Saturday 20 October 2018

BSBI Recorders' Conference 2018: a huge success!

Fred Rumsey's Duckweed ID workshop
Image: L. Marsh
Last weekend saw 69 botanists assembled at FSC Preston Montford in Shropshire for the 2018 BSBI Recorders' Conference to enjoy 11 talks, 13 workshops/ drop-in sessions, a field session to road test John Poland's forthcoming Field Key to Winter Twigs and a pop-up bookshop from Summerfield Books

If you head over to the Recorders' Conference webpage, you can download pdfs of nine of the eleven talks - not quite the same as being there but an enjoyable glimpse into what went on and there are some great links and helpful tips in the pdfs! 

There are also five workshop hand-outs available on the page, and more to come. The three hand-outs from expert botanist Tim Rich (author of the celebrated Plant Crib) are particularly useful, covering an introduction to collecting and identifying dandelions, and introductions to dandelion sections and dandelion characters. 

Ken Adams talking about creating ID resources
Image: L. Marsh
Feedback from the delegates suggests that, while they enjoyed all the talks and workshops, there were a few particular favourites: Ken Adams on ID resources, Tim Rich on Gentians and Geoffrey Hall on 'Citizen Science: dealing with the deluge' were among the most popular talks.

Of the workshops, David Earl on brambles, John Poland's twig ID sessions, Matt Parratt on Abies and Geoffrey Kitchener on Docks were singled out, with one delegate commenting "Geoffrey Kitchener's Docks workshop was the best workshop I have ever attended". 

Geoffrey Kitchener's Rumex workshop
Image: L. Marsh
There were also several mentions of Sue Townsend's "warm style and great chairing" as at the end of each day she pulled together threads from the day's talks and helped us look at how we might progress some of the ideas discussed. I couldn't agree more, Sue gave us masterclasses in how to chair a conference, even though 'Sue's masterclass' doesn't appear as an item on the programme! 

David Morris, County Recorder for  Oxfordshire, attended the Recorders' Conference and has written a short account of it for his blog which really captures the flavour of the event: click here to read David's report.

You can also get a good flavour of the conference by clicking on the #BSBIRecordersConference hashtag, where several delegates shared their thoughts on the weekend - and some great photos! 

I particularly liked these two tweets from people who couldn't make it along to Shropshire:

Replying to   and 
Wish I was there. Please keep tweeting so I can join in electronically!

IDing twigs with John Poland - in the rain!
Tim Rich looking very cool (and dry) under
a colourful umberella - wise man ;-)
Image: C. Sugrue
Delegates to the conference have already suggested a few workshops they'd like us to run next time: non-aquatic aliens; willows; brassicas; Fumaria spp.; sedges; 
Polygonum; the mechanics of recording... 

So it looks like we already have a draft programme for the next Recorders' Conference, scheduled for spring 2020! 

We'll post details of the venue and the date on the Recorders' Conference webpage nearer the time but meanwhile, if you have suggestions for an ID workshop you'd like us to put on, just email and we'll add your idea to the list.        

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