Tuesday 23 February 2016

BSBI County Floras and Rare Plant Registers

Do you have any idea how many counties in Britain and Ireland have now published their own Floras? Or how many have a Rare Plant Register?

I wouldn't easily have been able to answer these questions last week but I can now and so can you, thanks to the excellent David Pearman, BSBI President 1995-1998, former Chair of our Records & Research Committee, co-author of numerous BSBI publications including the New Atlas of the British & Irish Flora and last year's Hybrids Flora, and an all-round good egg. 

We admire him so much that we held a special Pearman Day at Kew in September 2014 to celebrate David's many achievements and honour his contribution to the society (and to thoroughly embarrass the poor man all day long!)

David has produced this helpful spreadsheet which lists all the published Floras and Rare Plant Registers currently available. 

A very helpful resource, and David was the ideal person to compile it - he is also the man who co-ordinates all those lovely flyers in BSBI News for pre-publication offers, which save botanists money whenever an essential new publication comes out. 

Here's what David had to say about County Floras: 
"Pride in one's county has led generations of botanists to crown their recording efforts by writing definitive accounts of the plants on their patch. Modern techniques of mapping and colour have made today's productions even more appealing, but behind them all is an extraordinary amount of volunteer time, often involving scores of botanists. 

"Since 2000 alone nearly forty Floras have appeared, as well as check-lists and supplements. All of England is covered now, as well as most of Wales and much of ScotlandIreland is more of a problem, as there are so few botanists there with a large area to cover. This new list aims to set out what is there, and what is available to buy or download."

As a Corresponding Member of BSBI Publications Committee, David is a key player in our crack team, led by John Poland of Vegetative Key fame, which helps guide authors of BSBI Handbooks and County Floras towards publication. 

Pubs aims to make sure that you all have the periodicals and publications you need to help you botanise more effectively. Any suggestions for Handbooks you would like - or offers to write one yourself - would be gratefully received.

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