The article we've selected from this issue for everyone, member and non-member alike, to enjoy is called 'Right tree, right place: using botanical heat-maps to inform tree-planting' and it's by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker with Becky Trippier and Clare Pinches from Natural England. Many of you will remember the uproar on social media in 2020 when several species-rich sites were due to be planted, quite inappropriately, with trees; habitats supporting orchids and threatened bog plants would have been destroyed if those plans had been implemented.
In response to this problem, BSBI has been working in partnership with Natural England, the Woodland Trust and the Forestry Commission to develop botanical heat-maps, based on BSBI data, which can be provided, under licence, to a range of land management organisations involved in decision-making around tree-planting: so our data - those millions of botanical records collected by our wonderful BSBI members - will help to ensure that, in future, new trees and woodlands are planted in the right place.
|Rahallan orchids, Co. Fermanagah
Image H. Northridge
Some of the other delights in this latest issue of BSBI News include: plant identification aids, from buckler-ferns to elms to a new dichotomous key to native and alien roses; eight pages of news about adventives and aliens across Britain and Ireland; a report on Alpine Clubmoss, which has been refound in the North York Moors after three decades; Robert Northridge's introduction to the plants of Co. Fermanagh; and President-elect Micheline Sheehy Skeffington considering how Irish place names can be used to locate rare species.
You can find the sampler issue on this page, where you'll have the option to read it on a Screen Reader, or you can view or download it as a pdf. Non-members can also access samplers of every issue of BSBI News since April 2020, when editor John Norton took up the reins. Many thanks to John for preparing the samplers which give a real taste of what's inside each issue of our membership newsletter.
|Vicia villosa (Fodder vetch)
spotted in Aldershot,
reported in BSBI News #150
Image: F. Rumsey
Finally, you'll notice that this new issue is number 150 - and with three issues each year, this means that BSBI News is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. An article in this latest issue called 'Now we are 50', submitted by Clive Lovatt, BSBI County Recorder for West Gloucestershire just a few days before his very sad and sudden death, celebrates this milestone and looks at how BSBI News has changed over the years. It is full of delicious 'Clive-isms' - the red colour used for the title in early issues is described as 'rather arterial'; the stylised bluebell logo is "planted" on the front cover... Clive will be much missed for his way with words, as well as his botanical skills.
Everyone, whether member or non-member, can enjoy reading electronic back issues of BSBI News, from No. 1 (published in 1972) to No. 136 (September 2017), on our BSBI News archive page. This latest issue and other recent issues are available, to BSBI members only, on the recently revamped password-protected members' area of the BSBI website. Print copies of BSBI News are also posted to any members who prefer that option (a growing number are opting for paperless membership).
If you are keen on wild plants and you enjoy the samplers and the free articles, do consider joining BSBI: access to the three full issues of BSBI News each year is just one of the many benefits you will enjoy as a member - find out more here.