Saturday 8 February 2020

Botanical University Challenge 2020

We brought you an interview last February with Prof John Warren, founder of Botanical University Challenge (BUC), when the event was being held at University of Reading. That was the second BUC; the first was held in 2016 at RBG Kew and we are now looking forward to the third BUC on Wednesday 19th February - it's shaping up to be an annual event.

Organiser Meriel Jones said "This one day event is happening this year at Ness Botanic Gardens in Liverpool. BUC is when teams of university students compete about all things botanical. UK wild plants and ecology, terminology, plant identification and diversity, food plants, plants in UK and world culture – indeed all the interests of the enthusiastic botanist! This is a great early Spring event to inspire you to look again at the plants around you.

"Teams will come from universities including Liverpool, Edge Hill, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan, Lancaster, York and Reading Universities.

"It will be held in the Lecture Theatre at the Visitors Centre, Ness Botanic Gardens, CH64 4AY, starting 2 pm. The event is free but you'll need to book a ticket in advance  please via Eventbrite: This does not include entry to Ness Botanic Gardens - that is charged at normal winter rates".

There is a Twitter account for the event if you'd like to find out more, and you'll be able to follow the action on social media on the day via the hashtag #BUC2020   

John Warren said "As Chair of BSBI's Training & Education Committee, I am delighted to see Botanical University Challenge happening again in 2020.

"Despite the apparent decline in plant biology at university level, BUC reveals that many students are still fired up by botany and have an impressive depth and range of knowledge of all things green. It is also pleasing to see it being organised in the north for the first time this year and attracting several new teams. It is being organised by Liverpool University at Ness Gardens. Last year's winners, Reading, are returning to defend their title and competition is sure to be intense". 

If you can't make it along to the event in person, don't forget to keep an eye on the BUC hashtag from 2pm on 19th February and see how many BSBI botanists you can spot in the eight teams. Past participants include well-known next generation botanists such as Josh Styles and George Garnett. Cheering your favourite team or player on from the safety of your own computer is definitely allowed!

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