Thursday 15 December 2022

December brings the final blogpost from outgoing BSBI President Lynne Farrell

Last time we heard from Lynne Farrell, she was just back from the Scottish Botanists' Conference and was preparing to hand the Presidential reins over to Micheline Sheehy Skeffington. 

So now here is Lynne's last message for you in 2022:

"The British and Irish Botanical Conference in mid-November was a great success with people travelling from all round Britain and Ireland. Well done to everyone for getting there despite various transport companies trying their best to ‘de-rail’ us. There were many interesting talks and exhibits but the best thing all agreed, was being able to meet in person to discuss and share plants and views with each other. I gave a talk titled 'Plants, Conservation and Me' which we recorded for the BSBI YouTube channel - you can watch the video by clicking on the link.

"You can see all the videos, photographs and exhibits from the Conference on this page

"The next event takes place at the end of this year and beginning of next. The 12th New Year Plant Hunt will run from Saturday 31st December 2022 to Tuesday 3rd January 2023. This time around, we should be able to potter about in groups, so I hope you can arrange to meet up with a few botanical friends and have a good day out recording. Last year 1,895 people took part and recorded 669 taxa in bloom. But will the recent cold spell knock some of them back this time?

"Last month, BSBI Chief Executive Julia Hanmer and I I wrote to the UK Govt to express the Society’s concerns over land use issues and their effects on nature conservation (you can read the BSBI Policy on Nature Conservation here) and management of habitats and plants. We mentioned BSBI’s role in recording plant and habitat changes over many years and how our data highlighted these. A reply was received on 13th December, which was good in that we know our letter was read. Here is the Government response; much of it concerns farming but there are links through to other proposals which could help in the longer term eg Nature Recovery Green paper.

"Writing the monthly blog has kept me on my toes and made me more aware of what is happening around me, and now I am handing over in 2023 to our new president Micheline Sheehy Skeffington. The image above left was captured by our Hon Gen Sec Steve Gater, and shows me and Micheline at the British and Irish Botanical Conference.

"But just before I hand over, here is a sample of what I have been doing in the outdoors over the past month, not necessarily botanical:

  • searching for Brown Hairstreak butterfly eggs - we found 99 in two hours between 12 of us, which is actually a good observational rate; 
  • watching starling murmurations at Leighton Moss;
  • finding collared puffballs;
  • catching the Windermere ferry (above right) across the lake to see an art exhibition, and
  • standing on Arnside pier waiting for the sun to go down (on left).
"There may well be snow in December and it is definitely frosty this morning, so keep warm and enjoy the fresh air."

Huge thanks to Lynne for this final blogpost and for all her monthly blogposts over the past three years of her Presidency. During the darkest days of lockdown, Lynne's monthly posts really helped us all stay connected while we weren't able to meet up in person. 

Thanks Lynne, for the blogposts and for serving as BSBI President for the past three years!

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