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Fern World BPS Newsletter - Winter 2013

Issue 7. Produced by the BPS Publicity & Marketing Team

Fern World Editor’s Letter Hello & welcome

to edition 7 of the

Fern World Newsletter! This is the online Newsletter of the BPS, the Society for fern enthusiasts. Fingers crossed, we are now back to two editions a year, one for Spring / Summer, and this one covering Autumn / Winter. There has certainly been plenty going on over the summer to tell you about! First up though, a reminder about the BPS Autumn Indoor Meeting, which is being held at RHS Garden Harlow Carr on the 9th of November. A detailed programme for the day is provided on page 5. Pages 6 and 7 give you a whistle-stop photo round-up of some of the many events the BPS has attended since the last issue of Fern World went out in May.

Above: A fern sculpture spotted at Calgary Bay Art in Nature woodland sculpture trail on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

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:

The Spore Exchange, featured on page 8, is a free service offered to BPS members. If you haven’t already seen the flyer for BPS President John Edgington’s new book Who Found Our Ferns? click through to page 9 to find out all about it. We also have some new merchandise to show you, which can be found on page 10, and a few dates to put in to your diary for next year. Thank you for reading!

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:

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

Front Cover Image : Frost covered fronds Photography : Liz or Alison Evans unless stated

Fern News in Brief Rare Fern Find on Hutton Roof There was much excitement recently when a rare species for the area, Polystichum lonchitis - often called holly fern - was rediscovered on Hutton Roof Crags in Cumbria by naturalist Bryan Yorke. To read more about the story, you can follow this link to an article in The Westmorland Gazette: news/10727151.Rare_fern_spotted_at_Hutton_Roof/

Above: The view from Hutton Roof

Sarah Whittingham to appear on BBC series Coast In September Sarah Whittingham, author of Fern Fever: The Story of Pteridomania, was down at Lynton and Lynmouth in north Devon, filming a piece on the Victorian fern craze for the BBC series Coast. She and Ruth Goodman (of Victorian Farm, etc) dressed as Victorian (or in Sarah's case, Edwardian) fern hunters in search of Polypodium vulgare bifidum at Watersmeet. They were then filmed having a cream tea on the terrace of a local hotel using part of Sarah's extensive collection of fern china, glass, silver, linen, etc, accompanied by 'fern music' and while suffering from hypothermia. At the end of a long day the final segment (but the first that will be used in the piece) was filmed on Countisbury Hill. The film will be shown in the next series of Coast in the spring, and Sarah takes no responsibility for the final contents after it has been edited!

The Pteridologist Needs You! The Pteridologist urgently needs articles and fillers as soon as possible. If you have anything suitable please get in touch with the editor at

Contact the Publicity Team :

Autumn Indoor Meeting RHS GARDENS HARLOW CARR, HARROGATE Top fern horticulturalists will be on hand to share their growing expertise and answer any cultivation queries. There will also be all the usual plant, book, and merchandise sales, and the opportunity to get together and catch up with fellow “ferners”. In addition you will have a chance to see the beautiful gardens at RHS Harlow Carr, which are well worth a visit at any time of the year - and they have much more than just ferns! See the next page for the full programme, which I’m sure you will agree holds something of interest for everyLeft: Some of the dramatic ruins that feature in the gardens at Harlow Carr. Below: BPS Committee Members and one of Harlow Carr’s beautiful fern beds.

SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS SALE! With the exciting arrival of a new Special Publication (see page 9 for more details) we need to make a bit more storage room! Two of the older Special Publications are now available at the reduced price of £2.00 plus £2.50 P&P on the UK mainland. They will of course also be available to buy at the Indoor Meeting, without the added postage costs! Special Publications numbers 4 and 5 are beautiful books full of historical detail, and will delight any fern enthusiast. To order, please contact Alison at:

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

November 9th 2013

Contact the Publicity Team :

The BPS at Shows and Events RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show The BPS stand was located in the Plant Heritage marquee, and was awarded a silver medal. Perhaps the most prestigious event of the year, as the stand was visited by royalty! Thanks to everyone who was involved in making this a success.

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

The BPS at Shows and Events Big Nature Day! For a second year running, the BPS joined the dozens of other nature societies who had stands at this year’s OPAL event, which is held at The Natural History Museum in London. It was a great opportunity to meet potential enthusiasts.

Above: The Big Nature Day Left and Below: Michael Hayward and helpers enjoyed success once again at the Southport Flower Show, achieving a Silver Gilt this year for their display of ferns.

Contact the Publicity Team :

News from the Spore Exchange As autumn draws in, spores are starting to arrive at the exchange and so we thought we’d give a taster of the new list to whet your appetites. We are in the early days in terms of numbers (93 taxa donated as we write, bringing the list at this point to 321) but they are quite an interesting bunch already. Most prominent in our minds is a large donation (over 20 taxa) of tree fern spores, most of which haven’t been listed for a while and over half have never been listed. Some are only available in small quantities, so order early if tree ferns are an interest of yours. In fact, in addition to the tree ferns, there are around 15 other items so far appearing on the list for the first time, so it looks like this will be a feature this year. They range from an unusual Amphineuron to some interesting cultivars of Polystichum setiferum – so, something for everyone! But, of course, it’s not all about novelties, and the backbone of the list of good, reliable ferns and interesting cultivars is still alive and well. We’re also seeing the return of some British species after an absence of a few years, several of which (Asplenium septentrionale and Ophioglossum vulgatum for example) are challenging to grow despite being native. We’re sure there will be much more when the list is finally compiled, but already at this stage it’s looking good. We’re very grateful for all the spores donated so far, and look forward to more arriving over the coming weeks. It’s an exciting time for us as organisers – so please keep the little parcels coming! Cleaned spores, a fertile frond, an exotic species, a reliable cultivar – they are all equally welcome, both to us and your fellow fern growers. Just send them to our address printed in your copy of The Pteridologist or The Bulletin. The list itself will go out at the beginning of January and details for requesting one will be in the autumn mailing. We’re looking forward to hearing from you. Now, where did we put that tinfoil?

Sue & Brian Dockerill A number of leaflets giving advice on growing from spores, and also on the general cultivation of ferns, are available to download from the website:

Contact the Publicity Team :

A New Special Publication

Don’t forget the BPS Website :


BPS Glossy Wallet Folder If you’re having difficulty storing your BPS documents and publications, then here’s the answer. These large glossy full-colour folders have an internal space of 14 inches x 8.5 inches x 1 inch (35 cms x 23 cms x 3 cms) and photos of various BPS activities. We also have a range of BPS branded clothing and stationery - including the 2014 calendar - available on the Merchandise list, which is found on the website:

Order using the Merchandise form on the BPS webpage. Price: £1.50 each plus £3.00 p&p in UK for up to 10 folders (other postage rates apply to overseas).

Photos courtesy of Bryan & Gill Smith, BPS Merchandise Organisers.

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Dates for the Diary 2014 Regional Group Contact details: 25th January 2014 East Anglia Group Winter Indoor Meeting, Southend, Essex Contact : Tim Pyner

12th April 2014 Spring Indoor Meeting and AGM Natural History Museum, London

Yorkshire Fern Group Leader: Bruce Brown Email: South East Leaders: Paul Ripley and Pat Acock Email: East Anglia Leader: Tim Pyner Email:

Contact : Alison Paul

North West England Leader: Peter Campion Email:

October 5th 2014

Cornwall Leader: Ian Bennallick Email:

Autumn Indoor Meeting Chelsea Physic Garden “Save the Date”

**Look out for more dates for 2014 in the Autumn Mailing!**

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

Scotland Leader: Bridget Laue Email: South Wales & Borders Leader: Brian Dockerill Email: Manchester & North Midlands Leader: John Grue Email: Wessex Leader: Josephine Basil Email:

For Meetings Information :

Profile for Pterry The-Fern

Fern World Newsletter Issue 7  

The Autumn / Winter 2013 edition of the Fern World Newsletter - the online news source for members of The British Pteridological Society, an...

Fern World Newsletter Issue 7  

The Autumn / Winter 2013 edition of the Fern World Newsletter - the online news source for members of The British Pteridological Society, an...