Page 1

Fern World BPS Newsletter - Winter/Spring 2011

Issue 1. Produced by the BPS Publicity & Marketing Team

Introductions! The British Pteridological Society (BPS)

BPS members may be aware after receiving

is the society for fern enthusiasts. Most of you will be receiving a link to this newsletter because you are already a member, but if you are a newcomer to Fern World, and have an interest in ferns, there are plenty of places you can find out more about joining. Why not have a look at the BPS website, which is hosted through the Natural History Museum in London:

the Autumn mailing in 2010 that a new role of Publicity and Marketing Officer has been created to help spread the word about the Society, and to help keep people involved in what is happening. My name is Liz Evans, and I have been a member of the Fern Society since 2007 – although I went on my first BPS field trip back in 2004!

There are other web based Fern World channels if you would like to keep in touch and up-to-date with fern events by your preferred method:

www.f ac ebook.c om/pages/FernWorld/158140624207890 (Liz Evans on the BPS trip to the Azores; Pteris incompleta)

Members of the BPS receive three fern related publications a year, as well as two mailings which keep people updated. This Fern World Newsletter is an extra source of news and information designed to fill in the gap in communications between publication dates, to get news out to people quickly, and also for sharing other stories of note among the community that may not otherwise be published.

Signing Up: If you wish to receive an email notifying you when a new issue of the Fern World Newsletter is published online, you will need to sign up to the official mailing list. Please copy and paste the link below into your browser: The mailing list is powered by Mail Chimp, and you will need to click on the link in the confirmation email in order to subscribe. You can unsubscribe at any point, and the newsletter will still be published here if you want to come back to it. Non-members are welcome to join the mailing list too! We will never send out spam email or pass your details on to others.

Front Cover Image : Woodwardia radicans Photography : Liz or Alison Evans unless stated

Fern News Round-up 2010 General News

Yorkshire Fern Group AGM

No-one can have failed to notice the extreme cold weather we have endured this winter. How have you faced the challenge of caring for your ferns when the temperature falls below zero? If you have any tips for keeping your ferns protected in this freezing weather, why not share them on the fern forum:

The Yorkshire Group met at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in their newly developed Bramall Learning Centre. The new building is ecologically designed, with solar panels on the roof and many other green design features. The AGM was well attended, and included a plant sale on behalf of MacMillan Nurses, as requested by Ken Trewren. Some fascinating microscope work was led by Barry Wright, which involved creating images on the computer with layered photographs taken of ferns through the microscope.

It is with great sadness that we report that Ken Trewren, who many of you will have met and known as the Dryopteris affinis expert, passed away in 2010. A full obituary will be given in the Bulletin.

Regional Groups As well as the main BPS, which is an international society with international meetings, there are also eight regional groups that organise field meetings and events and indoor meetings. Many of the BPS members belong to one or more of these regional groups, and the Publicity Team thought it would be nice to be able to share with all members some of the highlights from the regional AGMs. (Full write-ups of the national, regional and foreign field meetings appear in the BPS Bulletin, which members receive annually.)

There was also opportunity for members to bring in unusual plant specimens to discuss with the group and a round up of the field meetings that took place over the year. The morning session consisted of a talk by Barry Wright on the findings of his annual Moonwort survey. If anyone is interested in the results of this survey, or would like to take part in the 2011 surveys, please contact either the Publicity Team or the Yorkshire Regional Group at

Contact the Publicity Team :

Fern News Round-up 2010 North-West England AGM

Manchester & North-Midlands

The North-West Group held their AGM at Holehird Garden in the Lake District. This was a very well attended meeting, and the setting of the garden was shown off particularly well by very good weather.

This is a new group set up by Yvonne Golding, and the meeting was held at The Firs Garden which is part of the University of Manchester.

The highlight of this AGM was without doubt the excellent and comprehensive talk given by Fred Rumsey of the Natural History Museum on the ferns of the Azores. He covered all the islands, and discussed their differing climates and habitats, in what was a very engaging presentation. After the business part of the AGM, there was an Open Forum in which members made presentations of their own on a number of topics of interest, which was a fascinating round-up to the day. There was also an indoor and outdoor fern competition, and again plant sales including some of Ken Trewren’s collection, which raised a considerable amount of money for the MacMillan Nurses. Do you have any regional news for future Issues of the Fern World Newsletter? Just let the Publicity Team know and we’ll include it in the next issue!

A small but friendly group meeting; the highlight of the agenda was Yvonne’s wonderful slides and talk on the BPS recent exploratory expedition to Yunnan Province in China. After the AGM the floor was opened to other members of the group to give talks or show and tells, and again some fascinating material was brought forward.

(Fern border at the Firs. Photo: Yvonne Golding)

The group was also treated to a tour of the garden and glasshouses, as well as a look inside the “moss house” which contains some fantastic specimens of many different dark and damp loving varieties of fern.

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Dates to Remember 2011 AGM Coventry : 9 April The Annual General meeting will be held in 2011 at the Hylands Hotel in Coventry. The meeting will include talks on fern related subjects as well as other society business, and all BPS members are welcome to attend.

Ferns and Fossils at the John Hope Gateway : 24-25 September Some of you may have attended the Ferns & Fossils Day which was held at Manchester Museum in September 2009.

Gardening Scotland : 3-5 June Anyone interested in volunteering at this event either to help construct or man the BPS stand would be greatly appreciated. They can enquire by email to: or for further information check the Gardening Scotland website:

FSC fern courses The Field Studies Council is an environmental education charity committed to helping people explore, understand and be inspired by the natural world (FSC Natural History Courses 2011 brochure). They offer a number of fern specific courses, which some members may be interested in: 04-08 July – Fern Identification with Heather McHaffie at Kindrogan 02 August – Field Guide to Fern Identification with Mark Duffell at Preston Montford 12-15 August – Fern Identification with Chris Metherell at Rhyd-y-creuau There are many other interesting plant courses run by the Field Studies Council. For a full list see:

(Ferns & Fossils Day, Manchester Museum.)

The BPS are aiming to stage another Ferns & Fossils Day at The John Hope Gateway Centre, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh over the weekend of 24th and 25th September 2011. There will be interactive exhibits, fern displays, talks, and demonstrations over the two days, and the Education team would be very pleased if anybody wishes to volunteer to help out. You can contact either the Scottish group leader Frank McGavigan at: or contact the Publicity team for further information. You can find further information about The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh on their website:

Contact the Publicity Team :

Dates to Remember 2011 Meetings for Spring 2011

Spring International Meeting

East Anglia Indoor Meeting - 29th January:

Madeira - 19-26th March:

Winter indoor meeting to be held at 2.00pm at The Old House, Little Thurlow, Suffolk. This meeting will be hosted by Mary Hilton and the speaker will be the editor of the Pteridologist Alec Greening, who will talk about ferns of the Cook Islands and South Pacific.

This trip will be led by Andrew Leonard and based at the hotel Estalagem Encumeada in the Ribeira Brava valley ( We will be visiting mostly new locations to the two previous BPS excursions and hopefully seeing most of the island’s ferns, with some bias towards looking for Hymenopyllums. You will need to be reasonably fit but not Olympic! If you are interested in going on this trip, please contact for further booking information, or if you have any other queries please contact Andrew Leonard.


South-East & East Anglia Groups - 26th February:

An indoor meeting will be held at the home of Tim Pyner in Essex. The meeting will consider current debates in the field of pteridology, and several speakers will make presentations. There will also be opportunity to look at Tim’s extensive fern collection from around the world. Contact: Or:

Yorkshire Group - March 5th & 6th: Polypodium week-end. This weekend meeting involves both an outdoor excursion to Malham Cove, which is a particularly good area for studying polypodies, and a followup indoor meeting at Manchester University which will involve close microscope work. If you are interested in attending on the Sunday for the microscope workshop, please let Yvonne Golding know at so she can book an appropriately sized room.


Maybe also of interest: ‘Fern Hunting in China’ - Manchester Museum Thursday 3rd February - 12.30-1.15pm Yvonne Golding will be giving a free, illustrated talk about the BPS fern trip to Yunnan Province, China as part of the museum’s China: A Journey To The East season. More information is available at: www.mus whatson/february/

Details of National Meetings will also soon be available on the BPS website at the link below:

or also on the Meetings Calendar:


Don’t forget the BPS Website :

And finally! Thank-you! The Publicity and Marketing Team hope you have found this Fern World Newsletter interesting and enjoyable. Is there anything else you think we should know about, or maybe a topic that should be covered in the next issue? Please feel free to get in touch! Even if you are not a member, but are interested in ferns, the British Pteridological Society is an educational charity and all fern enthusiasts are welcome.

Regional Group Contact details: Yorkshire Fern Group Leader: Bruce Brown Email: South East Leader: Paul Ripley Email: East Anglia Leader: Tim Pyner Email: North West England Leader: Peter Campion Email: Cornwall Leader: Matt Stribley Email: Scotland Leader: Frank McGavigan Email: South Wales & Borders Leader: Brian Dockerill Email: Manchester & North Midlands Leader: Yvonne Golding Email:

Any writers out there? Members who have received their copies of the Pteridologist over the years will know that it is an interesting and high quality read. A mixture of horticultural based articles and general fern trivia or images of ferns growing in unusual places are a popular and relaxing diversion after the scientific papers published in The Fern Gazette. Alec Greening has recently taken over as editor of the Pteridologist, and as such has put out a call for articles to be submitted by the end of January. Anyone interested in contributing, or with any queries should contact Alec:

Back Issues

of all three of the Society’s pub-

lications and journals are available through the BPS website at the link below:

We hope you come back for the next Issue of Fern World!

Contact the Publicity Team :

Fern World Newsletter Issue 1  

The online newsletter of the British Pteridological Society (BPS) - the society for fern enthusiasts.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you