Recently the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) held it’s Annual Summer Meeting (ASM) in Northern Ireland. Yesterday I covered the first part of Day I, now it’s on to part two! White Park Bay, Co. Antrim White Park Bay is a spectacular area and is owned by the National Trust. We had seen many pictures of the area earlier in the morning during the talks and presentations and while they were amazing shots, nothing can prepare you for the amazing scenery that it has to offer. We were given some further background to the site and then split up into three recording groups so botanise in different habitats and locations.
But first, here’s a quick shot of how everything looked before recording!
Along the way to the dune system we noticed another group –
It didn’t take long for the recording to start and all of a sudden scientific names were flying in from every member of the group. On my first BSBI outing in 2013 I knew very few scientific names and it was great to know that my Latin and Greek has obviously improved quite a bit as I understood most of what was being recorded. A great thing about being in a smaller group is that you get to see the various ways people have of identifying species or distinguishing confusion species. It’s also great for getting tips and being shown species from some of the trickier groups (grasses, sedges etc). I think sometimes these groups are slightly more difficult to remember, but thanks to Con Breen I came away knowing a few more grasses and sedges. One species that stuck with me in particular (probably as it was everywhere) was Avenula pubescens.
With the more common species already recorded on the card, the time came to do some hardcore botanising. I always find that there is a great amount of camaraderie between botanists and it’s great when everyone is chipping in to achieve a common goal, in this case an identification. Some shots of this interaction are below –
My highlight for this trip and in fact the whole day was recording Spring Squill (Scilla verna) a plant which I had not come across before.
Luckily the species was abundant in the area so there was plenty to be found and photographed. Other interesting species we came across –
An excellent end to the first day of the BSBI ASM in Northern Ireland.
3 thoughts on “BSBI Summer Meeting Day I – White Park Bay”
Love White Park. We were there last weekend however and it was disgusting to see people had left beer tins and rubbish strewn around on the grass just before you go down on the beach, I’m pretty sure this was locals and I have to say I’m ashamed of that. An area that’s not only beautiful but of special scientific interest and we still see these scumbags (sorry but they make me angry) show no respect at all for the beauty of the country they live in or the importance of an area like this.
It’s always very disheartening and annoying to see people abuse such lovely areas.
“At the heart of every cynic is a disappointed idealist” – I suppose this would sum up my attitude to this kind of behaviour, I’d like to believe though that better education could turn the tide and make people appreciate the environment not only through scenery (although it’s one of the easier factors to show) but also innate beauty and usefulness and other factor like ecosystem services. – Oisín