Friday, 9 June 2017

BSBI Welsh AGM and ASM - part I

This week has been a busy week although I for one did not have to stay away from home in order to join the BSBI Welsh AGM and Annual Summer Meeting, as both events (rolled into one) took place in Flintshire this year.

Monday afternoon was wet and I had no childcare available so I remained at the Stamford Gate hotel to meet new arrivals, watch Jonathan Shanklin's fascinating talk and then even with my young proto-botanists in tow joined Lynne Farrell for dinner.
The most junior attendees!
Tuesday was notable for gale-force winds, but we boarded a coach and spread the day between Gronant Dunes and Graig Fawr. There was very little rain but the wind made reaching the summit a struggle. However, after making our way over the summit where non-flowering plants of Veronica spicata (Spiked Speedwell) were spotted by the most intrepid, we returned along the bottom of the crag, where various special plants including Silene nutans (Nottingham Catchfly) were easily seen.
Photographing Geranium sanguinum (Bloody Cranesbill)
Tuesday evening was occupied by the Committee for Wales meeting (before dinner) and the Welsh AGM (after dinner). However, a most pleasurable moment was provided by John Faulkner presenting the Presidents' Award to Tom Humphrey for his work in developing and maintaining the BSBI's Distribution Database. This was warmly applauded by the audience which included many vice-county recorders who have benefited from this powerful and informative database.
Tom Humphrey being presented with the Presidents' Award by John Faulkner
On Wednesday I joined Laura and Graham to record a tetrad along the coast near Mostyn, where we spent a significant amount of time keying out various species (and improving our knowledge) while adding to the species list. There were 136 taxa listed for the square since 2000; hopefully (subject to analysis) we will have improved this significantly. It was a lovely sunny day although still windy enough to keep our coats on.
Keying out a tricky specimen with Graham - photo Laura Gravestock

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