Saturday 3 January 2015

Social media for New Year Plant Hunters

Gorse: Erica Hollis, VC92
It’s been great to see how many people have used social media to have a go at the Plant Hunt this year, many for the first time, and almost all said they thoroughly enjoyed it - the single exception came to the same conclusion an hour later when he’d thawed out!

You can see images and records from these botanists and many more across Facebook and Twitter, and you don’t need to register or log in to see these pages, unless you want to join in the discussions.

Tripleurospermum inodorum: Kevin Widdowson, VC56
If you want to take one moment to see what Twitter looks like at its botanical best... ok I'm biased, but please just click here to view our New Year Plant Hunt page.

Botanists from Germany and the USA have also used Twitter to tell us what they are finding in flower, while botanists in The Netherlands noticed last year’s Plant Hunt and have set up their own version this year. They were kind enough to say that BSBI inspired them to do this! 

Arabis sp.? Alex Prendergast VC28
As well as the BSBI and BSBI Ireland Facebook pages, there are pages like British Wild Flowers and UK Botanists where beginner, improver and more experienced botanists can share photos and ID tips.

Alex Prendergast recorded 39 species in flower in South Norfolk including an Arabis, and used Facebook to share the image (on left). Alex said it was on "wet South Norfolk clay (and sections of sandy river terrace?). Opinions on the Arabis appreciated" - so please leave a comment below if you can. Alex also went out yesterday in Norwich and recorded 66 species in flower.

Social media pages for local botany groups or nature reserves - such as Glengarriff NR - make it easier for people to come along to a suitable site, put together a communal list, and come up with images like the one below. It shows all the species they saw in flower during their New Year Plant Hunt: a feast for the eyes on a winter day:

Image courtesy of Glengarriff Nature Reserve

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