Image: P. Stroh
If you've been mulling over the pros and cons, and trying to decide whether BSBI membership is right for you, please read on to find out about all the benefits you can enjoy and all the ways in which your subscription can help us support both our wild plants and the botanists who care about them.
The first benefit is BSBI News, our members-only newsletter: 84 pages jam-packed with botanical delights. We'll send you three issues each year and you'll have on-line access to all the back copies (all 144 of them!) Here's a taster of what's in the latest issue and you can view or download a sample issue here. We also make one full article from every issue freely available and this time we've chosen a review of seven wildflower ID books: take a look and then head over to the BSBI News page to check out the previous sampler and a review of plant ID apps.
As a BSBI member you also get exclusive access to our network of 108 expert plant "referees" who include some of the top specialist botanists in Britain & Ireland: they will help you identify difficult plant groups.
Next, there are the special money-saving offers on botany books. In the past year we've published four titles under the BSBI banner: BSBI Handbook #19 Gentians of Britain & Ireland; Grassland Plants of the British and Irish lowlands; the second edition of the Vegetative Key to the British Flora and BSBI Handbook #20 Hawkweeds of south-east England. Any BSBI member ordering all four of those titles would have saved a total of £30 compared to RRPs.
In July we arranged a 30% discount for our members on copies of The Multifarious Mr Banks from Yale University Press and there's currently a 30% members' discount on a copy of Britain's Orchids from Princeton University Press (that offer runs for our members until the end of November). And I haven't even mentioned the savings available to BSBI members who order botany books from our book sales agents Summerfield Books (they are currently offering members' discounts on 36 titles). There are five more BSBI Handbooks currently in the pipeline (two brand new titles and three new editions) and of course there's the third of our ground-breaking plant Atlases: we've been collecting data for it for 20 years and it's finally due to be published early in 2022.
Thinking of taking a a botanical training course? Then you may also want to apply for a BSBI Training Grant of up to £250 to help pay for it. Carrying out research? Then you'll want to check out our Plant Study Grants and Science & Research grants. Applications for all these grants open on 1st January each year here and although you don't have to be a BSBI member to apply, "members are favoured if there is competition for grants". And I've never known a year when there wasn't competition for grants!
|BSBI training session in Wales:
learning about plant families
Image B. Brown
Other membership benefits include access to scientific papers in New Journal of Botany, the BSBI Yearbook and other resources on our password-protected members-only area; a membership welcome pack; volunteering opportunities which can help you build up skills and improve job prospects; advance notice of forthcoming BSBI conferences, field meetings (in a "normal" year!) and exhibitions - most of our events are open to all but some are members-only, or members have priority booking; and of course you'll have the chance to vote at our Annual General Meeting...
As a BSBI member, you'll also be helping to support our work, becoming part of the amazing achievements of our volunteer members:
- The wild plants you record (with the help and support of our County Recorders, local botany groups and expert referees) will feed into one of the world's largest biological databases: more than 48 million records and counting.
- Those plant records will help inform academia, policy-makers and conservation agencies - BSBI data, collected by our wonderful volunteer members, fed into the latest report on the State of the World's Plants and Fungi and last year's State of Nature report.
- As these reports make clear, our wild plants need our support more than ever.
- Most of your membership subscription goes to provide you with the many benefits we told you about above, but you'll also be making a contribution to our grants programme, helping to train more botanists and supporting important botanical research which simply would not happen without BSBI's help.
To find out more about what our fabulous BSBI members - all 3,123 of them - achieved in the past year, take a look at our latest Annual Review. If you are already one of our members, we'd like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you. If you haven't joined us yet - why not head over here and become member number 3,124?
On our membership subscription page you'll see the various ways to pay: with options such as Paperless Direct Debit and PayPal, it's never been easier to join us and we can't wait to welcome you as a fellow BSBI member! And if you're already a BSBI member, why not forward a link to this blogpost to any friends, relatives or colleagues who you think might enjoy becoming a member? Together, we can offer even more support to our wild flowers and to the people who care about them.