Saturday, 28 December 2019

All set for the 2020 New Year Plant Hunt

Have you planned your route yet for the 2020 New Year Plant Hunt? It starts this Wednesday, New Year's Day, and runs until Saturday 4th January.

If you haven't yet decided on a route - and especially if this is your first time taking part in the Hunt (now in its ninth year) - why not check out the list of group Hunts and see what's happening in your area? 

Or just go out in your neighbourhood and see which wild or naturalised plants you can find in bloom. Many people take friends, family and pets along with them! 

The map on the right shows all the locations where Plant Hunters were out last New Year. If you live in one of the areas without a red pin, denoting no records submitted, then we'd be especially grateful if you could go out recording this year! For more detail, go to the map on the Results 2019 page and zoom in. 

Ciara checking hazel catkins to see
 if they count as "in flower"
Image: E. Goddard
As long as you follow these simple rules about how to take part, we'll be able to add your finds to the New Year Plant Hunt database. BSBI Head of Science, Kevin Walker, will once again be analysing this year's results to see what they tell us about how plants are responding to changes in autumn and winter weather patterns across Britain and Ireland. We're hoping to also run an analysis of the past five years of data to see if we can tease out any other patterns. 

And don't forget, nil records are important too. If you go out hunting and don't find anything in flower - maybe because you are in a northern or upland location - we'd still like to hear from you and your observations will feed into the analysis. Just email us at nyplanthunt@bsbi.org with a grid ref  of where you hunted.  


Three-cornered leek in flower in Co.
Wexford during the 2018 New Year Plant Hunt
Image: P. Green
Tom Humphrey, BSBI Database Officer, has been testing the New Year Plant Hunt recording app (this year's version available only via our website and not via any app stores) and members of the Support Team are all posed to help. We have a rota so if you contact us at any time over the four days, there will be somebody on hand to help you. 

This year's New Year Plant Hunt Support Team are all members of the BSBI Meetings & Communications Committee: Cathy, Ciara, Ellen, George, Jodey, Kylie, me (Louise) and Ryan. Top botanists Brian Laney and Ian Denholm have also kindly agreed to be on hand to deal with any tricky identifications which fox the rest of us.

So we'll look forward to receiving your records submitted via the recording app and seeing them appear on the interactive Results map. You can click on the #NewYearPlantHunt hashtag to see what people are talking about on social media and there will be daily blogposts like this one summarising what you are finding across Britain and Ireland. 

Here's to another fabulous Hunt!    

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