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Fern World BPS Newsletter - Autumn 2011

Issue 3. Produced by the BPS Publicity & Marketing Team

Fern World Editor’s Letter Hello & welcome

to the 3rd edition

The importance of keeping records...

of the Fern World Newsletter! For those who don‟t already know, this is one of the online news sources for the BPS - British Pteridological Society - the society for fern enthusiasts. We have had an exciting summer, which included winning gold medals from the judges at this year‟s Gardening Scotland and Southport Flower Show - see pages 4 to 7 for the photos! There are plenty more events planned that we hope will get the word out to the public about ferns and the society in general whether at the RBGE „Ferns & Fossils‟ weekend planned for September (see p.8), or the work we are planning to undertake alongside the National Trust (see p.9). Whether you are a member or not, we look forward to seeing you in the future! As always, if you have any suggestions about the content for the newsletter, please feel free to contact me, Liz Evans, at the Publicity email address:

Further information about the society can be found on the BPS website at:

(above: query Blechnum?, Costa Rica)

Ferns, in all their shapes, sizes, colours and patterns provide an endless subject matter for the keen amateur photographer. I have long had an interest in photography, and taking portraits of ferns for the sake of a „good picture‟ rather than a record of the species itself. However, I have recently been thinking how great it would have been if at the time I had made clear notes of what the species were! I wanted to use the above image as the cover for this Newsletter, but sadly cannot identify the species. Any thoughts, anyone?!

Signing Up: If you wish to receive an email notifying you when a new issue of the Fern World Newsletter is published, please sign up to the online mailing list which can be found at the link below:

Front Cover Image : Polystichum setiferum cultivar Photography : Liz or Alison Evans unless stated

The BPS needs you! BPS 2012 Fern Calendar

BPS Field Meetings

This autumn Bryan Smith will be producing another BPS Fern Calendar containing members‟ photos. This is your chance to have your own favourite fern photo included for all to see. Anything along the „fern‟ theme will be considered – fronds, plants, fern beds, artefacts, memorabilia etc. All he requires is that:

At the beginning of each year, the Meetings Sub-Committee plans the BPS‟s programme of national and international field meetings for the following year. The success of these field meetings depends very much on the meeting organisers and the choice of location.

the photo is in landscape format

the photo is in colour

you include details of what it is and where it was taken you took the photo

Please send low resolution candidates to Bryan at the following email address by the end of September.

So, we‟d particularly like to hear from members about places where they would like to spend a weekend (or longer) seeing ferns. More importantly, we‟d like to hear from anyone willing to lead a fern field meeting. Each of the field meetings has a member of the Meetings Sub-Committee assigned to help the organiser, so you won‟t be “going it alone”. Plus, as you will have gathered from past meetings, visits can include both the countryside and gardens. So, please send me your ideas for fern locations, and more importantly whether you‟d be prepared to lead a field meeting. Many thanks,

Bryan Smith

Contact the Publicity Team :

Gardening Scotland 2011 The Education Sub-Committee

put on a gold medal winning display of ferns at the BPS stand at this year‟s Gardening Scotland. The event was held at The Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh from the 3rd to the 5th of June, and attracted one of the biggest crowds in its 12 year history (see the event website: ). A carefully chosen combination of ferns belonging to BPS members, and some which were on loan from Binny Plants ( ) made up the eye-catching display of contrasting frond shapes and defect-free plants. The theme was to show off to the gardening public the beguiling beauty, intriguing interest, and huge variety of ferns that can be grown outside, in the greenhouse, and in the home. Plenty of people stopped to admire the stand and then to chat about the ferns and fern cultivation - hopefully our presence at these events will raise the profile of the BPS. All agreed that it was worthwhile, but also hard work, and that we should think about creating a Shows Sub-Committee within the BPS. The words in this write-up have been adapted from Frank McGavigan’s report for the Bulletin with thanks. The full report will be published in the next Bulletin. Photos are all by Yvonne Golding or Alison Evans.

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Gardening Scotland 2011

Photos showing the display of ferns, and a close-up of the gold medal. Members had a good time both manning and visiting the stand! On the previous page, a photo of the show stopping giant gorilla which helped Great Gardens Ltd win Best Show Garden Award!

Contact the Publicity Team :

Southport Flower Show 2011 Members of the BPS

were also successful at this year‟s Southport Flower Show, which ran from the 18th - 21st of August ( ). Here are just a few snapshots from the show - as always the full write up will appear in the next edition of the Bulletin, which is available to all BPS members. Right: BPS Secretary Yvonne Golding with the Challenge Cup, flanked by Gold medal winner Michael Hayward and BPS member Roland Ennos.

Below: The Society stand, put together by Michael Hayward, won a Gold from the judges. The theme of this year‟s stand was „Heritage‟.

Facing page: some more snaps from around the show!

Right: the winning entry for the BPS Challenge Cup - Adiantum aleuticum. “Best fern in the show.” - Martin Rickard

All photos Y. Golding or M. Hayward

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Southport Flower Show 2011

Above: Robert Crawford with the Happilands Trophy, which is awarded for the highest number of first prizes for the Ferns in classes 9-17. Robert is also a member of the BPS.

Contact the Publicity Team :

Ferns & Fossils 2011 Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th September : A free event at the John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Some of you may have attended the successful Ferns & Fossils Day held at Manchester Museum in 2009, and observed what a good way it was to introduce the general public to ferns. We hope the event in Scotland this year will be a similar success! A few people work very hard to make this happen - if you would like to volunteer to help on the day, please contact Heather from the Scottish Group.

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

BPS Woodland Trail Project Many heritage properties in Britain have woodland trails that are popular with visitors. They are often also good places to see our British native ferns. In accordance with the aims of the Society, it is hoped that the BPS Woodland Trail Project will:

inform and educate the public about our native ferns

encourage the public to look for and record ferns

The Education Sub-Committee are working on basic informative leaflets for use at sites with woodland trails. In order to raise the profile of the project, a series of events are planned. Initially these will be on National Trust properties, with the first taking place at:

Nymans in West Sussex from October 13th to the16th (See their website: ) Guided walks will be held on each day at 11.00 and 14.00, with BPS members on hand to help the public with identification of the ferns. It is hoped that this project will be extended to other regions in 2012. If you would like more information on this project, or to suggest a possible site for an event, please contact Alison at:

The Education Group are also planning fun and informative educational materials on ferns for the younger generation of potential fern enthusiasts, and with this in mind, we would like to introduce you to Pterry The Fern! Pterry is an adaptation of the BPS logo, and is currently serving as the picture on the BPS Facebook „profile‟ - which is slightly different from the Facebook page. The Facebook page can be viewed here without needing to sign up:

Contact the Publicity Team :

Other Fern News Moorbank Botanic Garden: May 16th

Garfield Park Conservatory Appeal

BPS member Yvonne Golding organised a small exploratory trip to Moorbank: Newcastle‟s Secret Garden after being contacted by OPAL Education Officer Helen Weddle, who is based there and wanted some advice on developing the fern collection. The garden is leased by the University of Newcastle‟s Botany Department, and contains many fine examples of fern species, including some which belonged to a former BPS President. Hopefully this is the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration with Moorbank in future.

The Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, USA, was constructed between 1906 and 1907, as a series of naturalistic landscapes under glass - like an early Eden Project. It houses many species of plants, including a large fern collection. Sadly, on June 30th of this year it suffered catastrophic damage in a hailstorm which shattered many of the glass panes - including those in the roof of the Historic Fern Room. To read more on this story, or if you wish to help, go to this link:

A ‘Fern Garden’ Wiki

Above: the team at Moorbank (Photo: Y. Golding)

Work is under way to compile an online list of ferns in BPS member‟s gardens on a Wiki page. It would be accessible to BPS members wishing to find out where particular fern species grow in the country. For more information, and to find out how to contribute, please contact Roger Golding at:

The Firs has a Blog!

Spore Exchange Vacancy

While Moorbank is Newcastle University‟s Botanic Garden, The Firs is Manchester‟s. Sadly, the funding for this wonderful garden is under threat. You can follow the story of The Firs on their blog, here:

The post of Spore Exchange Organiser is going to become vacant in the not too distant future. Would anyone like to take over this position? All the equipment and full training would be provided. Please contact:

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Still to come in 2011... Regional Meetings: September 17th: September 3rd: Dryopteris submontana monitoring Monsal Trail / Litton Dale, Derbyshire

Fern Varieties, St Leonards-on-Sea South-East Group Contact: Julian Reed

Manchester & North Midlands Group Contact: Yvonne Golding

September 17th: Swanton Novers Wood, Norfolk

September 6-7th: Athyrium distentifolium monitoring

East Anglia Group Contact: Tim Pyner

Bridge of Orchy & Glencoe Scottish Group

September 22nd:

Contact: Frank McGavigan

Olive Mason’s Garden, Dial Park South Wales & Borders Group

September 10th: Yorkshire Museum Trust Garden & York Cemetery Yorkshire Group Contact: Bruce Brown or Alison Evans

September 10th: Ness Gardens & Hilbre Island Northwest Group Contact: Michael Hayward

Contact: Brian Dockerill

Do you live in a part of the country not currently covered by one of the regional groups? Would you like to suggest a new regional group, or like to lead a meeting in your area?

Please feel free to get in touch!

Contact the Publicity Team :

Dates for the Diary National Meetings:

October 22nd: Manchester & North Midlands Group

September 27th - October 1st: Isle Of Man Exploratory meeting to contribute fern records to a proposed IoM flora due 20142015. Contact: Jennifer Ide

Indoor Meeting Possibly Manchester Museum

October 22nd: East Anglia Group Autumn Indoor Meeting Hosts Bryan and Gill Smith, Lowestoft

October 29th: Autumn Indoor Meeting, Kew Propagation talk by Nigel Rothwell, and viewing of fern collections. Contact: Pat Acock

November 5th: South-East Group Autumn Meeting Host Pat Acock, St Mary Cray

Coming Up in 2012: Regional Group AGMs: October 8th: Yorkshire Group AGM RHS Garden Harlow Carr

January 28th 2012: East Anglia Group Indoor Meeting Thurlow, Suffolk February 18th - March 4th 2012:

October 9th: Scottish Group Meeting Adrian Dyer‟s garden October 15th: Northwest Group AGM

BPS Tour of South Africa

Details of all the Meetings are also available on the Meetings Calendar:

Holehird Gardens, Windermere

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

And finally... Thanks for reading! 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 do get in touch!

BPS Members also receive:

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:

Contact the Publicity Team :

Profile for Pterry The-Fern

Fern World Newsletter Issue 3  

The autumn edition of Fern World - the online newsletter produced for members of the British Pteridological Society and fern enthusiasts eve...

Fern World Newsletter Issue 3  

The autumn edition of Fern World - the online newsletter produced for members of the British Pteridological Society and fern enthusiasts eve...