Tuesday, 4 January 2022

"Broomrapes of the British Isles", a Zoom talk by Dr Fred Rumsey, Sat. 15th Jan, 2pm

Happy New Year 2022!  Hopefully you all had a happy, healthy and restful festive break.  We are very much looking forward to the winter meeting which will be a Zoom talk by Dr Fred Rumsey.  Members will already have received the Zoom link:

Title: "Broomrapes in the British Isles" a talk by Dr Fred Rumsey

Time: Saturday, Jan 15th, 2022 at 2pm (please join the Zoom meeting a few mins early)

Fred was until recently Senior Curator in charge of the British, Fern and Historic herbaria at the Natural History Museum in London, where he worked for 26 years as their British plant specialist.  He is a past President of the British Pteridological Society and Vice-President of the BSBI.  He has co-authored and illustrated several BSBI handbooks, most recently one on Broomrapes. 

The Broomrapes of Britain and Ireland, BSBI Handbook No 22 co-authored with Chris Thorogood, who provided the beautiful illustrations: 

Fred's depth of knowledge of botany is awe inspiring and we can't wait to hear more about his recent work on Broomrapes, an unusual group of parasitic plants. 

Non members are welcome to join us, but please email: shropbotsoc@gmail.com to register and receive a link and joining instructions.

See you soon.

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Winter scenes in Shropshire


Winter solstice has just passed, so the days are already a few seconds longer.  Shropshire Botanical Society would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy winter holiday.  We leave you with a few wintry scenes from Shropshire from years gone by:

Townbrook Hollow, Long Mynd Feb 2021, home of Hymenophyllum wilsonii Wilson's Filmy Fern

Juncus effusus Soft Rush on the Long Mynd, 2018

Caer Caradoc, Shropshire Hills, 2017

Centaurea nigra Black Knapweed, Shropshire Hills, 2017

Shropshire Hills, 2014

Friday, 3 December 2021

Autumn has arrived and so has the Newsletter Autumn 2021

A bit later than usual, ahem apologies.... but....we are delighted to say that the Autumn Newsletter 2021 is finally published and has been emailed as a pdf to members, featuring the delightful Succisa pratensis Devil'-bit Scabious as the cover plant:  

Succisa pratensis Devil's-bit Scabious photo by Peter and Jane Horsham

Thank you to editor Andy and designer Gordon, and of course all the contributors, for a great read with site updates, field visit reports, more on mires of the Mynd, Polystichum fern id, surveying Shanklins and an obituary to botanist and educator Philip Oswald who passed this year.  We hope you enjoy it and do please send feedback or if it gives you ideas for a contribution of your own, please get in touch by emailing: shropsbotsoc@gmail.com

Note to non-members - all the back copies of the newsletters are available, see Newsletters page and the Autumn 2021 edition will join these after a respectful period of time!

Saturday, 16 October 2021

"What Tree Where - planting trees for the future", a talk by Ted Green

We're delighted to announce that the Severn Tree Trust have invited Shropshire Botanical Society to the following talk:

"What Tree Where - planting trees for the future", by Ted Green

Tue, 26 Oct. 2021, 19:30 – 21:30hrs, 

at Shrewsbury School, Ashton Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 7BA.

Tickets £5.80, booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/what-tree-where-planting-trees-for-the-future-a-talk-by-ted-green-mbe-tickets-169531532377

In case you are not familiar with Ted Green MBE and his work:

Ted's career in trees for over 50 years has included forestry, conservation and a huge input in attempting to save this country's ancient trees. He has been a consultant in arboriculture for the Crown Estate at Windsor and in 1993, founded the Ancient Tree Forum. He was awarded the MBE for this and his conservation work and is now recognised as the country's foremost authority on ancient trees.  In his talk he will be challenging the headlong push for planting trees in plantations and suggesting that creating oak wood pastures would be far more beneficial to the environment.

Ted is a popular speaker, not afraid to raise contentious issues and always posing interesting questions related to trees. This talk will not be lacking in these.

Ted has visited Shropshire to give talks on a number of occasions, always attracting a large audience. On this occasion, he will be looking into the Government's wish to promote the planting of millions of trees. However, do not expect a traditional answer to this. What you will hear will have arisen from his years of experience with trees, his wisdom and, of course, his usual wit.

It is sure to be a good talk, maybe see some of you there.

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Secret Hills Discovery Centre, Sun. 18th July

Hot on the heels of last weekend's field meeting we are out again next Sun.18th, for a morning botanical mooch around the grounds of the Secret Hills Discovery Centre, Craven Arms.

There are 30 acres of meadows alongside the gorgeous River Onny, with flowery hay meadows, pond, riverside damp woodland, hedgerows and mature trees. You are welcome to stay on (or slip away!) for an ice cream as the centre itself has great facilities with a cafe, shop, information area and a mammoth!

We're meeting at 10am in the centre car park and joining up with a group of the centre volunteers who want to know more about the botany of the land they help care for. We'll be staying outside and the forecast is warm and sunny, so be sun and bitey insect aware, as well the other thing that has become part of our lives! For booking email: Mags Cousins

Here's a snippet from a few weeks ago:

Pond with good weeds, including Ranunculus peltatus

Meadow Saxifrage, Saxifraga granulata

Flower rich meadow

Pink Purslane Claytonia perfoliata

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Next meeting Sat. 10th July. All Saint's churchyard, Clive, then up Grinshill (optional)

We'll be meeting at 10:00am at All Saint's church, Clive at SJ51462408.  

There are only a few parking places alongside Drawwell Street, just north of the Church. Otherwise the access will be very easy into the churchyard for the first part of the field meeting.  The churchyard is a great setting under the spire of All Saints’ church.  The church dates back to the 12th century, and was fully restored in 1887, with the spire added in 1894. The church also has a refurbished peal of six bells – the heaviest in the county, which are regularly rung.  We will be exploring the botany of the churchyard and the outing will be a mix of recording and training.  

After the churchyard the going gets moderately hilly up Grinshill. The hill is Triassic Sandstone which was quarried for building.

Photo courtesy of marywebbsociety.co.uk

Attending for just an hour or two in the churchyard is fine. For further information about the meeting please contact Andrew Perry, andrew.perrynt@gmail.com

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Smiling Tree Farm, next Sun 27th June

It has been all smiles so far for our field meetings programme which is going very well, and our next outing is a recording visit to Smiling Tree Farm, no less!.  The aim is to record as much as we can on the farm as the owners are really interested to know what they have there.  All we know so far is:

Smiling Tree Farm is in South Shropshire between New Invention and Bucknell, at SO31627582 and is a pastoral enterprise, so there will be fields and hedgerows, cows and sheep and beautiful views of rolling countryside!  Booking is necessary, email: Mags Cousins, so you can be given access instructions, as it is quite rural with limited parking.


Hope to see some smiling faces at Smiling Tree Farm!

best wishes

Mags Cousins