Botanical Society News
Shropshire Botanical Society Newsletter 6- Spring 2002 - page 2
Please accept my apologies for the lack of a newsletter last autumn. The foot & mouth epidemic prevented much recording, and we felt that there wasn't enough material for a second newsletter last year.
The Annual General Meeting is in a couple of weeks. My apologies also for the short notice of this. Nominations to posts on the committee will be accepted up to the day of the meeting, if need be. All the current officers are happy to stand for re-election, and I would like to nominate Mags Cousins to join the committee. I would also like to propose a change to our constitution giving us the option to hold just one meeting a year and to produce just one newsletter. The reason for this is because some people are considering the possibility of starting up a naturalists society in the county, and if one is set up then perhaps we could alternate newsletters and meetings with them, to give them a good start.
The main subject of the meeting will be recording for the new edition of Rare Plants of Shropshire and, possibly, discussion of the forthcoming repeat of the BSBI Monitoring Scheme.
Saturday April 27th 2002
Preston Montford Field Centre
The most significant development of the last few months has been the creation of an internet database for the Botanical Society. All our records up to 1985 (i.e. the published ones) have been loaded up in full onto a searchable database on our new web site. There is still much work to be done, but a start has been made, and progress can be viewed at the new web site. Preston Montford Field Centre has kindly contributed 50% of the funding, and we hope it will be a valuable education resource. The address is:-
You can read more about the web site on pages 6-8 of this newsletter.
In the autumn the committee decided to make Charles Sinker an honorary member of the Botanical Society for life. Charles was founder of the Flora Group and, despite illness, is still an interested and active contributor. Last autumn we sent Charles Sinker's willow herbarium to the National Museum of Wales, where Tim Rich has promised to take good care of it. The herbarium contains specimens of most of the species and hybrids of lowland willows to be found in Britain, and is quite an important collection, which will now be widely available for public consultation. Our thanks are due to Charles for this generous contribution to science. From this collection Charles constructed an innovative guide to willow hybrids which is reproduced here in the middle pages of the newsletter. I think it is fairly self-explanatory. Alex is computerising the catalogue to the herbarium onto the Threatened Plants and the Shropshire Flora databases.
Other ongoing tasks include the curation of Mary Fuller's field notebooks and slide collection. This includes many species lists (already assimilated into the Flora database and the TPDB) and about 1,000 slides, which ideally should be scanned and catalogued. A small collection of record cards left by E.A. Wilson to the Field Studies Council has also been databased and will hopefully be reported on in a future newsletter. R. de G. Benson's herbarium at Shrewsbury School is still being databased, as is Edward Williams's MS Catalogue of Shropshire Plants.
Please could everyone note that we have a new membership procedure, which was agreed at the last AGM. Details are given on the last page of this newsletter. In the meantime may I wish you all happy botanising and I hope you have been making the most of the excellent spring weather to generate some early records!