver you are welcomed with open arms and the atmosphere is always relaxed and easy going. 

"I hope we conveyed this atmosphere to the participants on the day! Plus I think we can all relate to that feeling when you’ve reached your botanical mental capacity for the day with all the new names and species etc., hence the importance of beautiful views and scenery to take in after! 

Marsh Ragwort
Image: J. Hamilton
"A few other locations were mulled over before deciding on Ross Island for our first outing, primarily as it was user friendly with easy access and facilities if needed nearby. Best of all, we were surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Killarney National Park.

"We collected over 200 species from two monads which was a nice feat for our first outing. The plan was originally to get more ground covered however as typical of botanists - less ground was covered in favour of ‘cooing’ of some very interesting species indeed. Which I think is very important, if we were to have zoomed through and not pointed out all the common species, they would still be unknowns to beginners. 

Broad-leaved Helleborine
Image: J. Hamilton
"Even the more common plants such as Slender St John’s-wort Hypericum pulchrum caused quite a stir when people first looked at them through a hand lens and saw the glands. I know Therese definitely enjoyed seeing the ‘wows’ and ‘ahhs’ that people projected upon seeing them.

"My botanical highlight was the beautiful Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine that we met quite a few of throughout the day, first just one or two and then nice patches of them along the shore of Lough Leane. I always get excited when I see any species of orchid (Anecdotal tale- I ‘met’ my first Heath Spotted-orchid back when I fell into a dike and looked up to find a handful growing right above my head, alongside some strange looks from a rather bemused spaniel of mine). So it was only my first time meeting this particular species of helleborine which was great and another orchid species ticked off.

"It was also the first time for me meeting several species in the ‘flesh’ as opposed to just via books or online. Three such species were Lesser meadow-rue Thalictrum minus, Slender rush Juncus tenuis and Wall Bramble Rubus saxatilis, - the latter being a entirely new species for me.

Image: J. Hamilton
"One species that caused excitement and uncertainty was the Broomrape Orobanche sp. The lean is towards O. hederae but this is not yet 100% confirmed, however it was also growing beside its likely host (Ivy) so it’s a fairly confident ID. Broomrapes in general are a lovely and different looking species to meet so I didn’t want to leave out a photo of this alien-looking parasitic plant.

"As well as these interesting species we saw lots of more common, typical species such as Remote Sedge Carex remota, Wood-sedge Carex sylvatica as well as a nice stands of Red Campion Silene dioica, Wood sage Teucrium scorodonia alongside speedwells, woundworts Stachys sylvatica and palustris, vetches and other members of the Fabaceae (Pea family). Remnants of the earlier spring flowering plants were also seen such as the seed heads of Early purple orchid Orchis maculata and Bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta, which would have carpeted the woodland floors a few months ago with their other woodland companions such as Bugle Ajuga reptans and Wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella.

Red Campion
Image: J. Hamilton
"In damper areas we saw a few flowers of the last of the Ragged Robins Silene flos-cuculi that were still hanging on alongside Opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage Chrysosplenium oppositifolium. The crisp odour of Water mint Mentha aquatica was smelled by everyone before we saw it. Marsh Ragwort Senecio aquaticus and Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria also put on a good show, especially around Ross Castle itself. Close to here we saw an aquatic invasive Fringed Water-lily Nymphoides peltata which is an escape from domestic ponds and the like. Angelica Angelica sylvestris was also starting to make its presence felt in the locality.

The invasive Fringed Water-lily
Image: J. Hamilton
"We were blessed with the weather with clear blue skies and sunshine all day. This weather also facilitated another highlight for me, we were surrounded by tens of Silver washed fritillary butterflies which are fairy like in their delicate appearance and movement. It was fabulous to see that they were relishing the good weather as much as we were.

"The good weather allowed us to have our lunch on the shore of Lough Leane, where another beautiful plant the Harebell Campanula rotundifola was a hit with people owing to its delicate and very pretty appearance. Nearby we encountered great displays of Common cow-wheat Melampyrum pratense and Hemp agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum.

Common Cow-wheat
Image: J. Hamilton
"We were lucky to also have Matt Hodd alongside us who pointed out many of the lovely species of tree present on our rambles such as Wild Plum Prunus domestica and Wych Elm Ulmus glabra.

I asked two participants for feedback on the day and what their highlights were. Michelle Duggan, a fellow classmate from the IT Tralee had this to say:
"I had a very enjoyable day out with the Kerry BSBI group. The group consisted of mixed abilities from beginners to more experienced botanists. There was a fantastic buzz of excitement as we made our way around Ross Island, Killarney. The highlight of the day for me was discovering a Broomrape species Orobanche sp. I've never come across one before and was taken back by its amazing purplish colour, that highlights it's parasitic nature. I thought that both BSBI representatives (Therese and Jessica) were fun and engaging which ensured the day was a great success. I look forward to getting out for more botanising!"

Thea Eldred, who was also present for the recent Kerry recording event on the Dingle Peninsula back in June, said:

Lakeside lunch
Image: J. Hamilton
“I had a fantastic time on what I hope was the first of many Kerry BSBI outings. For me these trips are the best way to improve my botany skills (I have been shown over 100 new species so far!), and they are also a lovely way of spending a day outside enjoying nature and meeting friends. 

"The highlight of our excursion to Ross Island was to see the surprisingly intricate and beautiful structure of the Slender St John's-wort Hypericum pulchrum petals under the hand lens. I would normally pass by this plant without a second glance, which just goes to show the value of accompanying a skilled botanist in the field. Thank you Therese and Jessica for being so generous with your time and knowledge! I look forward to seeing everyone again on the next Kerry BSBI outing.”

Lough Leane
Image: J. Hamilton
"I echo what Michelle and Thea have said and I look forward with anticipation to the next BSBI Kerry event, which will hopefully occur before the end of this summer. (Keep an eye on the Twitter and Facebook Pages mentioned below).
To conclude I want to thank everyone again for coming again. Also a special thanks to Therese for her never ending enthusiasm for botany!
You can follow our antics on the official BSBI Kerry Facebook page here or if you’re a Twitter user here

If you are in the Kerry locality and would like to get involved and come out with us on future outings, send an email to and I’ll add you to the mailing list". 

Thanks to Jessica for this account  - the BSBI Kerry group has got off to a great start (18 people on an inaugural meeting is probably a record!) so we look forward to hearing more about their progress. 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The North-West Rare Plant Initiative

Flat-sedge Blysmus compressus
Image: J. Styles
Josh Styles, a BSBI member and one of our next generation of botanists, has been in touch about an interesting project he is setting up. Over to Josh to tell us more:

"The North-West Rare Plant Initiative (NWRPI) is a recent project operating across the north-west of England principally through vice counties 58 (Cheshire), 59 (South Lancashire) and 60 (West Lancashire) as a response to the drastic negative change in the abundance and range of certain species of plant on a regional level. 

"The aim of the NWRPI is to bring into cultivation the rarest plant species within VC 58-60 with the end goal of reintroduction back into suitable sites where a suitable environment with a sustainable management regime exists. A goal of the NWRPI in addition to conservation of species in decline is to set up a network of cultivators across the country whereby plants are able to be cultivated on a much larger scale than is possible by a single cultivator.

Sheep's-bit Jasione montana, scarce in VC58-60
Image: J. Styles
"Most of the priority species that the NWRPI is concerned with are red-listed species in a similar state of decline across England such as Flat-Sedge Blysmus compressus". 

To find out more about this project, see the NWRPI website.  

To find out more about species on the England Red List, head over to this page where you can download the entire list. 

And do check out BSBI's Species Accounts, put together by Kevin and Pete, the BSBI Science Team. There is a Species Account for Blysmus compressus and also for 78 other rare species. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

BSBI training grants helping botanists in 2017: Part Two

Mark teaching the class; Richard (on left)
peering down a microscope
Image: J. Duffell
This year, botanist Richard is on a mission to get to grips with IDing grasses, sedges and rushes. He applied for, and was awarded, a BSBI training grant and here is his report on the course he was able to attend:

"Following on from my last blogpost about the introductory grass ID session I attended with the Species Recovery Trust, last month I attended the FSC Grasses, Sedges and Rushes intermediate level 3 day course. This was held at the FSC Margam Discovery Centre in South Wales, and I must say, what wonderful surroundings to be learning in.

"The course started on Friday teatime, and after an introduction by our tutor Mark Duffell, we had dinner (which included freshly dug potatoes to die for), and then the evening was spent with Mark showing us rushes and how to apply the Juncaceae key in Stace 3.

The group keying out
Image: R. Mabbutt
"Once the trickier terminology was understood and we were keying out in small groups, in pairs and on our own, we were shown some finer points with a handout from the Plant Crib differentiating between observations such as Juncus acutiflorus and J. articulatus fruiting capsules, and J. conglomeratus and J. effusus cyme bract differences. [LM: download the Plant Crib for Juncus from this page.]

"This is exactly the level of tuition I needed and I went to bed a very happy man.

"Saturday morning was in the classroom, and it was grass day. We were to use 'Hubbard' and to everyone's relief, Mark had reformatted and updated the key making it a pleasure to use. There were plenty of handouts on this course so we could concentrate more on the talks than on writing it all down. I was impressed with the overhead projector and microscope combination which helped very much indeed.

Books used on the course
Image: R. Mabbutt
"We were given many samples to key out, and I became pleased with myself and the nitty gritty of the flower parts, especially once I realised that the usual palea/lemma configuration isn't always the case. This was one of those eureka moments for me, and the three students from MMU who were sitting at my table were very patient and helpful with me whilst I was wrapping my head around it all. I had my uses in return though, with skills they needed help with, so we made for a good little gang of four.

"In the afternoon we went out into Margam Park and ID'd more grasses and some rushes. This was followed up in the evening by identifying samples we had picked and a seemingly endless flow of material to expand our ID database with.

Keying out by the lake
Image: J. Duffell
"Sunday was spent on sedges and their allies. Again, the morning was spent in the classroom getting used to the finer points of the BSBI Sedges Handbook. I like this book, and own a copy of the first edition, but after seeing the third edition which includes their allies, I think Summerfield Books need a visit on payday.

"After lunch we were taken to Kenfig NNR to ID in the field. We didn't just concentrate on sedges either, but added to our arsenal of grass and rush identifications. Whilst we were there though we couldn't help but notice the plethora of amazing species from other plant families. 

Still keying out!
Image: R. Mabbutt
"I felt like a dog with two tails, but alas, the heavens opened in an absolute deluge, so we grabbed as many specimens as we could and made our way back to the centre. The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent identifying our findings and even more material from Mark. How he kept up with the constant barrage of questions from the 16 of us I'll never know.

"On Monday we went out in the minibus first thing to Clyne Commona site on the other side of Swansea. It was heathland with wet flushes and was rich with species from our three families. After having a go at IDing some of the plants we found, and hopefully nailing the difference between J. articulatus and J. acutifolius, we all sat a test, with ten minutes allowed for each of five species picked by Mark. 

Mark (on left) teaching in the field
Image: J. Duffell
"We all thoroughly enjoyed it - I scored four out of five, so was rather happy having only seen one of these taxa before at a genus level. By the time we got back it was almost time to head home. A quick round up by Mark and, after we all thanked him and his wife Jenni, we went our separate ways.

"The course was intense without being overbearing, and the tutor a very helpful person that explained things to the point of them becoming easy. I'm very sure that what I've learned will not just help me in the field, but with my forthcoming FISC exam.

"I'd like to thank BSBI for awarding me a training grant so that I could attend this course."

Many thanks Richard for telling us about the course he was able to attend thanks to a BSBI training grant!

Monday, 31 July 2017

New resources on the NPMS website

Workshop for NPMS participants on identifying
members of the Carrot family (Apiaceae):
led by expert botanist Nick Law.
Image: N. Law/FPCR ltd.
Are you participating in the National Plant Monitoring Scheme? If you are, you need to be able to work out what sort of habitat your plots are in and sometimes, that's not as straightforward as you'd think!

Fortunately, there are lots of extremely useful resources available to NPMS participants and the latest of these is a series of videos, courtesy of our colleagues at FSC.Tom.Bio

Click here to find the links for videos on how to identify these four habitats: dry acid grassland, dry heathland, neutral pastures and meadows, and neutral damp grassland.

Of course there's nothing to stop you browsing the excellent NPMS website even if you haven't (yet) registered for the scheme! If you do, you'll also see this blogpost about NPMS training in Scotland.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Getting to grips with grasses

We've featured Faith Anstey's very popular plant family ID training sessions on these pages before, but this year, for the first time, she also also ran a Grass ID workshop. 

Over to Faith to tell us how it went:

"Twenty people participated in a very successful Grass ID workshop held at Holyrood Park Education Centre in Edinburgh earlier this month. It was organised and led by Faith Anstey and a team of BSBI volunteer tutors.

"The workshop started off in the classroom comparing grasses with other monocots, examining the structure of grasses and learning terms essential for ID.  

"Keys were not used at all – because of "kleidophobia": the fear that keys invariably induce in beginners! 

"However, participants were introduced to 20 common grass species of neutral grassland by means of a flowchart. In the afternoon there was a practical field work session looking at the species in Holyrood Park. 

"The softly-softly approach and the practical sessions with experienced tutors in the classroom and field were much valued and enjoyed by the students. 

"Given the great feedback we got from students, we will almost certainly repeat the workshop next year".

Many thanks to Faith for this report and to Sandy Edwards (one of Faith's volunteer tutors and also County Recorder for Fife & Kinross) for the photos.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Remembering Robert Brown (1773-1858)

Robert Brown, 1773-1858
Our chairman Ian Denholm has been corresponding with Miss M.F. Brown of Kingston, Surrey, who is a cousin, four generations removed, of the famous Scottish polymath Robert Brown

Although born 36 years before Charles Darwin, in later life these two illustrious biologists would have overlapped and there are interesting parallels in events that shaped their scientific achievements. After formal training in medicine and a period of military service, Robert was appointed as resident naturalist aboard a ship `The Investigator’ for a voyage circumnavigating Australia.

Partly through having Sir Joseph Banks as a mentor, he focused his attention on plants and at least 2,000 of the species he collected proved to be new to science. Consequently a number of Australian species bear the epithet brownii and he is also recognised through the genus Brunonia (Goodeniaceae) – the Australian blue pincushion flower.

Back from his travels, Robert Brown pioneered many aspects of microscopy and coined the term “nucleus” for one of the most distinctive intracellular organelles. He was the first to describe the behaviour of particles (initially by observing pollen grains) that is now universally known as Brownian motion.

In 1988, Miss Brown wrote an article on Robert in `The Linnean’, and this is now freely accessible through the archives of the Linnean Society. This link takes you to the start of Volume 4 and the piece on Robert Brown starts on page 38. 

Miss Brown also recalls with delight a recent visit to Kew to inspect the original microscopy equipment used by the great man himself (see photo on left)!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

New on the BSBI's News page

Chris in the Herbarium at Univ Leicester
Image: L. Marsh
If you haven't taken a look at the News page on the BSBI website recently, you may have missed some of the links we've been sharing to recently published papers and conferences.  

Here are a few recent items which may be of interest:

The future for biological surveys: BSBI members are invited to attend a forthcoming Linnean Society Symposium titled ‘What is the Future for Biological Surveys? Are specialists for key taxa at risk of becoming extinct?' One of the speakers will be Chris Metherell, BSBI's incoming President. The Symposium takes place on 7th September, 11am – 4.30pm, in the Linnean Society’s Meeting Room in Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. More here.

How will climate change affect our wild flowers? BSBI's Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker is a co-author on a newly published paper in the journal Biological Conservation which assesses the impact of climate change on the distribution of over 3,000 British plants and animals across 17 taxonomic groups. Click here to download the paper in full.

Gunnera tinctoria: an ornanmental
species naturalised on Benbecula
Image: F. Donald 
Vegetation monitoring: Click here to download 'Long-term vegetation monitoring in Great Britain - the Countryside Survey 1978-2007 and beyond'.

Garden plants and invasive species: In 2015, BSBI members contributed to a survey aimed at trying to identify garden plants likely to become invasive in future. The authors have now published a paper based on the data collected. You can read 'Integrating invasive species policies across ornamental horticulture supply chains to prevent plant invasions' in full by clicking here.

Are Beech trees native to Scotland? According to researchers at the University of Sterling - yes they are! More here or go straight to the abstract. The full paper appears in the latest issue of Journal of Biogeography.

If you hear of any forthcoming conferences or symposia, or spot any new papers which may interest fellow botanists, please let me know so we can share them on the News page.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Ely Wildspace survey

Branched Bur-reed
Image: M. Frisch
Last time we heard from Cambridge botanist Monica Frisch, she was at the Cambridge Conversazione reporting on the various botanical exhibits, but a few days later she was back out in the field again. Here's her latest report: 

"On Saturday 15th July 2017 the Cambridge Flora Group surveyed Ely Wildspace. This included Ely Common, Roswell Pits and various meadows alongside the River Ouse, all now part of the Ely Pits and Meadows SSSI. This area, about 85 hectares (though we did not explore all of them), includes parts designated for their geological importance and for their breeding birds. But there was plenty of interest to occupy eleven botanists, including some of Cambridgeshire’s most experienced:  Alan Leslie and Jonathan Shanklin, the County Recorders, Chris Preston, Mark Hill and Owen Mountford who is working on a Fenland Flora.

"Guided by local expert Tim Inskipp, we started looking at the eastern part of Ely Common, which was the more diverse part when surveyed by Tanner & Vejakob (Nature in Cambridgeshire, 2014). It is mainly rough grassland but improved as a result of the addition of hay from nearby Chettisham Meadow. One benefit was the appearance, earlier this year, of Green-winged Orchid. That was over but we did see one of the patches of Adder’s-tongue Fern Ophioglossum vulgatum. There was lots of Hoary Ragwort Senecio erucifolius growing tall and lush.

Image: M. Frisch
"Having more or less circumnavigated the common we meandered down and along the wooded banks of the western edge of Roswell Pits, stopping to debate the differences between the two yellow-flowered melilots and concluding that the one that we were finding was Tall Melilot Melilotus altissimus. There was plenty of Purple-loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, a plant I consider looks particularly attractive silhouetted against water, masses of Teasel, mostly at the stage where not all the flowers had opened, resulting in bands of blue on the inflorescence. There was plenty of Upright Hedge Parsley Torilis japonica the more delicate successor to Cow Parsley and surprising amounts, to me, of Stone Parsley Sison amomum though most of us could not smell the nutmeg as well as petrol which some books say are meant to characterise the species.

"Tim Inskipp was able to let us into a meadow closed off, apparently for safety reasons, to the general public, though the danger of falling into the watery pit seemed no greater there than elsewhere. We looked at the brambles, with Alan Leslie concluding one was probably close to a hybrid of Rubus caesius x ulmifolius. I enjoyed seeing lots of bright pink Centaury Centaurium erythraea and it was a pleasant spot to stop and eat our lunch.

Rumex maritimus (on left), R. conglomeratus
 (on right); in between: R. x knafii
Image: M. Frisch 
"Most of the afternoon was spent exploring the meadows alongside the River Great Ouse where the experts debated about carices and studied the docks, finding three different hybrids amongst the mass of species: Rumex x schulzei (R. crispus x conglomeratus) which had been previously recorded, in 2007,  Rumex x knafii (R. conglomeratus x maritimus) and Rumex x pratensis (R. crispusobtusifolius). Easier to recognise was Orange Foxtail Alopecurus aequalis living up to its name. This was an exciting record as it hadn't been seen in the hectad since 1855. Also fairly distinctive, for an umbellifer, was Tubular Water-dropwort Oenanthe fistulosa.

"For me other highlights were the Branched Bur-reed Sparganium erectum subsp. neglectum showing flowers and fruits at different stages, seeing Sweet Flag Acorus calamus for the first time and in flower, some unexpected seaside plants on a road verge, and a new crucifer: Bastard Mustard Rapistrum rugosum on the verge of Lisle Lane.

"All in all, an enjoyable and successful day, which added about 50 species to the list for Ely Wildspace, as well as helping with recording for the Fenland Flora". 

Thanks Monica! We're always keen to share what botanists are seeing out in the field - just send a short report like Monica's to and we'll be delighted to publish it on these pages. 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

BSBI Training Grants helping botanists in 2017: Part One

Sedges collected and displayed by Lynda
Image: S. Brien
Another year, another round of BSBI training grants awarded to budding botanists keen to improve their skills

The first of this year's grant recipients, keen to tell readers about the course they were able to attend thanks to that BSBI training grant, is Shane. Last time we heard from him, he was volunteering with BSBI Irish Officer Maria Long. Now he's brushing up his sedge ID skills. 

Over to Shane:  

"I took it upon myself to attend a course on the “Introduction to sedges” with the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) in Co. Waterford. I was highly interested and enthusiastic in learning more for this group, the different structures, how to key them to species level, and ID tips that may help in the field. Also, when I heard Lynda Weekes was teaching it (after her amazing talk on rushes at the Irish BSBI conference 2017), I put my name on the list instantly.

Schoenus nigricans, one of the "other sedges"
Image: S. Brien
"The morning session involved a slideshow presentation on the differences between sedges, rushes, and grasses (the saying I was taught before this course, “sedges have edges; rushes are round; grasses have nodes right to the ground). It can be confusing to a person learning this group for the first time, but once shown the different characteristics of sedges first hand it becomes engrained in the mind afterward. Sounds simple from a presentation than an actual specimen.

"The next segment looked at the number of different species found in Ireland. Mainly observing the differences between other sedge and true sedge groups. This interesting part involved looking at some specimens that were brought in (thanks to Lynda), which were held up in bottles and arranged per habitat type. We worked in pairs, due to the limitation of handouts, using draft copies of the sedges & rushes book being devised by the NBDC that will have a similar format to the grass guide (Fitzpatricket al., 2014). The other sedge specimens brought in for the day included Eleocharis palustris, Schoenus nigricans, Schoenoplectus lacustris, Trichophorum germanicum, Eriophorum angustifolium & Bolboschoensis maritimus. After looking at these specimens, everyone dispersed for lunch as the afternoon session started the true sedge (Carex) fun.

Carex otrubae, one of the "true sedges"
Image: S. Brien
"I found the afternoon session very helpful when trying to distinguish Carex species that looked very similar in the field, it only takes a bit of practice to figure things out eventually. It started off with some of the more notable species such as Carex pulicaris and C. otrubae, with the obvious inflorescence they both possess. The key was needed for the next specimens which possessed an inflorescence of the terminal spike on top and other spikes on the stem below (appressed or hanging). Everyone struggled at the first obstacle in the key with “are the utricles flat?”, and most answers being “maybe”, “possibly”, “I don’t know”. Lynda said “they shouldn’t be” then grabbed another specimen to show us the flat utricles in comparison to the specimen we were keying out. 

Groups looking at and keying out sedges
Image: S. Brien
"She boosted our confidence after that to work from there on, having each pair work at their own accords or collectively as a working group. I and my partner worked through the specimens quite well but stumbled from time to time. One specimen (C. laevigata) we worked with was slightly immature which made it difficult to key. Lynda was extremely helpful in pointing that out and highlighted the need to look at several specimens when in the field.

"The final part involved a walkabout around the data centre in search of a few sedges in the overgrown grassland area and Waterford IT campus. Carex sylvatica and C. pendula weren’t picked purposely because Lynda wanted the pairs to find them in the field and see how different sedges looked in the field aspect. 

"I found this course extremely useful and would like to thank the BSBI grant scheme for funding this. I have already put my knowledge gained into practice. The BSBI Dublin group went to Clogherhead, Co. Louth where I pointed out C. distans and C. otrubae while scanning through the sand dunes, salt marshes, and rocky areas".

Many thanks to Shane for telling us about the course he was able to attend, thanks to a BSBI training grant.