Wildlife Trust Chief Exec is keynote speaker at AEM.I hope you will be as pleased as I am that the closing presentation at this year's AEM will be given by a BSBI member who is also Chief Executive of possibly one of the most dynamic of the Wildlife Trusts. Brian Eversham (Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire) will be talking to us on the subject 'Local Training courses: we can all benefit'.
He will also be offering an exhibit on using local keys and checklists to encourage beginners, just starting out in wildlife recording. How we can best encourage beginners and pass on essential field skills is emerging as a strong theme in many of this year's exhibits. And this post on Brian's Blog tells how his own early interest in wildlife recording was encouraged by some "superb natural historians".
Brian told me " I'm really pleased to be at the BSBI AEM. A Wildlife Trust needs to know where species are, and how they are changing, to be sure we are doing the right thing, and botany forms the basis for most other wildlife. That's why the Wildlife Trust is so committed to outreach and training - the next generation of naturalists will be the lifeblood of conservation, and of societies like BSBI, too."
It's great that Brian is highlighting the extent to which botanical recording underpins nature conservation in the 21st century. When writing a management plan for a wildlife site, or assessing its status, you first need to know what grows there and how that is changing over time.
As Ian Denholm said in a recent State of Nature press release, "We can't conserve wildlife if we don't know what we have or where it occurs, so accurate data on frequency and distributions of species are essential. As one of the world's largest contributors of biological records, BSBI is keen to work with partners to highlight and monitor the decline in our most threatened wildlife and, hopefully, to work together towards reversing it".
Looks like it will be a really good AEM this year - are you coming along?