"I am stepping into the role of Welsh Officer for the BSBI though it is hard to follow the great work done by my predecessors Paul Green and Polly Spencer-Vellacott. I have lived in Wales, on and off, for over a decade now, having first been sent here as an Information Officer to RSPB South Stack in 1998. This was followed by a stint at RSPB Ynys hir and a role first as Tutor and then Senior Tutor for FSC Rhyd y creuau at Betws y Coed. I was pleased to have the chance to come back to Wales as OPAL Community Scientist for South Wales where I helped a wide range of audiences learn more about the natural environment and take part in citizen science surveys on everything from earthworms and lichens to tree diseases.
"Most recently I have been working for the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust at Gilfach Nature Reserve where I worked with and trained up volunteer plant surveyors, obtained NRW consent for the collection of Vicia orobus (Wood Bitter Vetch) and Trollius europeaus (Globeflower) seeds as well as developing a range of species distribution maps using a QGIS map of the reserve which I created. I also tried my hand at short film making, and may do so again if a field trip is both sunny and picturesque!
"In my spare time I have been taking part in Plantlife’s Cennad apprentice scheme which has helped me to learn a lot more about lichen and biological recording. As well as enjoying both planning and leading walks for various hillwalking groups across Wales’ great countryside, I usually spend holidays in the Pyrenees where observations of locally common species have helped me to recognise and record more unusual species in Wales. Living in Rhayader, I hope to be in relatively easy reach of most of the County Recorders and will be in touch with you shortly to listen to your plans for next year, talk about data flows and exchange ideas about identification courses".
I'm sure you'll all want to join me in extending a very warm welcome to Barbara, and if you're coming to the BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting on Saturday, you will be able to meet her in person.