Tuesday, 24 July 2018

A tale of two Chrisses: because nature reserves are not enough!

When Chris M. met Chris P...
Image: Andy Taylor
When BSBI President Chris Metherell and his wife Hazel (also a botanist) headed off to FSC Rhyd y creuau in North Wales on Friday to teach a botany course, little did they know they were about to run into one of TV's most famous wildlife ambassadors! 

The course was called 'A Botanical Odyssey' and the aim was to record 300 plant species in two days and pass on some ID tips, folklore and ecological information to the students - a mixture of ages (early 20s to 60-something) and abilities (undergrads, botanical beginners and active botanists keen to sharpen their skills, BSBI members...) As Chris says, to show that "there is something in botany for everyone!" 

They didn't realise until they arrived at the FSC centre that Chris Packham and his team had chosen the same day to visit Rhyd y creuau as part of Chris's UK Bioblitz 2018 which aims to visit 50 wildlife sites across the UK in 10 days and "highlight the extent to which the nation's wildlife is under threat" The tagline for Chris's UK Biolitz 2018 is 'Nature Reserves are not enough!'

Dorset Flora Group out plant-hunting
 yesterday at the FBA River Lab Bioblitz
Chris M and Chris P had time for a quick chat and the moment was captured on camera by centre manager Andy Taylor, and then it was back to the task at hand, recording as many species as possible in the grounds around the centre. 

Click on this link to see the the species count from the FSC Rhyd y creuau Bioblitz including the 138 plant species found in just a couple of hours by Chris and Hazel Metherell and their 10 students. 

Lots of botanists, wildlife-lovers and local recording groups are out Biolitzing across the country this summer, many using BSBI's free ID resources, all getting involved and adding to our knowledge of what's out there and how our plants and animals are faring. To all of them we'd like to say a huge THANK YOU!