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Fern World BPS Newsletter - Spring 2014

Issue 8. Produced by the BPS Publicity & Marketing Team

Fern World Editor’s Letter Hello & welcome

to edition 8 of the

Fern World Newsletter! This is the online Newsletter of the BPS, the Society for fern enthusiasts. Compared to the last few years, we seem to have escaped with a very mild winter - although if we get snow in March again I may have spoken too soon! If you are looking for some winter sunshine, I am very pleased to be able to share the BPS fern trip to La Palma with you on pages 4-7. The Education sub-committee have been busy too, and you can read about some of the projects they have been involved with on pages 8-9. We are also excited to introduce another Special Publication with this issue - Ken Trewren’s guide to the Dryopteris affinis complex, which will be published next month. Look out for the flyer on page 11. I have managed to include all this year’s Dates for the Diary - these take up the rest of the issue, starting at page 12. I hope you enjoy reading, and I am looking forward to sharing lots more ferny activities with you in Autumn! Don’t forget to let me know at the usual Publicity address if there is anything you would like to see in the next edition of Fern World.

Above: Gymnocarpium dryopteris, also known as Oak Fern - our Society’s emblem.

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:

We are trialling a new method of informing BPS members of the publication of the Newsletter, and so the old mailing list will be inoperative for the time being. Hopefully non-members will see that a new issue is available through links on our blog, and through Facebook and Twitter.

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

Front Cover Image : Gymnocarpium dryopteris Photography : Liz or Alison Evans unless stated

Fern News in Brief BPS Photographic Competition, 2014 A reminder to members, who should have received full details about the competition with their Autumn Mailing. If you were meaning to send an entry and haven’t done so yet, don’t worry - there’s still time! The closing date for the competition is 30th March 2014. There are 3 categories for the 2014 competition: 

Class One: Fern(s) in a natural (wild) landscape.

Class Two: Cultivated fern(s) in a house, greenhouse or garden.

Class Three: Item or object with a fern-related theme.

Entries (which must be previously unpublished) will be displayed at the AGM in London on 12th April 2014, and winning entries will be decided by members at the AGM. Winning entries will be included in a special feature in The Pteridologist. If any members need further submission details, please check on the BPS website.

“Fern Friday” on Facebook! Every Friday for the last few weeks, we have been uploading a new British Native fern to an album on the Fern World Facebook page. The idea is that weekly updates will keep our audience interested, and by the end of the project there will be a basic visual guide to all the British Native ferns available online. It has been great fun to do so far, and has received a good response from our “likers” on Facebook - although it must be said, another album featuring fern cultivars has also proved to be very popular!

Contact the Publicity Team :

BPS La Palma Trip The following account is an abridged version of what will appear in next year’s Bulletin - many thanks to Yvonne Golding and Alison Evans for providing the words and pictures ~ Fern World Editor

A group of us escaped the English rain and storms in January to spend a pleasant week in La Palma, ably guided by Yvonne Golding and Roland Ennos who had already spent a week on the island investigating the best fern sites. We stayed in the Hacienda San Jorge, an apartment hotel situated in a splendid botanical garden, with a large swimming pool, and just across the road from the beach. The foyer of the hotel has a wonderful display of ferns – bliss!

Above: The foyer of the hotel

La Palma is the most North-Westerly of the Canary Islands, lying in the Atlantic Ocean, four hundred kilometres off the North African coast. The highest point is on the rim of the giant crater, the Caldera de Taburiente, and is almost 2,500m. The island has several different ecological zones. The wetter slopes of the North and East are home to laurel forest, the haunt of woodland ferns. In contrast the drier lower regions and the South and West house a xerophytic community composed mostly of succulents, with xerophytic ferns being common in the lava flows. We spent 2 days in each of these zones, a fifth day visiting several varied sites including the observatory on the highest point, and we had a free day to spend as we wished. Top: BPS trip members (Photo: Yvonne Golding)

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

BPS La Palma Trip Our two days in the laurel forests were at La Galga and Los Tilos. The woodland ferns were looking wonderful with giant Woodwardia radicans draping the sides of the gorges, shoulder-high Diplazium caudatum, in some areas with Vandenboschia speciosa growing underneath, and extensive colonies of three Adiantums – A. capillus-veneris, A. reniforme, and A.raddianum growing on the sides of the tracks and streams. We also saw beautiful specimens of Asplenium onopteris and Asplenium hemionitis, and lovely newly-flushed fronds of Dryopteris oligodonta.

There were also several highlights during our two days in the drier parts of the island. In the lava fields near Monte de Luna, we found some splendid specimens of Asplenium aureum, as well as A. octoploideum and A. filare subsp. canariense. We also found several colonies of the diminutive Ophioglossum lusitanicum (see overleaf), and some very photogenic clumps of Cosentinia vellea, Notholaena marantae (now given the name Paragymnopteris marantae!) both overleaf.

Above: Yvonne with Woodwardia radicans (Photo: Roland Ennos)

Right top: Trichomanes speciosum (Vandenboschia speciosa) (Photo: Yvonne Golding)

Right : Asplenium filare subsp. canariense (Photo: Yvonne Golding)

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BPS La Palma Trip On our way to the second lava-field site we stopped before the main east-west tunnel to explore a wet, wooded lane, where we found Asplenium monanthes. The variation in climate on the island was brought home to us when we later emerged on the west side of the tunnel in sunshine! We explored the garden of the visitor centre and spent some time on the lava fields before driving in to the Caldera de Taburiente. This is a site full of geological interest, although difficult going in places because of the boulder-strewn path. Here we added Pteris vittata, Cheilanthes maderensis (now called C. pteridioides) and Equisetum ramosissimum to our list for the week.

Notholaena marantae

Roland amid Diplazium caudatum at La Galga (Photo: Yvonne Golding)

Top: Cosentinia vellea Above: Ophioglossum lusitanicum

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

BPS La Palma Trip On our last day, we visited Mirador La Tosca in the north of the island, famous for several large dragon trees, but also with ferny interest, although the sides of the path had been strimmed in the week between Yvonne and Roland’s visit and our visit! After lunch we visited Barranco de Gallego, where we reminded ourselves of the woodland ferns, and found a single Pteris incompleta plus a single ‘ceterach’, probably A. aureum.

Asplenium aureum at Monte de Luna

We then drove on to the observatory site and parked by Roque de las Muchachos, where our car thermometers were reading ‘zero’ and a blizzard was swirling round us. We still managed to find a little plant of Asplenium septentrionale in a rocky crevice, and a lovely plant of Cystopteris – species uncertain as it was not fertile.

Our holiday was rounded off by a splendid meal at the restaurant ‘Sadi’ in Los Cancajos. Thank you very much to Yvonne and Roland for an excellent week’s ferning. The full account of this trip will appear in the Bulletin in Spring 2015, with a list of all the other ferns that we haven’t had space to mention here.

Right top: Barranco de Gallego Right: Mirador La Tosca with dragon trees

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Education Group News Spreading the word about ferns through collaboration with other organisations

Last year was a good year for the BPS in working with organisations such as the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI), the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), and the Natural History Museum to name but a few. It makes sense for us as a relatively small organisation to showcase ferns at events hosted by much larger organisations, who have the resources to publicise widely and attract large numbers of people to their events. Last year, our stands at the Hampton Court Flower show and the Big Nature Day event at the Natural History Museum were seen by thousands of visitors. We should not underestimate the importance of smaller scale events, however, as they provide opportunities for more in-depth communication with interested members of the public. Bioblitzes and guided walks are good ways to raise awareness of our native ferns. Members of the BPS Education group were involved in bioblitzes at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, and at Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve at Catterick Garrison last year. In addition, Frank McGavigan led a walk in Geilston Gardens (National Trust for Scotland) and together with Mary Gibby, a joint meeting with the BSBI in Puck’s Glen. Learning about the fern life-cycle, and the features of our common native ferns, seems to have a ‘wow’ factor for people who are interested in plants but for whom ferns have been a closed book. (Photo: Mary Gibby)

This year we will be taking part in a Bioblitz in Logan Botanic Gardens on 27th and 28th June. A second guided walk will be held at Geilston Gardens on August 9th, and Scottish members Heather McHaffie and Bridget Laue will be investigating the possibility of a similar event at Falkland Palace. We hope to be able to resume our guided walks at the National Trust gardens at Nymans later this year. If you live near a National Trust property that has a good selection of wild or cultivated ferns, please let us know so that we can investigate the possibility of having guided walks in these locations too. The Field Studies Council field centres at Blencathra and at Kindrogan have also been involved with BPS members in creating fern gardens and fern trails at the centres. We may be able to extend this to other FSC centres in future, in particular to those where fern identification courses are held. We hope to have a stand at the Tatton Park RHS Flower Show from 23rd to the 27th of July, and also to participate in any RHS Plant Society open days that are held in future. We are also planning to have a stand at any future ‘Big Nature Days’ at the Natural History Museum, and in 2015 we would like to repeat our very successful ‘Ferns and Fossils’ event at Manchester Museum. Does your local Museum have any natural history events where we could showcase the BPS? Please let us know!

Contact the Education Group :

Education Group News Sharing fern sightings with iSpot iSpot was developed by the Open University along with OPAL to encourage the public to explore and engage with nature. iSpot now has 33,500 registered users, who have added over a quarter of a million wildlife observations. Worldwide, over 11,000 different species have been observed on iSpot (the figure for the UK and Ireland is around 8,000 species). All this activity is thanks to the enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly community of iSpot users who volunteer their time to help each other learn about wildlife. To see all fern observations on iSpot the best place to start is with the species dictionary pages, which allow you to browse down to family, genus or species level etc. On each page what you are shown is the most recent set of observations on iSpot. The BPS and over 100 other organisations are now badged on iSpot, which means that one or more people are shown as representing the organisations concerned to help identify submissions from the public. If anyone else in the BPS is interested in contributing to iSpot and being badged as a BPS representative, please get in touch! Field Studies Council Fern Courses James Merryweather runs his popular ‘Fern Guide’ identification course at Blencathra Field Study Centre in August. We are developing a collection of British native ferns in the garden there as a teaching resource. There will also be self-guided trail leaflets for beginners and for more experienced botanists, so that people can learn from the collection whenever they visit, not just when the course is in progress. James’s course runs from 17th to 22nd August. There are also fern identification courses at other Field Studies Council Centres: Kindrogan (Heather McHaffie, July 4th to 7th), Rhyd-y-creuau (Chris Metherall, August 8th to 11th) and Preston Montford (Mark Duffell, 19th August). Further details can be found on the FSC website:

Photo: Andrea Leng

Left: James Merryweather, Alison Evans, Roland Ennos & Yvonne Golding at Blencathra Field Study Centre.

Contact the Education Group :

Special Publications You may remember in the last issue of Fern World we included a flyer for John Edgington’s book Who Found Our Ferns? We are pleased to say that sales of this Special Publication have been very good, and we would now like to introduce the next two publications, which will be available very soon. Some Taxa Within The Dryopteris Affinis Compex - A Field Guide is a tribute to the work of the late, and much missed, Ken Trewren. It will be published in April and will be available with free postage in the UK to BPS and BSBI members until the end of August. Please see the flyer opposite for more details about this publication. Also coming soon to the Special Publications catalogue: The Jones Nature Prints - Nature Printing and The Victorian Fern Cult by Michael Hayward. Michael has done extensive work on these beautiful and rare prints, made at the end of the 19th century. They provide a fascinating insight into the fern varieties that were in cultivation at that time. The book includes the stories of the people involved in making these prints, and information on the techniques of nature printing. It comes with a searchable resource disc, which has a full set of the prints and the ‘memoranda’ sheets that Col. Jones wrote to accompany the prints. And for fans of fern history, BPS Special Publication No 11, available now, is a must! It is a CD containing volumes 1-9 of The British Fern Gazette along with a listing of British ferns by E J Lowe. Michael Hayward has hand edited the set of files to allow accurate searching with Adobe Reader, and the original photographic illustrations have also been enhanced.

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Dates for the Diary 2014 April 12th

May 31st

AGM London

Scottish Group

Spring Indoor Meeting at the Natural History Museum in London. In addition to the main AGM business, the meeting will be themed around members' visits to see ferns worldwide.

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh; Ophioglossum.

Contact : Pat Acock (Alison Paul will be hosting)

Leader : Mary Gibby

June 7th East Anglia Group Cambridge University Botanic Garden

May 17-24th

Leader : Paul Aston / Tim Pyner

Capo di Ponte, Italy A chance to explore the ferns of Northern Italy.

June 14th South-East Group

Leader : Enzo Bona Contact : Paul Ripley

Angley Wood near Cranbrook, and Hole Park, near Rolvenden, Kent. Leaders : Paul Ripley and Pat Acock

May 24th Yorkshire Group

June 21st

Moonwort surveys, Grinton near Reeth.

Savill Garden, Surrey

Leader : Barry Wright

A chance to see a wide range of ferns and other plants in a beautiful setting. The garden holds the National Collection of hardy ferns. Leader : Julian Reed

Contact the Publicity Team :

Dates for the Diary 2014 June 21st

July 5th

Yorkshire Group

North West Group

South Yorkshire. Ancient woodlands of Prior Royd and Wheata Wood. Wentworth.

Southport Botanic Gardens and Michael Hayward’s Garden.

Leader : Paul Ruston

Leader : Michael Hayward

June 27-29th

July 5th

South Wales

South-East Group and Wessex Group

Based at Brecon, including upland sites in and around the Brecon Beacons, moist woodlands further west, and two garden visits.

Steep, Hampshire, and West Dean Garden, near Petersfield, Hampshire. Leaders : Peter Tindley and Julian Reed

Leaders : Brian and Sue Dockerill

July 12-13th June 28th Yorkshire Group North West Group Roudsea Woods and Orchard Cottage. Leader : Alec Greening

Weekend in Wales to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Yorkshire Fern Group. Based around Betwys y Coed. Contact : Alison Evans

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

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Dates for the Diary 2014 July 12th

July 27th

Scottish Group

Scottish Group

Dumfriesshire, Cryptogramma crispa at Mennock Pass and Thelypteris palustris near Southerness.

Cramond Island, Edinburgh; Fern ID tour. Joint meeting with BSBI

Leaders : Adrian Dyer and Bridget Laue

July 23rd-27th

August 2nd

Tatton Flower Show

Yorkshire Group

The BPS hope to have a stand.


Contact : Yvonne Golding

Leader : Bruce Brown

July 23rd South Wales & The Borders Group

August 9th

A field outing to Corndon Hill, Radnorshire, about 5 miles north of Bishops Castle.

Scottish Group

Leaders : Brian and Sue Dockerill

Geilston Garden, fern ID tour. Leader : Frank McGavigan

July 26th Wessex Group

August 9th

New Forest, Royden Wood.

North West Group Leader : Josephine Basil Hutton Roof and Pear Tree Cottage. Leader : Alec Greening

Contact the Publicity Team :

Dates for the Diary 2014 August 14-17th

August 30th

Southport Flower Show

Scottish Group

A chance for you to help at the show, enthuse to the public about ferns and / or display your ferns.

Stob Coire Sgriodain, West of Cairngorms; Clubmosses.

Contact : Michael Hayward

Leader : Roger Golding

September 6th East Anglia Group

August 23rd South-East Group and East Anglia Group The Swiss Garden, Old Warden, Biggleswaden, and Waldy Pierozynski's garden. Leaders : Paul Ripley and Pat Acock

August 30th South Wales and The Borders Group Visit to Tim Brock’s garden and its environs, Tregaron, Ceredigion. Leader : Tim Brock

Mill Green, Ingatestone, Essex. Joint meeting with Essex Field Club. Leader : Tim Pyner

September 13-14th North York Moors Based at Whitby and themed around Ken Trewren's local fern study areas for Dryopteris, Trichomanes and Polypodiums. Visits to Ken's garden, local woods and moors. Leader : Bruce Brown

September 27th Scottish Group Autumn Indoor Meeting, Lenzie, Glasgow. Host : Frank McGavigan

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Dates for the Diary 2014 October 5th

October 18th

Autumn Indoor Meeting

North West Group AGM

Chelsea Physic Garden, London. An opportunity for members to visit the 'Thomas Moore fernery' and other fern collections within the garden. Talks will also be given.

AGM at Holehird Gardens, Windermere.

Contact : Mary Gibby

October 18th

Contact : Peter Campion

East Anglia Group

October 11th Polypodium Cultivars, Kyre An opportunity to see and discuss Martin Rickard's National Collection of Polypodiums which includes cultivars and species. Leader : Martin Rickard

Autumn Indoor Meeting, Southend-onSea, Essex. Contact : Tim Pyner

October 22-November 2nd Japan

October 11th

This event is supported by, but not organised by, the BPS.

Yorkshire Group AGM

Contact : Pat Acock

AGM at Learning Centre, RHS Gardens Harlow Carr, Harrogate. Contact : Bruce Brown

November 8th South-East Group

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

Autumn Meeting, Battersea Park, SW London. Contact : Peter Blake

Don’t forget the BPS Website :

Contacts General Secretary:

Regional Group Contact details:

Yorkshire Fern Group Leader: Bruce Brown Email:

Membership Secretary:

South East Leaders: Paul Ripley and Pat Acock Email:

Meetings Secretary:

East Anglia Leader: Tim Pyner Email: North West England Leader: Peter Campion Email:

Editor of Pteridologist:

Cornwall Leader: Ian Bennallick Email:

Editor of BPS Website:

Scotland Leader: Bridget Laue Email: South Wales & Borders Leader: Brian Dockerill Email:

Merchandise Organisers:

Manchester & North Midlands Leader: John Grue Email:

Spore Exchange Organisers:

Wessex Leader: Josephine Basil Email:

For Meetings Information :

Profile for Pterry The-Fern

Fern World Newsletter Issue 8  

The Spring 2014 edition of the Fern World Newsletter - the online news source for members of The British Pteridological Society, and fern en...

Fern World Newsletter Issue 8  

The Spring 2014 edition of the Fern World Newsletter - the online news source for members of The British Pteridological Society, and fern en...