Monday 23 September 2019

BSBI News: September issue is out!

The latest issue of BSBI News, our membership newsletter, is being mailed out today to BSBI members and the electronic version is already available via the password-protected members-only area of the BSBI website. This latest issue is another corker! Editor Andrew Branson just gave me a peek inside the pages -  all 84 of them! - so here are a few of the highlights in this issue.

First of all there are two main articles focusing on a subject area of great interest to many botanists - invasive plants, whether native or alien:

A feature by Kevin Walker, BSBI's Head of Science, on 'Beyond mapping: the BSBI's work on invasive non-native species'.

A six-page feature by David Pearman et al. on 'The impact of native and alien "thugs" in semi-natural habitats'. 

Then there's a piece by Jennifer Peach about the Millennium Seed Bank's UK Flora Project.

Violet helleborine Epipactis purpurata in
Savernake, one of Wiltshire's finest woodlands
Image: Sharon Pilkington
Joshua Styles et al. tell us about the changing status of annual knawel Scleranthus annuus - in fact a photo of annual knawel graces the cover (above) of this issue of BSBI News

In 'Beginner's Corner' Jim McIntosh, BSBI Scottish Officer, demystifies GPS and using grid references.

In the regular 'Introducing my vice-county' spot, we hear from Sharon Pilkington, County Recorder for Wiltshire, about some of the beautiful plants and habitats of her local area.

There are no less than three short articles by Clive Stace, including one about 'novelties in your garden'. And of course there are country round-ups, telling us about notable plant finds across Britain and Ireland; news of first sightings of adventives and alien plants; a note from BSBI President Chris Metherell; six pages of book reviews, including one on 'Invasive Aliens'; letters from members; notes about what's coming up in the BSBI calendar...

Marsh spurge Euphorbia palustris found in
Gray Wood, East Sussex
Image: Helen Proctor
Inside each copy of this issue of BSBI News you will also find flyers so you can book for forthcoming events such as the BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting and the Scottish Botanists' Conference; you'll also find three flyers about new BSBI publications which tell you how you as members can benefit from exclusive money-saving special offers. 

We'll be celebrating BSBI publications by featuring interviews with the authors of these new books in the next few days so watch this space!

But finally - this issue of BSBI News is notable for another reason: it's the final one with Editor Andrew Branson at the helm. 

Scottish primrose Primula scotica: a small
colony was found this summer on Hoy -
12km from the nearest known colony
on Orkney mainland!
Image: John Crossley
Andrew has been a BSBI member since 1988 and was publisher and editor of the prestigious British Wildlife for almost 25 years before he took over the editorship of BSBI News two years ago. In his final editorial, Andrew acknowledges the help and support over the past two years of regular contributors and "particularly Gwynn Ellis", his predecessor as editor on whose sterling work Andrew was able to build as he took BSBI News into a new era, revamping the lay-out and introducing new regular slots and full colour images throughout. 

Andrew is now handing over the reins to John Norton, who some of you will know as the man behind the excellent Flora News for the Hampshire Flora Group. Andrew tells me that he has already been able to get out and do more recording for Atlas 2020. And his future plans? He said "I'm looking forward to tramping the fields and hills of Somerset recording bryophytes later in the year, as well as doing more field work with the Dorset Flora Group (I was Chair between 2015-2018) next year". 

We'd like to offer Andrew our sincere thanks for all his excellent work and hope that he can now enjoy a well-earned break and a chance to get out a bit more, knowing that our much-loved BSBI News is safe in John Norton's hands! 

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