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Fern World BPS Newsletter - Autumn 2014

Issue 9 Produced by the BPS Publicity & Marketing Team

Fern World Editor’s Letter

Hello & welcome to the Autumn

Above: The home page of the new website

edition of the Fern World Newsletter!

The Education Group have been busy again this year, and you can read about what they have been up to on page 8. Many of you will already be involved in recording your fern sightings, and on page 9 we feature a new way to make your records accessible Living Record.

This is the online Newsletter of the BPS, the Society for fern enthusiasts. As you may have already noticed, our website, has had a make over! We hope that the new design will make using the website easier - all the important parts of the old website are still there - plus some extra features as well! Pages 4 & 5 of the Newsletter will look at some of these new features in more detail. We have had another successful year at events and shows, winning a gold medal at RHS Tatton Park and a cup at Southport, too. Pictures from these events can be found on pages 6 & 7.

Page 10 features some of the late Jack Bouckley’s fern collection which has been relocated to RHS Harlow Carr, and page 11 gives a brief look ahead to what 2015 holds in store. As always, I hope you enjoy this edition of Fern World, and if you have any ferny news to share, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Liz Evans, BPS Publicity Officer Front Cover Image : Asplenium scolopendrium Photography : Liz or Alison Evans unless stated

Fern News in Brief Autumn Mailing Online

Calling fern photographers!

In an attempt to limit unnecessary costs, we have once again this year produced an electronic copy of the Autumn Mailing, which has been sent out to all members who have provided us with an up to date email address.

We now have even more ways to share our love for ferns online! With thanks to BPS member Ashley Basil, we now have a thriving photography group on Flickr. You don’t need to have an account to enjoy browsing the pictures, so why not have a look here:

Hopefully, this will have already reached you (paper copies have been sent only to members who do not seem to have a current email or didn’t give us their details) but if you haven’t seen the link yet, the Autumn Mailing is available through the website here: ONLINE AUTUMN MAILING

However if you do have an account, please feel free to join the group! We are also now on Instagram which is a mobile photo sharing app - thanks to BPS member Razvan Chisu for setting this up! Below is a screen grab showing the Instagram account.

Contact the Publicity Team :

Website in Focus The Homepage We have had a shake-up of the BPS home page - it now features a slideshow of ferny pictures; an overview of the Society’s activities as well as a regularly updated News section; and a “Join” button which is encouraging people to sign up to the BPS. We also now have the option for members to pay their subscriptions via PayPal. Right: A screen-grab of the BPS News sidebar

Events & Reports

BPS Blogs!

One of my personal favourite features of the new website is the upgraded Events page. Before, we had a simple calendar view of upcoming events, which while it was functional, lacked the capacity for giving detailed information about the location and content of the event. We now have an excellent Events calendar which will give details of the organisers, Google Map directions to the location, and lots of other relevant information that may be needed before the event.

You may have seen the Fern World blog when it was hosted by the blogging site Posterous, and followed it over to Tumblr when Posterous shut down. Well now we have the facility to blog within the main BPS website. This means that multiple authors can contribute articles about whatever takes their fancy (as long as it is fern related, of course!)

As an add-on to that, we have also started a mostly pictorial and anecdotal “Reports” section where a nominated person who has attended an event can submit pictures and a report before the official Bulletin write-up is published. You can find the reports page HERE

We already have a few blog authors, but there is always room for more! Is this something you might be interested in contributing to? Why not have a look at the blogs, and if you would like to start your own, let us know. Training and support is always available so don’t worry if you are new to it all! CLICK HERE FOR BPS BLOGS

BPS Website :

Website in Focus The Forum Some of you may already have been using the Forum which was connected to the old website, so why not sign up to use the new Forum as well? We are having a few technical hitches getting the old threads transferred over to the new Forum, but there is already plenty of discussion going on in there, and absolutely everyone is welcome. (Even Equisetum lovers!) We made the decision to open the Forum up to nonmembers as well as BPS members to help get people involved in pteridology. All you need to do to register is just click on the link on the Forum home page and you will be emailed your log in details. Of course you don’t need to register to read other people’s posts only if you want to join in the conversation! Have a look at this link:

Special Publications and BPS Merchandise Thanks to PayPal, we have now been able to make our Special Publications and BPS Merchandise available to buy directly through the website. This of course makes us accessible to a wider audience than just BPS members.

Spore Exchange It is also now possible to put in your Spore List requests through the website. Please note, this service is only available for BPS members.

Native Fern Page A photographic list of all the British Natives

The Webteam At the moment, there is a small group of five people looking after the running and upkeep of the website, but we would be very keen to get some extra hands on board. Do you already have an interest in websites? Do you have a suggestion for content on the website? We would love to hear from you!

There is so much more to see on the new website! Please feel free to come and have a browse around. See you there!

Contact the Web Team :

Fern News 2014 Show Success! The BPS has enjoyed yet another year of successful stands at shows. The first of these was at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show in July, where we had a stand in the Plant Heritage marquee called “A Victorian Fernery”. The eyecatching display proved to be very popular with both the public and the judges, and was awarded a Gold Medal! You can find plenty more pictures from this event under the reports section of the website, or click HERE to go straight to the link. We also once again had a stand at Southport Flower Show in August. The theme of this year’s displays was “Brazil” (apparently there was some sort of football event there this year!) and Michael Hayward and team did a great job catching the judges’ eye with an impressive display of ferns. The stand was awarded a Gold Medal, and also the Curtis Cup, for “the exhibit of greatest horticultural interest and or educational value in the show”. Individual BPS members also came away with prizes for their fern specimens shown in competition. Right: (Top to bottom) Yvonne Golding with the Gold Medal at RHS Tatton; The stand at Southport; some of the Southport team; The “Curtis Cup” Challenge Trophy at Southport

BPS Website :

Fern News 2014 New Ferns at Nymans!

YFG turns 30

Patrick Acock, Paul Ripley, and Alison Evans were at Nymans again this year to run guided fern walks for the public and for National Trust volunteers. We saw some new ferns – beautifully carved on this massive fallen tree in the woodland! We were pleased to hear that there are now several new colonies of Hymenophyllum tunbrigense in the woodland, as fragments from the colony that became detached a couple of years ago were replanted, and several of them have become established.

The Yorkshire Fern Group celebrated its 30th birthday this year. As well as a small party at the AGM, held at RHS Harlow Carr, there was a week-end away in North Wales. This destination was chosen because it was also the location of the 25th anniversary celebration. One of this year’s National Meetings was held in the Yorkshire area, based in Whitby for the weekend. Below is a photo from the North Wales weekend, with some Yorkshire Group members and Osmunda regalis.

If you are interested in joining up with a regional group (or even more than one!) new members are always welcome, and you can find a full list of your nearest groups on the website: REGIONAL GROUP LIST Above (top): the fern carving Above: Pat leading a fern walk at Nymans

Contact the Publicity Team :

Education Group Blencathra Update The fern garden at Field Study Centre Blencathra suffered a bit earlier in the year because of an abnormally long dry spell, but Robert Crawford has been keeping an eye on it, and in August we planted up a new area that Ann Robbins had cleared and then Robert dug over. James Merryweather and his FSC course participants used the garden for teaching and learning about ferns, and he said he was proud to show the garden to the students. Even in its relatively new state it still acted as a teaching resource for British Native ferns, and with the added value of foreign ferns and exotics. The fern list will need to be revised next year to include new plantings. A beginner’s fern trail guide is available from the Field Centre Office. Below: Heather at the display table at Logan Botanic Garden Bioblitz

Above: The Blencathra fern garden

Bioblitz - Logan Botanic Garden Heather McHaffie and Bridget Laue of the Scottish branch of the Education Group attended a Bioblitz at Logan - a regional garden of the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh - to fly the flag for ferns! The ‘dancing’ Equisetum spores under the microscope proved to be a popular attraction. The garden had a number of wild ferns to add to the ‘blitz and also has a number of cultivated Dicksonia Antarctica tree ferns, which survive in the mild climate at Logan. See the full report online here: Logan Bioblitz Report

Contact the Education Team :

Living Record You can now record directly online onto satellite imagery or mapping, using Adrian Bicker’s excellent LivingRecord application. If you are recording pteridophytes in the UK, whether on a small or a large scale, we would strongly recommend you to sign up. If you sign-up through the website, you will be automatically be included in the British Pteridological Society team. Take a little time to read the online help and User Guide, and start to use this site, which is entirely free. We think you’ll enjoy it! It gives you a personal archive and lets you see your own recording history against other contributors. Any records you make will become available to the vice-county recorders for vetting, and will be incorporated into the county archive. You can use Living Record effectively on a tablet (e.g. iPad) but only where there is a 3G signal. If you do this, you will be able to use the “GPS: you are here” link below the map to place a new location marker in your current position on the map. Please find out more on the website:

BPS Website :

Jack Bouckley’s Ferns Jack


who was president of the BPS from 1991 to 1994, had a remarkable collection of ferns in his Harrogate garden. Jack died last year and a significant part of his fern collection has been moved to RHS Harlow Carr. The collection is sited on the main streamside path by the steps up to the national Dryopteris collection.

Following their AGM on 11th October, members of the Yorkshire Fern Group were shown the collection by Aimee Browning, a BPS member who works at Harlow Carr, and who has played a major role in re-locating Jack’s collection.

There are several unusual cultivars, including this ‘scollie’ known as ‘Cork screw’, and some ferns that we were unable to name with certainty, as the labels had gone from some of Jack’s plants. Why not visit the collection and see what you think?

BPS Website :

A Look Ahead to 2015 March 27-30, 2015

Guernsey **This meeting is now fully booked.**

Europe. After a one night stay at a hotel part way back, we will make an early start the following morning for an afternoon flight back from Grenoble.

Leader: Pat Acock

Leader: Andrew Leonard

June 20-21, 2015

Rutland This will probably be the first time a BPS group has visited this area to explore ferns, and as well as the usual woodland and meadow species, we particularly hope to see Ophioglossum vulgare. We will be based in Stamford and our records will be submitted for the BSBI’s Atlas 2020 project.

July 18, 2015

Oxfordshire Following their success in 2014, the Cultivar Group is planning another 1-day national meeting. This time, it will include visits to Alistair Urquhart’s garden in Kidlington and Nick Hards’ garden in Didcot. In particular, this will be an opportunity to see some choice varieties of Polystichum setiferum.

Leader: Nick Hards

Leader: Rob Cooke

July 11-18, 2015

Vercors & Verdon Gorge, South East France The tour is almost full as there have been two earlier notifications but we often have people dropping out at this stage so there might be room for 3 more people. Please let Pat know if you are seriously interested and that you are prepared to join a waiting list. We will stay at Vercors for 6 nights and see a variety of ferns. On the 7th day, we will spend the morning travelling to the Gorge of Verdon to see various Aspleniums including the celebrated Asplenium jahandiezii, which is not closely related to any Asplenium in Western

September 3-6, 2015

North Wales Our base will be Criccieth and we will meet up for briefing on the evening of Thursday 3 September before beginning our visits on the Friday. During the trip, we will visit a number of garden and wild sites, the exact balance depending on the weather.

Leader: Martin Rickard

October 24, 2015

Autumn Indoor Meeting Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

BPS Events :

Profile for Pterry The-Fern

Fern World Newsletter Issue 9  

The Autumn 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 9  

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