Tuesday 9 March 2021

Springtime conferences for botanists

Marsh saxifrage
Image: M. Long
Coming up later this month there are two online conferences for wildflower-lovers across Britain and Ireland.

On Saturday 27th March there's the Irish Spring Conference organised by BSBI Ireland Officer Paul Green who said "We have ten talks to offer you during this half-day event which runs from 10a.m. to 1.20pm and there will be something for everyone, from the seasoned botanical recorder to the beginner plant-hunter. 

"We'll hear about several iconic plants: two orchids - the Dune Helleborine and the Irish Lady's-tresses - as well as the Cloudberry and the Marsh Saxifrage, and find out where they occur in Ireland and how they are being conserved; we'll hear how Irish botanists contributed to the New Year Plant Hunt and what their records tell us about wildflowers and our changing climate; we'll discover how to identify riverside sedges, how to save Ireland's protected (Schedule 8) plants and whether botany can provide a window to our medieval past; and we'll enjoy talks by Rory Hodd about Ireland's disjunct flora, by Jim McIntosh about exciting new recording projects and, during the coffee break, a slideshow of nice finds across Ireland in 2020. 

Wallflower on a castle wall; a window
into our medieval past?
Image: Fiona MacGowan
"The event takes place via Zoom and is free to attend but you will need to register please and you can do that here. I hope you can make it on 27th March!"

Before that there is the Scottish Spring Conference on Saturday 20th March - it runs from 10a.m. to 12.45p.m. 

"Organiser Jim McIntosh, BSBI's Scottish Officer, said "I'm delighted that Stuart Adair will be opening the day's proceedings with his excellent talk about 20 years of conservation work at Carrifran Wildwood. He gave this talk at last November's Scottish Botanists' Conference but it was marred by technical gremlins and had to be cut short. So if you are one of the many people who were upset at missing this talk first time around - now's your chance to hear it with those gremlins hopefully banished.

Workshop at the 2019 Scottish Spring
Conference - those were the days!
Image: J. McIntosh

"We'll also be offering a talk about mountain flowers (the images for this look fabulous!) and several short talks about a couple of projects aimed at active botanical recorders: I'll be talking about the Scottish Hectad Rare Plant Project and John Grace will tell us about the Urban Flora Project. I've also got an update about various news items from BSBI and Michael Philip, County Recorder for Lanarkshire, will be talking about local botany groups. 

"This Scottish Spring Conference is maybe aimed more at the seasoned recorder than the casual botanist but I think Stuart's talk about the Carrifran Wildwood will appeal to lots of folk. Like the Irish Spring Conference, this event is free (although donations are always welcome) but you do need to register and you can do that here". 

Ok folks get those dates in your diaries and register asap!     


  1. The link register for the Scottish conference does not appear to be working

    1. Just checked and it seems to be working ok now?


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