Saturday 21 September 2013

BSBI Recorders' Conference, September 2013

Always a highlight, this year's conference was no exception although the format was different, with all activities taking place at The Gateway in Shrewsbury, and members staying at the Premier Inn instead of the more familiar Field Studies Centre at Preston Montford.

The weekend kicked off after an excellent buffet lunch on Friday afternoon with some challenging talks  - needless to say Fred Rumsey and Richard Bateman both had their audience on the edge of their seats, talking about alien ferns and orchid taxonomy respectively. How delightful to hear of the slimming down of Dactylorhiza classification! Jim McIntosh's talk about his stay on Tristan da Cunha was taxing in a different way with his pictures of botanising in a barren and very difficult terrain. Saturday's talks included Pete Stroh's on a new Red List for England and a delightful vignette by Irina Belyaeva-Chamberlain, our new Salix referee, on her father's interest in Salix cultivars and how it aroused her own deep knowledge of the genus.

Workshops occupied the rest of the weekend's indoor activities:  The Big Database was on the menu at most sessions.  This is constantly evolving so it is well worth updating one's understanding of the immense versatility of its search functions.  Other interests included Conifers by Matt Parratt, Charophytes by Richard Lansdown and Roses with Roger Maskew.  As ever, there was so much enjoyable fare to absorb, what with all the networking to be done as well!

A gaggle of botanists watching Tim Rich at the river's edge
Sunday morning was fine and dry as we walked the "Loop" within the River Severn, trying to update records for the town. I concur with Arthur Chater's remark: "I specially enjoyed the Sunday morning walk with so many good botanists discussing identifications of such a wide range of species." I always feel sad at the end of this event so it was good to have Wendy's company on my way home.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah, I'm so cross I couldn't come to this (double-booking) but great to read all about it here. Hope you don't mind that I've linked to it from my Blog here: so more members can find out what a great Recorders Conference we missed this year! Here's to the next one - I'm booking early! Louise Marsh