Friday, 28 June 2013

Rutland Water Nature Reserve Bioblitz

As you may know, a Bioblitz will be held at Rutland Water Nature Reserve again this July. The format will be slightly different to last year – the event will run from 12 noon on Saturday 6th July to 12 noon on Saturday 7th July. The organisers hope this will ensure that there is good weather for at least part of the 24 hour period.
The new format has allow the event to be divided into two distinct parts:
 Science Saturday
Saturday afternoon will be given over entirely to wildlife recording. Recorders with a specific area of expertise are encouraged, but everyone is welcome! There will be access to the whole reserve, including areas not usually open to the public. All you will need to do is to register on arrival and then report your sightings before you leave. As last year, there will be a species totaliser in the Education Room at the Birdwatching Centre to keep track of what’s been recorded. Geoffrey will be there in the afternoon.
In addition, Rachel Ibbotson (LRWT) will be running childrens’ activities for Wildlife Watch members and there will be a guided bat walk (and hopefully moth trapping) in the evening.
Public Sunday
A series of guided walks and events will be run on Sunday morning that need to be pre-booked. If you would prefer to simply come and do some more recording on Sunday, then that would be great. Louise and Russell will be there on Sunday, if you'd like some excellent company. (LM: Thanks Geoffrey! We hope to go over on Saturday evening too - if we are not too tired after the Botany for Beginners field session that we are leading that day!) 
More information can be found here, if you'd like to go. And who knows, maybe you'll find another first record for Leicestershire and Rutland, like the Frog Rush (Juncus ranarius) that turned up in 2011!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Big Nature Day at Natural History Museum. 

Last year, BSBI had a stand at Big Nature Day, a one-day family event at the Natural History Museum. We joined other wildlife and conservation bodies to introduce young people to the delights of the natural world.

BSBI stand at Big Nature Day, 2012
Photo: Ian Denholm
It was a great day and we've been invited back this year, so we are now looking for people to help out on the stand. Three volunteers are needed on 13th July - I'm afraid we can't pay you, but your travel costs would be covered and you would get a free lunch and a chance to look round the other exhibits, both at the event and inside the Natural History Museum (without queueing for ages to get in!). You would also have the chance to tell people about BSBI and show them how botanists ID plants and how our work supports nature conservation. The aim of the day is to get people - especially children - interested in nature and show them how to get started recording wildlife.

More info here and some photos of last year's event here. Please email us at if you think you might be interested in helping out at this year's Big Nature Day. 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Anybody interested in this taster day for a botanical art course starting in September? There are a few places left on both. Please contact Wendy directly. Details below: 

img074.jpgBotany for Botanical Artists Taster Day
Saturday 8th June 2013
10.30am – 4.00pm
To be held at
The Coach House
The University of Leicester Botanic Garden
Stoughton Drive South,

An informal taster day especially suitable for people with some experience of illustrating who wish to:
· Gain a better understanding of plants to inform their practice of the art of botanical illustration
·  Develop and refine illustration techniques appropriate to botanical subject
·  Have an interest in plants and wish to expand their knowledge

The day will concentrate on Plants from different environments.

It is hoped that some of the students on the day course will enrol for a one year course of ten linked sessions beginning in September 2013.
The Tutors for the taster day course and the one year course are Tony Duffield and Wendy Harvey
If you would like to attend the course please phone or email first to check availability as there are limited places. Tel. weekday 0116 2591959, or evenings and weekends 01455 290242, email Wendy Harvey at