02 January 2014

BSBI New Year's Day Plant Hunt

Previously I've blogged about Plantlife's Wild Flowers Count survey, which I really enjoyed. So when I saw that the BSBI had their own plant hunt, I couldn't wait to get started.

The Rules:
Any day between 28 December to 1 January
Wild and naturalised (but not planted) plants in flower
How long?
Up to 3 hours
What then?
Email your results to Tim Rich, Sarah Whild or Louise Marsh
The Results:
On the 30 December, Lucy and myself went for a walk down one of the short lanes near our house. On the way I stopped to photograph some of the flowering 'weeds' in our garden - these plants exist in our garden without being planted and against all odds, including this petty spurge. This plant has always been with us and is common in our local area, it finds the gravel an easy place to set up shop. I realised that while we've been living here for 4 years, it's only now thanks to this BSBI Plant Hunt that I've made the effort to properly identify it!
Petty spurge plant
A petty spurge, which was up until now a euphorbia of unknown species!

Down the lane we saw some 'commoners', like groundsel and red dead nettle.
Groundsel plantRed dead nettle plant

A surprise for me was seeing this field madder in flower. I first saw this when I ran an experiment to find out what plants live in my lawn. This was back in June and I hadn't seen it since then, so it was great to see it in flower down the lane.
Field madder plant
The dainty, but superb field madder.
We were probably out for around 20-30 minutes and found a total of 6 different species in flower. We saw others, but they were in gardens or obviously planted, so we missed those plants out.

Notes of Nature Plant Hunt Results on FacebookWhen we got back, I emailed the results to Louise, who uploaded our results to facebook and blogged about our results.I have to say tt was a real thrill to see the BSBI publishing the results of our little walk to the world - especially as we didn't find as many as others. One particularly successful group were the folks in VC55 who amassed a total of 63 species including a possible new species for the region.

All in all plant hunting was a brilliant way for me to end the year and lets me focus my thoughts on the year to come.

To find out more about the plant hunt and to keep up with the BSBI, take a look at the BSBI Publicity and Outreach blog maintained by the fab Louise March.

If you took part or know of any other plant hunts, please let me know down in the comments.


  1. What a great idea. I'll have to see if I can find a similar plant hunt here. Of course everything's covered with snow here now. Happy New Year, Tim!

    1. I hope you find one, it was great fun to do at this time of year. It made every sighting special. I hope that the snow isn't causing you too much trouble! Happy New Year to you too :)

  2. Hi Tim and Lucy, Many thanks for your very kind words about the BSBI Blog - I like your Blog too! Thanks also for recording what you saw in flower for the BSBI Plant Hunt. Congratulations, you two got the first record in Britain for Field Madder flowering for New Year - Exeter were just behind you! Such a pretty little flower - hope we see lots more lovely plants in 2014. Happy New Year to you both from Louise :-)

    1. Hi, thanks for your lovely comment. I'm glad to have found a plant of such interest! Can't wait to get out and find some more. Happy New Year!

  3. Have printed this out and will have a read, must do wonders for the study of phenological indicators. On a recent trip this side of 2014 I saw a lot of green verges with lots of vegetation growth, plenty of flowering White Dead-nettle being most prevalent. Best Wishes for 2014, Tim.

    1. Hi Tony, nice to hear from you. Yes, these records over a period of years (decades) must be really important. Best wishes for 2014 to you too.

    2. If you are interested in phenology, there is a great website to look at - especially if you want to get the whole family involved - check out http://www.naturescalendar.org.uk/

    3. Thanks Louise, it's a lovely website isn't it and an important project. I blogged about it early last year: http://notesofnature.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/phenology.html


I really enjoy reading and replying to your comments, but please don't use this space for advertising!