Discovering Botany

The Bristol region is blessed with a very varied flora and many different types of habitat within a relatively small geographical area.

As well as famous local specialities such as Bristol Whitebeam (Sorbus bristoliensis), Bristol Onion (Allium sphaerocephalon) and Bristol Rock-cress (Arabis scabra) in the Avon Gorge, there is much to discover among the woodlands, limestone grasslands and saltmarshes within easy reach of the city – not to mention the precious aquatic flora of the rhynes and ditches that criss-cross the North Somerset Levels. Slightly farther afield but very much on our map are the acidic uplands of the Mendip Hills and the labyrinthine valleys and plateaus of the Cotswolds.

Field Meetings

One of the best and most enjoyable ways to improve your knowledge and ID skills is to spend time in the field with other botanists. We run regular field meetings throughout spring, summer and early autumn, visiting many sites of interest in the Bristol area.

Although our headline concern is vascular plants, the botany section also covers bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) and lichens. There are occasional winter meetings that focus on these groups. The varied interests of many of our members also means that there is usually someone in the group who will point out other plants and animals of interest.

Indoor Meetings

We hold indoor meetings on the third Wednesday of every winter month from October through to March. We invite a range of speakers on topics that vary from the biology of specific plant species to the intricacies of reserve management for the conservation of rare plants.

Meetings are usually held at 7.30pm in the Westbury-on-Trym Methodist Church but, having successfully used Zoom for meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely that some meetings will continue to be held in this way. All meetings are free to members.

Recording Plants

We encourage our members to contribute to the important work of recording and surveying plants in the Bristol area. All records are valuable – from a pavement weed to a rare hybrid orchid on a SSSI. The BSBI (Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland) vice-county recorders for West Gloucestershire (VC34) and North Somerset (VC6) are members of the section council and are able offer advice on recording and determinations of plants found in their respective areas. 

The Natural world is just one step away The Natural world is just one step away The Natural world is just one step away The Natural world is just one step away The Natural world is just one step away

Take your next step
towards nature

Would you like to know more?

If you’d like to discuss Botany in some more detail don’t hesitate to get in touch using the form below, we’ll reply as soon as we can.