Monday 27 April 2020

BSBI News: April issue published

The latest issue of BSBI News, our thrice-yearly membership newsletter, has just been published and Editor John Norton has once again allowed us a sneak peek inside the covers. 

If you are one of BSBI's c3,000 members and don't want anything to spoil the surprise of opening up your full-colour copy and casting your eye over the Table of Contents... well, you'd better look away right now!

Still here and keen to find out what's in this latest issue? It's a corker, another triumph for Editor John Norton, and here are just a few of the highlights that members will be able to enjoy:

If you are just starting out with plant identification, you'll appreciate both Hazel Metherell's 'Beginner's Corner: Starting with buttercups' article and also a seven-page review by Hamlyn Jones of the various apps on the market which claim to be able to identify wild plants: are those claims justified? More on this subject in the next few days so for now, let's look at what else is in the latest issue. 

Ailsa Craig seen from Ayrshire
Image: C. Crawford
A new BSBI member reports on his first year of membership and what he got out of it. Very useful if you aren't yet a member but are considering joining

The regular 'Introducing my vice-county' feature returns and this time the focus is on Ayrshire, its plants and habitats. 

The spotlight also falls on Teesdale with an article by Margaret Bradshaw MBE and John O'Reilly about the area's distinctive wild flowers. 

Margaret Bradshaw passes on some of her
ID skills to the next generation of botanists
Image: John O'Reilly
BSBI News has long catered for botanists at all skill levels and in this issue, some trickier plant groups and species are discussed and de-mystified. There's a note about recording elms, there's an article about lesser meadow-rue, and John Poland gives an introduction to stipules as an aid to vegetative plant identification.  
Willow-herbs: a nightmare to identify but a nine-page feature by Bob Leaney, complete with his superb line drawings, sets out some of the common problems and how to tackle them. This is the sort of article BSBI News does so well and I think we'll all be referring to it for years to come. 

Rosy Evening-primrose: one of the
'Aliens & Adventives' reported
in Surrey in 2019.
Image: G. Hounsome
 Also in this issue:
  • 15 pages of reports on adventives and aliens (plants recorded for the first time in Britain and Ireland) including Cardamine occulta 'nursery bitter-cress' and Pilea microphylla 'artillery weed'. 
  • Reports on projects and activities from BSBI and partners, such as the New Year Plant Hunt (what was different about this year's results); Plant Alert (which species are being flagged as invasion risks, with the potential to cause problems in the years to come); and the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (what's in it for BSBI members?). 
  • Six pages of book reviews, edited by Clive Stace.
  • Round-ups and latest news from across the countries.
  • A note from Lynne Farrell, BSBI President.
  • Plans for post-Atlas projects.
  • Information about BSBI grants.
So, a fabulous issue and... this is the point where I usually remind you that in order to receive three copies each year of BSBI News, you need to join the society. And that is still the case. But we also have some exciting news about BSBI News to share with you later this week. Mum's the word for now but - watch this space!

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