Friday 4 October 2013

BSBI News: part two. 

Lynne's champagne moment
Image: J. Clare  
From aquatic plants in restored Yorkshire canals to Mike Wilcox's hybrid hazels, figworts and thistles, from updates on Red List plant taxa (Pete Stroh, Kevin Walker and Simon Leach) to where Butterbur is native in Britain, there's just so much to read in the latest BSBI News. Like the full account of Lynne Farrell's final tetrad on Mull, as previewed here in August, and notes from the three country officers and the new Head of Operations. 

And when you reach the end of this issue, the good news is that there are 121 back issues - starting with the very first, in 1972, and going right up to September last year - now available on the website and you don't need to be a member to view or download them for personal use. 

Man x Monkey Orchid: page 34 of News #124
Image: M.R. Chalk
BSBI News helps you keep your finger on the society's pulse and tap into what members are observing or thinking about. As Receiving Editor Trevor James points out, "Over the years, it has not only been an important means of communicating news about current activity and contacts to members, but also has developed into an important vehicle for keeping people abreast of current understanding about our plants and their study." Yes, quite: BSBI News has, after all, been lauded in the Telegraph although I can't possibly agree with Ken Thompson's comments about New Journal of Botany  

My favourite item in this issue comprises a few lines on page 57. Mel Linney, having read about the local BSBI group in VC55, is keen to hear at this address from "anyone who may be interested in forming a botany group in South Yorkshire" and has scheduled two meetings for 2014 to get things started. Details will be in the Field Meetings calendar and you can pick up a copy at the AEM in November. Good luck, Mel - let us know how you get on!

BSBI local field meeting, VC55
Image: L. Marsh 
Least favourite item in this issue? The very sad news in the Stop Press section about recent developments at the National Museum, Wales. Gwynn Ellis, General Editor of BSBI News, expresses his concern that "the curation of the Herbarium and the provision of botanical services in general looks to be very unsatisfactory for the future." He continues, "I am sure all members will join with me in hoping that, even at this eleventh hour, some way will be found to keep the Vascular Plant Section staffed by the same botanists at a level commensurate with their expertise and standing." 

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