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Registered Charity No. 1092399 

Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales 

Officers and Committee from March 2007 

President: R.W. Sykes, Ormandy House, Crosthwaite, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 8BP 


Vice-Presidents: R.J. Cooke, M.S. Porter 

General Secretary: Dr Y.C. Golding, 7 Grange Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SKI 7 6NH 


Committee Secretary: R.G. Ackers, Deersbrook, Horsham Road, Walliswood, Dorking RH5 5RL 

Treasurer: Mrs G.J. Smith, Rookwood, 1 Prospect Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, 

Suffolk NR32 3PT; E-mail: 

Membership Secretary: M.G. Taylor, Westlea, Ky leakin, Isle of Sky e IV4 1 8PH 


Meetings Secretary: P.J. Acock, 1 3 Star Lane, St Mary Cray, Kent BR5 3LJ 


n Officer: Dr H.S. McHaffie, 1 80 Granton Road, Edinburgh EH5 1 AH 

Conservation <>< ' istary Museum, Cromwell Road 

& Recorder London SW7 5BD; E-mail:, 

Project Officer: A.C. Pigott (address above) E-mail: 

Secretary M.H. Rickard. Pear Tree Cottage, Kyre, Tenbury Wells, Worcs. WR15 8RN 

& Editor ofPteridologist (from Jan. 2008): E-mail:, 

Editor of the Bulletin: Miss A.M. Paul, Dept. of Botany, The Natural History Museum, 

Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD; E-mail: 

Editor of The Fern Gazette: Prof. M. Gibby, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, 

Edinburgh EH3 5LR; E-mail: 

Editor ofBPS Website - A.C. Pigott, Kersey's Farm, Mendlesham, 

Stowmarket, Suffolk IP 14 5RB; E-mail: 

Elected Committee Members: A.R. Busby, Prof. J.A. Edgington, R. Golding, Dr M. Hayward, 

Dr S.D. Martinelli, H.W. Matthews, F. McGavigan, M.J. Stribley 

Booksales Organiser: Dr F. Katzer, 1 3 Hawdene, Broughton, Biggar ML 1 2 6FW 


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& Archivist: E-mail n ^, 

Merchandise Organisers: Mr B.D. & Mrs GJ. Smith, Rookwood 1 Prospect Road Oulton Broad 

Lowestoft, Suffolk NR32 3PT; E-mail: 

Plant Exchange Organiser: Mr J.P. Crowe, Kellys Cottage, Tredilion, Abergavenny, Gwent 

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York Y026 7PU; E-mail: 

Trustees of Greenfield & Centenary Funds: President, General Secretary & Treasurer 

The BRITISH PTERIDOLOGICAL SOCIETY was founded in 1891 and is still a focus for fern enthusiasts, 

its wide membership including g; 

wide range of information about ferns through ii 

informal indoor meetings, field meetings, garden vi„..„, _ r 

- ! 'i, >■ ■-:-■'■ ■■.; .. , •■ " ■ . ■• ■.■■■.'■• • s ;1 ' '"■• ''' 

general appeal, and ft ports. 

interested in fems an,: [ION RATES I floe 

.:.:• .■■'.• i ■■- 

Secretary (address a 

Back numbers of The Fern Gazette, Pteridologist and Bulletin are available for purchase trorn 
P.J. Acock, 13 Star Lane, St Mary Cray, Kent BR5 3LJ; E-mail: 

v *° $. THE 

cd^ ^^ BULLETIN 


Vol. 6 2007 


'Discovering the Forgotten Generations' 

A.F. Dyer 

(Presented before the AGM at RBGE, 24 March 2007.) 

I come to my last day 
President with a mixture 
sadness and relief. Sadne 
because being President r 

of people giving their time and 

skills for the benefit of the 

Society and to be in touch 

with many of the Society's 

activities. At the same time 

I feel relief because the 

Presidency was a considerable 

responsibility, which I can now 

hand over. I would like to 

thank the Officers, Appointees 

and Elected Committee Members 

for their support and guidance. 

Together, I believe we have 

been able to build on the strong 

foundation that I inherited. 

Looking back over the last three years, I found myself wondering how I got to this position. 

Previous Presidents have described how they came, at a young age, to be interested in 

pteridophytes, and usually how one person was particularly influential in setting them on 

that path. My conversion was late, slow and unguided. Nobody 1 knew during my childhood 

had any interest in natural history and I did not study biology at school until 'A' Level. 

Despite this, an interest in plants developed and I graduated with a Botany Honours degree 

at Newcastle, then part of Durham University. In the 1950s, interest in ferns was at a very 
low ebb, both academically and horticulturally, and I graduated having had no exposure to 
pteridophytes apart from a catalogue of names and dates of fossils that made me vow never 

Chromosomes caught my attention and I decided to do a PhD in cytogenetics, and 
investigated the chromosomes of Trillium and several other genera for my D Phil at Oxford. 
So it was as a cyto-geneticist that I joined the staff of the Botany Department of Edinburgh 
University in 1960 and I taught about chromosomes amongst other things for the next 44 
years. Also in the 1970s, I produced a variety of teaching kits for schools, including sets of 
photographs of nuclear division (which are still selling 30 years later), slides of angiosperm 
reproduction, a pollen germination kit, a chromosome preparation kit - and a fern 
gametophyte culture kit together with an explanatory booklet. Over the years, I worked with 
research students on projects of potential value in crop breeding, such as the creation of 
hybrids between wheat and rye, and of Brassica species. 

My first contact with living ferns was when I chose fern gametophytes as experimental material 
to study cell division in relation to differentiation and chloroplast replication. Gametophytes 
;, their plasticity in response 
. After trying several species, I chose 
t that produced u 

i diplosporous, so had genetically 
I discovered that the fern was Dryopteris pseudo-mas, now called 
D. affinis. This marked the beginning of a love-hate relationship with D. affinis that continues 
today. A quote from Lin Dunbar's book Ferns of the Coastal Plain (Univ. of South Carolina 
Press, Columbia) comes to mind. Referring to old myths about ferns, she states: "long ago, ... 
those who spoiled a fern plant would live the rest of their days with a confused mind\ That 
is certainly how I feel about D. affinis after having spoiled it to study its gametophytes! 
This work gradually led to an interest in gametophytes in their own right, and the 
gametophyte generation in the wild in particular. This required me to learn to recognise the 
British fern species, which I did initially with guidance from Chris Page at RBGE. 
teaching undergraduates and MSc : 
learning a lot more about fern biology in the process. In the early 1980s, I initiated an 
international symposium at RBGE on fern biology, which was sponsored by the BPS, 
together with the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Linnean Society. This was my first 
contact with the BPS, which I then joined. This collaboration resulted in a successful 
conference, with 120 participants from over 20 countries, including some of the great names 
in pteridology and I made many new pteridological friends. 

I am still a beginner at fem identification and will never be a taxonomist. I enjoy seeing 1 

in the wild and have happy memories of excursions in Britain to see 'Ferny combes', unu 

habitats and rarities, as well as of trips abroad. However, looking at ferns in the wild do< 

make me a field botanist. I enjoy tl 

mastered the art yet. I grow ferns in my garden as space fillers or i 

including a few c 

i pteridology, 

t collections. 
, fern biology 

continued, and I soon found out that for many pteridologists, the gametophyte didn't really exist. 
Fern taxonomy, fern ecology, fern anatomy and development, invariably meant sporophyte 
taxonomy, sporophyte ecology and sporophyte anatomy and development. The gametophyte 

personal revelation, hence the title of my talk Discoverin 

i nutshell, it is because this generation is 
>roduction: dispersal, establishment (which 
nd the breeding system (which determines 

distinguish species as well size and number, cell size and prothallus 

habit. Although these differences exist, they haven't been used to create a gametophyte 
taxonomy, even for the small British flora, and until gametophyte identification keys exist, 
studies of reproductive biology in the wild will always be incomplete. 
Gametophyte development follows a predictable sequence, though there are minor 
differences between species. A short filamentous phase soon gives way to two-dimensional 
growth as a result of a reorientation of cell division when there is sufficient blue light. This 
response is mediated by a pigment located near the tip of the apical cell. If the tip is covered 
: excludes blue light, such as the misplaced brown spore wall, the 
1 growth is prevented. In red light, this filamentous growth may 
ely. This will prevent development of archegonia, which can only 
on of prothalli, but does not prevent antheridium production. Thus 
; will grow as an elongated filament towards any source of 
light (positively phototropic) but if and when t* 

increases, normal development will be initiated. Perhaps this occurs when spores § 
under soil particles near the surface. 

In the wild, gametophytes are restricted t 
competitive. Not all species require the same natural conditions to develop to maturity and 
produce sporelings. Some, such as Asplenium scolopendrium, can be found on the surface 
of exposed soil and porous rocks but on rotten wood the one most likely to be found is 
Dryopteris dilatata. This raises an interesting question: is it the gametophyte, the sporophyte, 
or both, that determines whether a species is terrestrial or epiphytic, calcifuge or calcicole? 
Does the gametophyte play a part in restricting a species to a certain type of habitat? 
Fascinating though all this is, arguably the most remarkable stage of the gametophyte 
generation is the first one, the spore. Spores have been fulfilling their essential role in the 
fern life-cycle for over 300 million years. The fern spore is less than a tenth of a millimetre 
across, but carries all the developmental potential for both the gametophyte and the 
sporophyte within its single nucleus. In this compact form, spore dispersal can carry the 


While it is widely recognised that long distance spore dispersal is possible, there i 

investigations such as one by Peter Glaves (unpublished PhD thesis) on D. dilatata, which 
showed the density of spores deposited at distances up to ten metres either side of a single 
source plant. About 90 per cent of the recorded spores fell within two metres. However, no- 
one has compared local deposition with total spore output to see what proportion escaped 
beyond the sample area. Such an investigation has been done with mosses (J. Bryol. 17: 
355-368. 1992) and although the scale is slightly different, the deposition curves were very 
similar. However, more than 90 per cent of the total number of spores produced escaped 
beyond the four-metre diameter trapping area. We should keep this example in mind when 
reviewing the evidence for ferns. 

One of the more obvious features of spores is that they vary in volume, shape and surface 
sculpturing of the thick protective wall. Differences exist between genera or even species, 
making spore morphology an important taxonomic character, but this variation must also 
have adaptive implications. Whatever the primary function of these differences, they are 
likely to affect spore aerodynamics, and thus dispersal potential, but there has been little 
study of this. Most spores are very durable and can tolerate a variety of environmental 
extremes such as drought and low and high temperature for considerable periods. Less well 
known is that they can survive passage through the gut of earthworms. Most spores have the 
potential to survive for several years or even decades. The optimum conditions for survival 
require further investigation, but it is known that storage at low temperature prolongs 
viability. More surprising perhaps is the fact that in at least some species spores remain 
viable for longer if they are stored moist, and fully imbibed. For example, spores of 
Blechnum spicant are all dead in about a year stored dry at 20C; stored moist, there is no 
change in viability even after two years. Another characteristic of spores is their 
sophisticated control of dormancy. Spores are dormant when released. To break the 
dormancy and induce germination, water and, in most species, light are required in addition 
to a suitable temperature, usually between 10°C and 25°C. 

This combination of durability, longevity and dormancy in darkness results in the formation 
of soil spore banks - reservoirs of live but dormant spores buried in the soil. In Britain, 
most species form soil spore banks, and most soils contain viable spores, to a depth of over 
one metre in some sites. Their presence can be demonstrated by culturing soil samples in 
the light. Before 1990, it was not generally accepted that such spore banks existed. If I have 
made any contribution to pteridology, it is that, with Stuart Lindsay, I played a major role in 
establishing the idea that for many, perhaps most, ferns, a soil spore bank is an important 
part of their reproductive strategy. Along the way, we demonstrated that at least eight of 
Britain's rarer ferns, including Woodsia ilvensis, produced soil spore banks, which could be 
used as a source for establishing ex situ conservation collections. A subsequent research 
project was entirely focussed on W. ilvensis and this work later contributed to the 

n plan for W. ilvensis now directed by Heather McHaffie at RBGE. 

clear from this very brief outline why I consider that spores are so 

i the popular vernacular, spores are 'magic'! 
As readers of the Pteridologist will know (see Vol. 4, pt 5; 2006), there are long-established 
myths that spores do indeed have magic properties. Most often the species implicated is bracken. 
The magical property most often attributed to spores is the ability to induce invisibility if 
collected at midnight on St John's Eve (23 June). According to folk-lore, if the spores are 
collected in the right way and then placed in a shoe, the wearer becomes invisible. 
I have travelled a path that has led me first to an interest in plants, and then to ferns, and 
thus to standing here today. This brings me back to wondering how other people get 
interested in ferns and in the BPS. Perhaps there has to be an inborn inclination, but 

existence, of the BPS. 

Pteridology now hardly exists in school syllabuses a 

where pteridophytes are given more than a cursory : 

school close to home on some sixth year projects z 

ferns. I find that teachers have no knowledge of pteridophytes 

fern life-cycle at school, they can't remember i 

the teachers are a 'forgotten generation' in i 

'forgotten generations' following behind in the 

What are the implications of this for pteridology and for the BPS? There is already a 

research into fern biology, and no signs of recovery. There are a few institutions, m 

the NHM and RBGE, where r 

and breeding systems. 

e of the group? 

The responsibility for carrying the banner for pteridology in the UK rests squarely with ti 
BPS. We need to cater not only for the broad range of ii 
already do very well, but also for the wider 
on behalf of ferns, and through personal i 
website, provide the n 
questions about them. In taking on tl 

i colleges as 
i British flora, bu 

Pteridologist articles should 
more overtly educational role, in part aimed at schools and colleges, 
same time, we have to do what we can to add to the existing knowledge of the 
I history of ferns. An important aspect of this is detailed and accurate recording of 
eras we have in Britain, where they are and how the populations are changing. But 
1 to recording; it should also include investigations of 

i and while large research projects involving expensive technology ai 
ilities, there are things we could do in the way of small investigations t 
icantly to our understanding of the lives of our British species. One of tl 
c of professional career pteridologists a 

need workshops to pass on the necessary 
botanical and investigatory skills, and funds to provide modest financial assistance. Our 
existing funds are currently under-used, but they would soon run out if we had a significant 
programme of projects; we need to explore the possibilities of sponsorship. 
The major restriction on what we can achieve is our relatively small membership. 
Opportunities for volunteers to become involved in monitoring and practical conservation at 
working meetings have been a big factor in the remarkable expansion of organisations such 
t ten years. I don't see why this expansion couldn't 

happen also at a more modest level for the BPS. The subtle attraction of ferns will always 
escape all but a discerning minority but a publicised programme of targeted recording, 
population monitoring, phenological studies, and active conservation (and by conservation I 
mean reversing adverse human impact) might prove to be a way of stimulating an increase 
expand our activities without neglecting the needs of 
fern growers. This is a good time for natural history 
organisations provided they have a recognisable purpose, and ferns now probably have a 
higher public profile than at any time in the last 100 years. We need to take advantage of this. 
My vision for the future of the BPS is an outward-looking organisation that caters for its 
members' needs but is also known as the first port of call for anyone seeking information 
about pteridophytes. At the same time it has a modest programme of working meetings, 
investigations and other activities, co-ordinated by the Project Officer and partially funded 
by the Society, to add to our knowledge of the plants. Where appropriate, as in recording 
and conservation, these would be conducted in close cooperation with other organisations 
such as the BSBI and Plant Life International. We already have the publications to make the 
new information widely available. It would take some years to achieve this objective, and 
would require a major commitment by some members, but it is not an impossible ambition. 
I know that some members enjoy a relatively passive involvement with the Society, as I do 
in other societies, but I am sure that there are sufficient numbers who with support and 
encouragement could join in the efforts to go at least part way towards making this vision a 
reality, especially if these activities lead to an increase in membership. Meanwhile, we must 
encourage any demonstration of interest in ferns. 

However, I no longer have a major say in the future of the BPS, because today I hand over 
my Presidential responsibilities. I whole-heartedly endorse the Committee's nomination of 
Robert Sykes, a long-time active member, friend and supporter of the Society, as my 
successor. You also have an excellent team on the present Committee. The Society has a 

Alpes Maritime*, France 

Andrew Leonard, Patrick Acock, Sebastien Sant, Paul Ripley, 
Michael Hayward, David & Avril Walkinshaw 



(Leader: Sebastien Sant) Paul Ripley et < 

Pat Acock, Andrew Leonard and Paul Ripley met Sebastien Sant on Wednesday August 1 
for some reconnaissance. Sebastien was born and bred in Nice and knows the Alp 
Maritimes extremely well. Not only does he know his ferns, but he is also a high 

an able guide who generously gave us his expertise and time for the whole trip. 
Friday 3rd August (Paul Ripley) 

In the morning we visited a 'vallon obscur' (shady gorge), the Vallon de la Madeleine 
(Ravin des Vallieres in the Commune de Colomars) just inland from Nice. Brief mention of 
this site will be made in Tuesday's report when a similar site was seen. 
After collecting Michael Hayward and David and Avril Walkinshaw from Nice airport, our 
party, now complete, stopped barely one kilometre from the airport, at the Centre 
Commercial CAP 3000, St Laurent du Var. The unprepossessing site, close to a retail park, 
was the estuary of the Var. The Mediterranean is scarcely tidal, but the river estuary must 
flood in times of peak rainfall. In the sandy reed beds of the estuary, close to the retaining 
wall, we found Equisetum ramosissimam and E. x font-queri, with its parents, E. telmateia 
and E.palustre. E. x meridionale (E. ramosissimum - /.. variegatum) has apparently also 
been reported here by Remy Prelli. 

Moving on, we took La Moyenne Comiche westwards out of Nice, stopping beyond Cap 
Ferrat, just before the town of Eze in an attempt to see Asplenium petrarchae. The effects of 
the preceding dry weather in this region would dominate the appearance of the ferns we saw 
during the meeting, and in this case the plants were completely dried out. We made a brief 
stop near the Cap d'Ail to see a large clump of Pteris vittata, before seeing it with 
somewhat more ease above the Principality of Monaco (and with stunning views thereof). 
Finally we took the autoroute towards Menton, turning off northwards near Menton for the 
road that follows the Roya river into the mountains. North of Breil-sur-Roya, a few yards 
up the turning for Berghe, we stopped to see a superb stand of Pteris cretica. 
We arrived at 'Neige et Merveilles', our hostel for the week (a former lead-mining camp), 
15 minutes hard uphill walk from the road, and accessible only by 4-wd vehicle. One 
certainly kept fit moving between the dining room/bar and one's bedroom, but the food was 
excellent value and the position magnificent. The wine was cheap but that is enough said. 
Saturday 4th August (Pat Acock) 

We were joined for the morning by the local ranger, Jean-Marie Cevasco, who had come 
to meet a group of naturalists from the Hungarian Academy and had a wide knowledge 
of all aspects of the flora and fauna. We set off up a rough track above our hostel. Very 
quickly the number of ferns on our list grew. Rarities for the area included Huperzia 
selago, Polystichum aculeatum, Phegoptehs connectilis and Dryopteris cambrensis, and 
among the commoner ferns were D.filix-mas, Polystichum lonchitis, Gymnocarpium 
dryopteris and Athyrium filix-femina. Further up on a bank we came across one plant of 
the hybrid Polystichum * illyricum. (Not far down the valley was the statue of Sir 
Clarence Bicknell, an English botanist who spent many years studying this region and 
after whom P. x bicknellii was named.) After a little climb just outside the national park 
we were taken off the main trail to see Cystopteris montana. A bit further up we were to 
see a few more fronds of it on the edge of the trail, which is where Sebastien had first 
discovered it in the Roya Valley. 


Still higher up, Dryopteris expansa became more common along wit 

After lunch, while most of the group was revelling in the discovery of Selaginella selaginoides, 
Andrew spotted a marmot resting on a rock below us. After a brief stop for refreshments at a 
refuge, four members set off back for the hostel as by now the sun was very hot and the trail 
became ever more rugged. We had hoped to be rewarded for continuing our journey by a 
Woodsia or two. Unfortunately these eluded us but we were compensated by finding a new 
(for Sebastien) site for Phegopteris connectilis, and being shown some of the ancient rock 
carvings dating from 4,000 to 1,500 BC. These were chiselled into the flat red surface of rocks 
and depicted spears and animals and strange symbols. Throughout the region there are 
reckoned to be over 40,000 of these carvings, which were only discovered relatively recently. 
Returning a slightly different way we were rewarded by a completely different vista with alpine 
meadows dominated by many species of umbellifers. Early on we were shown Equisetum 
palustre and in a lake just above the hostel Paul found E. ramosissimum. At the lake edge 
and into the water we found the colony of E. variegatum that Sebastien had promised us. 

Sunday 5th August (Andrew Leonard) 

After an early breakfast we were delighted to see two Range-Rovers turn up at 8a.m. to take 
us into the mountains. Neither had a roof, which turned out to be a mixed blessing as we 
were going to spend the next ten hours driving along bumpy and dusty unmade roads, with 
no protection from the very hot sun. 

After a drive through many beautiful valleys we arrived at 10.30 for our first stop, over the 
border in Italy between Cime du Bee roux and Cime du Bee. The main group walked down to 
a lake to see Selaginella selaginoides. I decided to do a less arduous walk to a nearby scree 
slope to catch my first sight of Dryopteris villarii. Also in the scree D.fdix-mas, 
D. cambrensis, Polystichum lonchitis, Asplenium septentrionale and Athyriwn distcniifolhini 
could be found. I understand the main group failed to see the promised clubmoss, but instead 
saw Botrychium lunaria. On the return trip and above and along the road were seen Huperzia 
selago, Dryopteris expansa, Cryptogramma crispa and Asplenium septentrionale. 

After an hour we returned to the vehicles 
and drove for another half-hour to the 
Marguareis area of karstic limestone. Along 
the road at and above 2,100 metres we 
began to see Asplenium fissum, which is 
only known from this region. We stopped 
to look at the roadside rock-walls and were 
delighted to be shown the very rare hybrid 
between A. fissum and A. viride, A. * 
k's.sincnsc. This was a small but spectacular 
fern, looking nothing like either parent. 
It had been found some time ago by 
Remy Prelli and Jean-Louis Polidori and 
confirmed as the hybrid. We spent about 
half an hour here, finding A. fissum, 

muraria, Cystopteris fragilis and C. alpina. 
There had not been rain in the south of 
France for two months and many fems were 
suffering badly from the drought. 
I Alpes Maritime*, France We then drove a short way for i unc h and 

; found Asplenium fissum, A. viride, A. trichomanes, A. ruta-muraha subsp. 

, Cystopteris fragilis, Diyoptcris . hirii. D tilix-mas, Polystichum lonchitis, 
Athyrium distent tianum and one very small 

plant of Botrychium htnaria. Despite the drought, A. fissum was particularly fine here. 
At 2p.m. we began the four-hour drive back through many unremarkable valleys. 
Temporary respite came when one of the Range-Rovers broke down; unable to mend the 
vehicle, our driver rang for a replacement, which took us back to our hotel for a welcome 
drink and a shower before dinner. 
Monday 6th August (Michael Hayward) 

On our morning walk to the cars we left the piste to explore the adjacent river bed. There 
were stands of Equisetum hyemale and Dryopteris cambrensis shaded by large boulders and 
bushes. In more open sections were delightful carpets of Asplenium septenthonale. Back on 
the piste, A. trichomanes and Polypodium vulgare were common and a few very dehydrated 
Asplenium ceterach were found. 

Next we travelled towards the coast to the mediaeval town of Saorge, with its tall bell 
towers, precariously perched on a rock spur jutting into the Roya Valley. Sebastien 
disappeared into a small cave by the ancient public washing house, emerging with a rather 
dazed but very photogenic salamander, which was no doubt glad to be returned to its black 
hole. After coffee in the town square we descended past the monastery and drove two 
kilometres east in the Bendola Valley to the Pont de Castou where we ate our lunch on the 
river bank with brightly coloured damsel flies for company. After lunch we started to climb 
upwards, following the river through mostly deciduous woodland where ferns were 
finds included Dryopteris filix-mas, Polypodium vulgare, 

Cystopteris fragilis, 

quadrivalens and possibly subsp. hastatum, and the low growing Selaginella helvetica 
clinging to exposed rock surfaces. 

Driving back the four kilometres to La Brigue, part of France since 1947, we had time for a 
relaxing drink in the town square to round off a pleasant day's feming. 
Tuesday 7th August (Paul Ripley) 
On our last day we travelled back to Nice and visited Vallon du Donareo, another 'vallon 

limestone-rich rock. They are all protected sites under the EU Natura 2000 network. At 
times the scenery was spectacular, with narrow sections and natural tunnels through the 
rock. The walls of the gorge were covered with Adiantum capillus-veneris - easily more 
than the entire British population, as was pointed out. We also saw Equisetum 
ramosissimum, E. arvense and E. telmateia growing in the largely dry river-bed. On the 
banks we noted Selaginella denticulata, Dryopteris filix-mas, Asplenium onopteris, 
Pteridium aquilinum and Polystichum setiferum (in abundance here, though not common 
elsewhere on our trip). Asplenium scolopendrium and A. trichomanes were occasionally 
seen, and Pteris cretica and a single plant of the alien Cyrtomium fortunei grew further 
along the gorge. A comparison with the Vallon de la Madeleine visited on the previous 
Friday might be instructive. In addition to the species noted above, we there saw Selaginella 

, Dryopteris cambrensis, and a 
lot of curious and attractive variegated 
Pteris, almost certainly P. nipponica, that 
has locally been referred to as P. cretica 
'Medio-Picta' and would repay further 
study. We also saw one plant confirmed 
by others as Dryopteris borreri, but 
very difficult to distinguish from 
D. cam/vvnsis. Just beyond where we 
stopped Sebastien had previously found 
/ ' liiuhtki. but we did not go far enough 
on Friday to confirm this finding. 
From Vallon du Donareo we went to Nice 
Botanic Garden, where Sebastien works. 
The dry, hot location is well suited to 
the display of Macaronesian and 
sub-tropical plants. Davallia canadensis, 
Platycerium bifurcatum, Nephrolepis 
biserrata, Pteris tn nmhi. ( In sv< /hi Ji mala. 
Dicksonia squarrosa and Cyrtomium 
fortunei were among the ferns seen. 
After refreshments, the Walkinshaws 
wisely left us, before we drove for about 
an hour along the busy Autoroute 8 to 
Vallon du Donareo, Alpes Maritime*, France Theoule-sur-Mer. On the cliff path that 
accessed the sea from Theoule-sur-Mer, 
and accessible regrettably only to the most sure-footed, Asplenium balearicum grew in rock 
crevices. This is the only station for this species that can be reached (just) without recourse 
to a boat. On the path sides we also saw Pteridium aquilinum, Osmunda regalis, Adiantum 
capillus-veneris, Asplenium onopteris and rather dry A. obovatum subsp. obovatum. 
We are deeply grateful to Sebastien for giving so freely of his time and knowledge of the 
area and its plants (and snakes!) and for planning such a varied and action-packed few days. 


-12 \ 

1 meeting, with 55 members. 

Brian Dockerill (Saturday) & 
Martin Rickard (Sunday) 

of whom had 

The first day comprised visits to four gardens on the Lleyn peninsula. We set out from 
Cnccieth at 9a.m. and gathered in the car park of our first destination, Portmeirion village and 
gardens (23/592373). The village, which was the creation of Clough Williams-Ellis between 
1926 and 76, is well known for its extraordinary idiosyncratic architecture. However, our 
main target was the gardens, developed piecemeal by purchases of land in the years up to 
1954, and the ferns therein. Local knowledge is always a great benefit. On this occasion we 
were led by Wdliam Hughes who knows the gardens well. We set off along a main path from 
where, amongst many unusual trees and shrubs, we saw the rare maiten. Maytenus boaria, an 
evergreen tree from Chile. We were then quickly rewarded by the sight of our first tree ferns, 
fine specimens of Dicksonia antarctica and perhaps the best ( yathca Jcalbata we were to see 
on the tnp. These were clearly well at home in the moist and sheltered woodland habitat. After 
stoppmg to admire fine plants of a particularly good form of Osmunda regalis 'Undulati folia', 
we were led by William into the undergrowth. Here, after some searching, he pointed out a 

colony of Microsorum punctatum growing under conditions of perfect drainage on a large 
rock. The only disappointing find was a specimen of Dicksonia fibrosa back in the village. This 
had been thriving until recently, but the shelter belt had been reduced to open the view and the 
increased exposure was having a very detrimental effect and the fronds were badly browned. 
From here our convoy left for Nanhoron (23/282317) where we were to be the guests of 
Bettina Harden. Unfortunately, we became separated in the busy traffic but before long we 
were all gathered on the lawn outside the house and engrossed in the important matter of 
consuming our packed lunches, along with coffee kindly provided by our hostess. Suitably 
refreshed we had a brief introduction. The estate had been in the hands of the same family 
for over 700 years, although the present house and garden layout dated from the late 1 8th 
century. Bettina and her husband David had received advice from Martin Rickard on the 
siting of tree ferns and we were delighted to find tall plants of Dicksonia antan tica thm ing 
in a sheltered corner near the house. Further in the garden we saw more recent plantings of 
D. antarctica, Cyathea australis and /..< tfa. We also found plants of 

Woodwardia radicans and W. unigemmata growing together, the rich red colour of the new 
fronds of the latter demonstrating clearly the easiest means of distinguishing these two 
species. Bettina explained that "when a house has been in the same family for hundreds of 
years, little gets thrown away" and we were able to see working greenhouses and potting 
sheds, these last dating from the 18th century. 
We then faced a small 

convoy had to be reduced to 
the absolute minimum to 
permit parking at the garden of 
John Sanford in Abersoch 
(23/313266). We entered the 
rear garden to see huge 
specimens, first of Dicksonia 
antarctica and Cyathea 
dealbata and then no less than 
four plants of C. medullaris. It 
was suggested that these were 
likely to be the finest growing 
in the UK, having been planted 
in ideal conditions more than 
ten years ago. The garden was 
very close to the sea and 
sheltered from the north by the 
higher ground of the peninsula. 
Therefore, although the plants 
were fully exposed to the sky, 

offered by a tall Araucaria 
heterophylla (the Norfolk 
Island pine) growing happily 

John explained that, when 
planting, he buried from six 
inches to two feet of the stem 
of these large specimens into the ground, staked then securely and watered 

John Sanford's Garden, Abersoch, Wales 

Pyner, Bridget Laue, Sue Olsen, Jackie Wardl 
Iwan Edgar, Martin Rickard, John Sanford 

first. However, once established, they required little attention. This was graphically 
confirmed when he told us that he had just returned from a prolonged trip abroad, and that 
the plants had received no attention at all for the previous six months. This trip had led to a 
possible gift for Martin, hidden under an upturned pot, but first he had to agree to attempt 
an identification. This he duly did with the predictable successful outcome, and a plant of 
Cibotium chamissoi (formerly C. splendens) was his. 

The day ended as it had begun with us again in the capable hands of William, this time in 
his own garden in Llanystumdwy (23/474386). As we passed down a narrow entrance by 
the side of the bungalow, the many fine plants whetted our appetites, but nothing could 
prepare us for the sight of the steep slope at the rear. A maze of narrow paths was soon 
dotted with people exclaiming in surprise at the range and quality of the ferns. A list is 
ecimens of Dryopte 

ous host and was hopping from path t 

1 spores to eager collectors. Extensive though the fern collection was, it was clear 
/as the garden of a person with wide tastes and skilled at cultivation, and it 
i rich collection of other genera, particularly of woodland plants. 

and all day, deteriorated as we 

I & Sunday (Martin Rickard) 

r the dinner, an irregular celebration of the Jimmy 
! Marine Hotel. A very enjoyable evening with good company and 
good food, the only problem was that the hotel's wine cellar was getting low! Our 
President, Robert Sykes, reminded us of how Clive Jermy dubbed the dinner 'the first 
Jimmy Dyce supper club' on the Saturday night during the meeting held at Bampton around 
20 years ago. Jimmy was present on that occasion, I know he would have approved of our 
evening in Criccieth, and contributed to the problems with the wine cellar! 
On the Sunday morning we arranged to meet at Glynllifon, the former home of the Hon. H.G. 
Wynn (23/453553). Here he created a significant fernery fully written up by Dr Stansfield in 
the British Fern Gazette for 1925, Vol. 5, pp. 94-99. Glynllifon is a large estate with a huge 
mansion. The grounds are surrounded by a magnificent perimeter wall several miles long, on 
which Polypodium cambricum 'Cambricum' was reputedly discovered many years ago. In 
the main valley above the house there is a largely derelict area called the Children's Mill. It 
was in this area that most of the ferns were found. The most notable was probably 
Cystopteris diaphana, which occurred in several places. It is mentioned in the 1925 account 
and was probably introduced but with its recent discovery in Cornwall, a not very different 
climatic zone, it is possibly native. Other terns included several cultivars of Potystichum 
setiferum and Athyrium filix-femina, no doubt sporelings from the original planting. In a 
delightful valley a small plantation of Dicksonia antarctica was settling in nicely. Before 
moving on, Bryan Smith did brisk trade in the car park with Society merchandise. 
Our next stop was The World of Ferns, formerly Rickards Hardy Ferns (23/593668). Here 
we were delighted to see towering plants of Dicksonia fibrosa the tallest I have ever seen 
- as well as a bewildering range of other tree-fern and ground fern species. The large barn 
is like a temperate rain forest and could justifiabij be a tourisl attraction wonderful! Dick 
Hayward was on hand to give information on (he plants on offer and did brisk trade. abl\ 
supported by his partners Ben Kettle and Jennv Jones. I believe Dick has accumulated one 
of the best fern collections in the UK. 

Leaving The World of Ferns we travelled east towards Conway and visited Aberconway 
Nursery (23/799744), which is extremely well known for its wide range of excellent quality 

s less well known for ferns. The wide range on offer may have been prompted 
it, but I know they always carry an interesting selection. Mostly smaller 
ferns, no tree ferns, but all plants are grown on the nursery and an n t n illy 
available elsewhere. They even offer a select range of xerics - Cheilanthes and Pellaea. 
As organiser I must say it was a delight to meet so many friends old and new over the 
weekend. The total attendance was 57 including four notable visitors from America - Sue 
Olsen (author of the wonderful recently published Encyclopedia of garden ferns), Naud 
Burnett (owner of Casa Flora in Texas, possibly the largest fern nursery in the world), his 
wife Wim and Pat Riehl, and two from Ireland Jim and Val Denison. The international 
flavour of the meeting added greatly to the interest for everyone. 

PEAK DISTRICT, DERBYSHIRE - 1-2 September Roland Ennos (Saturday), 
Bridget Laue (Sunday a.m.), Paul Ruston (Sunday p.m.) 

On a sunny Saturday morning a group of 24 'ferners' set off from Monsal Head 
(43/185715), north-west of Bakewell. The group descended to the Monsal viaduct and the 
end of the tunnel where the first ferns were spotted: Dryopteris filix-mas, an unidentified 
Polypodiwn, Asplenium scolopendrium, A. ruta-muraria and A. trichomanes subsp. 
quadrivalens. Further along the fern-rich cutting (43/178718) were more of these ferns, 
along with plentiful Cystopteris fragilis and our first hard shield fern, Polystichum 
aculeatum \ huge Dryopteris was also spotted, which turned out to be an afTinis-sized 
D.filix-mas. Turning right from the trail onto the path to the River Wye, we passed several 
specimens of Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens growing on scree. 
The path led down to the river at Cressbrook Mill (43/172728), where the same three 
aspleniums were seen growing in the wood on natural rock, along with a fine specimen of 
Polystichum aculeatum. From the bridge spanning the river we were afforded a good view 
of a single Aspl with lustrous dark green, ramose fronds. On arrival at 

the aptly-named Water-cum-Jolly Dale, dabchicks were spotted on the millpond and 
rainbow trout in the crystal-clear water. Refreshments were obtained from a tea shop next 
to the mill and the group then made its way along the road and river bank under the 
Monsal viaduct to the weir (43/176713). Here Polypodiwn vulgar e was spotted growing 
epiphytically on a riverside tree while plenty of specimens of Dryopteris dilatata dotted the 
hazel coppice and ash woodland beside the path leading back to Monsal Head. Lunch was 
taken here, in the pub, tea shop or alfresco. 

We travelled by car to the next stop, Coombs Bridge near Bakewell (43/230679), where two 
impressive stands of Equisetum were examined along the footpath to the south. The first 
group, though seeming to have characteristics of E. telmateia, were pronounced by Patrick 
Acock to be simply very robust specimens of E. arvense. A second colony further along the 
path was E. telmateia, probably the largest and finest in the Peak District. 

r park at the foot of Topley Pike (43/104725). 
Wye, spotting a dipper before the first ferns 

A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens and Cystopteris fragilis. Further along the path, just 
before the cottages, a number of ferns were found that gave the group interesting 
identification practice: huge colonies of Polypodium interjectum and Asplenium 
trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens covered a scree bank by the side of a viaduct. A nearby 
tree was host to an epiphytic colony of P. interjectum. Rising to the Monsal Trail proper, 
we examined the 'well-ferned' cutting (43/115727) where large, healthy examples of the 
limestone oak fern, Gymnocarpium robertianum were found at head height on the north- 
facing rock wall. Lower down were many specimens of the exquisitely-shaped Asplenium 
s subsp. pachyrachis. At the far end of the railway line was a footbridge over the 

•- '--vr-*; 


where there 

was a 



mien of the 



Athyrium filix-femina, together 

Dryopteris dilatata 


stichum aculeatum. 






stepping stones in 




24732), where 


on the far sid. 

; an ur 

possibility that it was a hybrid 
, mooted. Less contentious 
photo: b.d. Smith but even more satisfying was 
the final discovery on the rock- 
face above the stepping stones 
of Asplenium viride, its green stipe readily distinguishing it from A. trichomanes. The group 
returned to the cars, and after a quick pit stop reassembled at the White Lion, Great 
Longstone, where vital tissues were restored with a good meal and fine wines. 
We launched our Sunday morning excursion to Hay Wood from the Grouse Inn 
(43/258779), north-east of Froggatt. The sandstone terrain (the Dark Peak) with acidic 
conditions hosted distinctly different ferns from those seen the previous day in the alkaline 
conditions of the limestone areas (the White Peak). Immediately we observed Pteridium 
aqiiil ■ urn curiously missing on Saturday, and instead of the ubiquitous Dryopteris filix-mas. 

r the weekend, Oreopteris limbosperma. In an 
open boggy area we found healthy stands of Equisetum sylvaticum and E. arvense. Good 
specimens of Blechnum spiccmt were found in shady areas along the path. Eventually we 
did find a Dryopteris fdix-mas and a nice D. carthusiana conveniently growing along the 
path. Some inconclusive discussion followed later about a potential hybrid between 
D. carthusiana and D. dilatata. There were several D. borreri in the woods. A clump of 

as seen in a stone wall. 
We had a rather challenging scramble up the hillside to return to the road, but were 
rewarded by finding several large Asplenium scolopendrium plants. The roadside trek 
yielded a single specimen of Dryopteris x complexa (confirmed later after microscopic 
examination of the spores - small and misshapen - by Matt Stribley and Bruce Brown). 
Large mixed communities of Equisetum arvense, E. fluviatile and E. palustre - including 
polystachous specimens - were seen along the damp ditches (43/256775). We reached the 
Grouse Inn for a hearty lunch before the clouds moved in and rain started. 
Some members then set off on their homeward journey. The remaining group made the 
short drive to Ramsley reservoir to visit a site renowned for its quite vigorous Asplenium 
ceterach (43/285745), which has colonised whole sections of the stone walls along the 
overspill of the disused reservoir. A long section of the overspill is fenced-off to stop the 
Derbyshire sheep grazing the fern communities along the walls; this has obviously had 
some success, as the difference in the fern growth between the fenced and unfenced sections 
of the overspill was quite noticeable. Cystopteris truths, \\plenatm adiantum-nigrum, 
A. ruta-muraria and A trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens were also present. One particularly 
trichomanes with large scalloped basal pinnules caused interest and 
s probably subsp. quadrivalens. 
After books and other merchandise were purchased, the group dispersed. 

NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE - 29-30 September 

Reserve at Moor Farm (53/226635), south-west of Horncastle. We were fortunate to be 
joined for the whole weekend by Paul Kirby. BSBI recorder for North Lincolnshire. This 
reserve was formed from abandoned agricultural land on Fen-edge sand and gravel. The 
young woodland has been selectively thinned, rowan in particular, and measures taken to 
maintain a high water table. Drvo/>feri> di/afahi and of course Pteridium aauilmum were 
common, but in the wetter areas we soon found D. carthusiana. Ken I rewren confirmed tor 
us the presence of D. * dew-ever i. D. fili.x-ma.-* and Atliyrinm /ili.\ femina were occasional^ 
seen. We were also delighted to find an adder and watched him at close quarters as he 
somewhat grudgingly responded to our careful scrutiny. 

Our next site, Kirkby Moor, was nearby (53 225629). Also an LWT Reserve, this is the 
largesl remnant of the once extensive heathlands of the Woodhall Spa district. The sands 
and gravel were deposited as part of a delta system on the edge of the Great Fenland Lake 
during the last Ice Age. The soil is poor, and heath-like conditions are maintained by some 
control of bracken and scrub, and selective grazing by Hebridean sheep. We again found 
Pteridium ai/ui/iiuim. Prvopteris di/atata. P. lilix-mas and />. carthusiana. However, there 
were also isolated examples of characteristic D. borreri and a very fine D. affinis. Large plants 
of Athyrium filix-femina grew in wetter areas near a former water-works, and here we also 
turn arvense and E. palustre beside pools. Bh , Imwn v'/'< <" ' completed our count. 
Our last site was Hatton Wood, part of Forest Enterprise's Chambers Farm Wood 
(53/148739). This is one of the once extensive Lincolnshire Lime-woods; funding from the 
Heritage Lottery Fund is being used to try to link these back together with green -corridors' 
and u idespread planting. This was a drier wood (and lime trees were not all that prevalent), 
but we found Pteridium aquilinum. Prvopteris tiiix-ma.s, P. diiatata and D. < 
< deweveh. We also saw D. boner, a 

Laughton Forest, 1 

'at Acock, Jonathan Crowe, Paul Ripley, Graeme Clayton, Paul Kirby, 

Paul Ruston, Lindsey Holleworth, Ken Trewren. Pamela Simpson, 

Bruce Brown, Gill Smith, Neil Timm 

At 10a.m. on Sunday we met south of Scunthorpe at Laughton Forest (43/869993), where 
we walked along a forest track to find Dryopter 

Blechnum spicant Atl t 'einina, Oreopteris 1 

E. x Utorale. Dryopteris x deweveri was also added t 
the path and entered the forest. After an hour or so we crossed the road to 43/874995, the 
most easterly part of Laughton Forest known locally as 'Roses'. We saw a large number of 
plants of D. dilatata and what we had really come to see - a very large 1.78m specimen of 
: in an area where there were 62 ponds whose origin has been lost 
in antiquity. We sadly also came across a young dead barn owl. We moved over to the 
western side of Laughton Forest (44/834220) where we had lunch and walked into the 
woods to add Polypodium vulgare, as well as spot a large grass snake, and although we 
found Diyopteris carthusiana we were unable to find D. x deweveri this time. 
We next parked in Flixborough (44/874150) opposite a ferny wall down which a barn roof 
drained. There were some really huge specimens of Asplenium trichomcmes subsp. quadrivalens 
along with A. adiantum-nigrum, A. scolopendrium, A. ruta-muraria and Dryopteris filix-mas. 
On the school wall at Alkborough (44/884219) we were amazed at how well Asplenium 
ceterach was established, with a few plants even spreading to the opposite side of the road. 
Weary, we travelled to Neil Timm's house where, after a welcome cup of tea and most 
excellent home-made cakes provided by his parents, we proceeded to the garden, which was 
well established and full of interesting ferns as well as many other plants. 

onders of Neil and his father's Fern Nursery. Neil has gradually expanded 

; selection of hardy ferns. 
w> real treasures that he wanted his visitors to have as he said we would 
more. We then had an explanation of Neil's growing technique, which he 
i but which I would describe as well thought out and effective. I would 
thoroughly recommend a visit to Neil's nursery. His plants have been highly recommended 
r condition and he sells large plants far too cheaply, many of which are 

Timm for his wonderful generosity and kind hospitality, and 
ery well-planned and thoroughly enjoyable meeting in an 
We were surprised by its interest, variety and beauty. 

nal meal on the 2006 German Garden Tour, Naud Burnett o 

our of Texas the next year. We immediately decided to take him up on hi 

contrary to my preconceived ideas of its westerly nature, is right in the r 

of the southern states. Naud i 

offer. Texas., ...... 

em states. Naud mentioned in his early 

! of Germany. We w 
;ciate how large the s 

Naud and Wim Burnett ferried groups from the airport to the hotel. In the afternoon we went to 
their beautiful house in Dallas. Naud had an architect design the house from one he had seen in 
amagazine and it includes an internal conservatory for ferns plus an outer courtyard garden 
wit water features; many of the ferns he promotes in his catalogue were growing most 
luxunantly^ We were treated to a delicious buffet supper where we caught up with friends 
as they drifted in. We also met many of the senior staff from Naud's Nursery, Casa Flora. 

Day 1, 3rd October - Fort Worth 

After a short bus ride to Dallas's sister city, Fort Worth, 

Garden where we were greeted by the c 

took us to the large conservatory tl 

treasures. Amongst the ferns were many plants of Didymochlaena t 

peruvianum and A. capillus-veneris. Growing epiphytically were single plants of Pyrrosia 

longifolia, Phymatosorus diversifolius and Asplenium antiquum. On the ground was a 

majestic Angiopteris evecta as well as Blechnum gibbum and B. brasiliense. For me, the 

nearly three-metre tall Acrostichum danaeifolium stood out, with its fertile fronds just ripe. 

We were then taken by Cathleen Cook to see the ferns outside. After a short walk across a 

board walk through native forest, we were taken to see a collection of ferns donated by our 

host Naud's nursery. We went on to the Japanese gard( e tutiful and very 

large only had many plants of Cyrtomium falcatum and Thelypteris kunthii. 

After a very good lunch at the Kimball Art Museum, a short drive took us to the Botanical 

Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) where we had a delightful afternoon. We were met by 

the Chair of Texas Botany, Barney Lipscomb, who introduced us to the history of BRIT. 

Then Tiana Franklin, a Herbarium Collections Assistant, gave us a very informative tour of 

roducing us to its history and the work beii 

her work. I was especially interested in the w 
amazing number of people, from seven-year-olds through t 

The librarian, Gary Jennings, gave us a brief history of how the 1 
and then proceeded to show us some of the collection- literal} 
The ferns of North America by Eaton and the incredible Plantaru 
Schoenbrunnensis descriptiones et icones (1797-1804) (Descriptions and pictures of rare 
plants in the gardens of Schonbrunn castle) by Jacquin. The volume we saw contained line 
drawings of ferns that were hand-coloured by a team of artists. The book came about during 
a mini ice age, when the Empress Marie-Teresa's hothouse collection of plants was 
devastated. She resolved to rebuild the collection by sending botanists into the field to re- 
collect the lost plants, and then had a complete record of the plants documented for 
posterity by artists in 200 copies of the book. 

Tiana then took us to see how the herbarium sheets were being scanned and made available 
with other information for workers around the world. BRIT has digitised all their type 
specimens and they are now working on the rest of the collection. These can be seen on 

All too soon we had to leave, and we made our way to the charming garden of Judy and Joe 
Caughlin. The garden was beautifully placed overlooking Dallas and one had a much better 
idea of the way the area must have looked before the twin cities developed. The garden had 
a whole range of beautiful plants, and water features and statues were complemented by 
ferns such as Arachniodes aristata, Dryopteris ludoviciana, D. championii, Thelypteris 

xrtomium falcatum 'Butterfieldii'. 
Day 2, 4th October - Dallas Sue Olsen 

Our day 2 tour could aptly and accurately be titled 'Highlights of Dallas', at least for the 
garden-minded. After an interesting spin through the comfortable residential areas where 
the well-to-do reside, we headed for the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum. This is the horticultural 
gem of the city and includes the Palmer Fern Dell, the Jonsson colour garden and the 
Trammell Visitor Center, all designed by Naud Burnett and his landscape design company. 
After a visual introductory presentation we eagerly left for our visit to the fern dell, passing 
on the way the Halloween-themed pumpkin displays, some 20,000 in all as well as 30,000 

; dell covers just c 

This is a Hardy Fern Foundation display 
garden and the collection includes some 
160 different fern types ranging from 
temperate species and cultivars to tropicals. 
The latter are added for seasonal interest in 
the spring to autumn months and removed 
to the safety of frost-free comforts for the 
winter. Fog from a tree-mounted mist 
lell sprayed lightly 

sporelings at Casa Flora 

spent an interesting and 
noon at Casa Flora, Naud's 
distinguished nursery. Founded 
years ago, with ferns introduced ii 
year, the nursery now ships appi 
16 million ferns worldwide, mal 

exhibit includes ferns such as Dryopteris 
celsa and D. ludoviciana in close proximity 
and in juxtaposition with healthy stands of 
exotic tender ferns including Hemionitis 
arijo/ici and a crowd favourite, albeit a 
nursery and tropical 'weed', Pityrogramma 


Jose Aguirre and Kent Krat/ to share the 
specialised knowledge with us. We learne 
about their propagation techniques includin 
both spore production and tissue cultun 
transplanting procedures, and growing-c 
in huge automated temperature-controlle 
greenhouses housing thousands of plants p< 
lengthy bench. As a finale we admired car 
of the finished product awaiting shipment, 
was fascinating. 
Thus educ< 

iilkJ -. 

t admit, however, that 
raction was the huge 
i stock plants. The gro 

called 'lust let loose'. Here were Naud's 

temperate to tropical, and xer 

ending to a very special day. 

hull k..u/ in ( ..mi I lor:i"» 

with what might politely be 

from the familiar to the exotic, the 

is a very special 

Day 3, 5th October - Garvan Woodland Gardens & DeGray State Park Martin Rickard 

The day started with a three-and-a-half-hour coach journey, but it seemed we reached our 
destination in no time at all. We sat down straight away for a traditional Southern lunch in 
the former Confederate capital of Washington, Arkansas. Afterwards we were given a rapid 
tour of this very small town, which is run as a museum; we were fascinated by the history 
during the Civil War and how settlers used to pass through. Apart from Pleopeltis 

i fas on many trees, we saw no ferns. 
We were quickly back on to the bus and whisked away to Garvan Woodland Gardens, not 
far from Hot Springs, about 50 miles south-west of Little Rock. We were shown around the 
garden here by Don Crank, a local fern enthusiast. Many ferns had been introduced but 
some were native. It was not always easy to tell the difference! Apart from common species 
it was a pleasure to see /> nul B disscctum. our tirst Cheiianthes - 

i iiliihawemis, C. lanosa and C. tomentosa, Woodwardia virginica and W. areohita. Still 
of interest, despite their demise as fern allies, were Selaginella braunii, S. uncinata. 
. Before leaving this wonderful lakeside garden we were shown 
i truly extraordinarily beautiful building You need to see it to 

Day 4, 6th October - Ouachita IV 

It was another fine hot day for our first exploi 

island in the DeGray Lake, Arkansas and offered many ii 

were off early on a long bus ride to Ouachita National Forest ( 

Naud had arranged for a couple of local experts to lead us - Theo Whitsell who ii 

for the State of Arkansas and Dr John Simpson, a man with much knowledge of the area. 

When we arrived at the forest, Theo gave us a short talk about the area, which has 

Palaeozoic rocks with much faulting that leads to great plant diversity. We plunged into the 

woods in Indian file and were immediately rewarded by Botrychium biternatum with a fresh 

fertile spike, and Phegopteris hexagonoptera. The American botrychiums are very 

attractive; when is someone going to solve the problem of growing them in Britain? A short 

distance further on we met Potystichum acrostichoides and Asplenium platyneuron. We had 

us to hop from stone to stone. We found subsp. asplenioides though I 

must admit that the minor differences between the American athyriums eluded me. Onoclea 
sensibilis was there too, an old friend that is common in damp areas all over the eastern half 
of the continent. There was some debate over a large Dryopteris (when isn't there?), which 
was finally diagnosed as D. celsa and there were two osmundas, O. cinnamomea and 
O. regalis, which is subtly different to the European form. Woodwardia areolata was 
growing in standing water. On the branches of some trees was the resurrection fern, 
Pleopeltis polypodioides, an attractive little fern. Thelypteris noveboracensis and Pteridium 
aquilinum var. pseudocaudatum made up the collection in the flat wet area. 
The ground began to rise and Theo showed us the remains of some spring orchids and a 
large Dryopteris * australis. On the higher ground he located an elongated patch of 
Adiantum pedatum. John Simpson recalled it was the site of a fallen tree many years ago. 
Here we turned to make our way out of the wood and discovered a solitary specimen of 
Botrychium virginianum at the foot of a tree. We didn't see any snakes but John Acock 
photographed a blue salamander and a spring peeper frog that resembled a dried leaf. By the 
stream were little mud piles like molehills - the presumed home of crayfish. 

We emerged from the wood at 11.00a.m., to be proudly shown Equisetum arvense in the 
verge - it is rare in these parts! Also seen by the road were Dryoptehs celsa, Thelypteris 
kmthii, a Woodsia obtusa, a Selaginella apoda, and 7; the stream. 

Climbing back into the bus for a welcome cooling-off, we then had a short drive to a 
working quarry where the tortured patterns of the exposed rock strata were spectacular. We 
had come to see the Lycopodiella appressa, another Eastern species that had widely 
colonised the undisturbed areas of the quarry base. I found a fasciated specimen, a feature 
that I had not seen before in a clubmoss. 

We ate our picnic in an area of Brady Mountain by Lake Ouachita, before another short drive 
brought us to a steeply sloping dry, hot and sunny wooded area with small oak trees and dry 
grass. Cheilanthes tomentosa grew in this unlikely place wherever rocks gave a haven for 
the roots. C. alabamensis grew from a small cliff along with Pellaea atropurpurea. One 
could only admire these delicate little ferns, which thrived in these hostile surroundings! 
Another short roadside foray revealed Equisetum hyemale, Phegopteris hexagonoptera, 
Arlnruiiii tilix-tcmiini subsp. asplenioides and Dryopteris marginalis before we made our 
way back to the DeGray Lodge, dropping off our guides at their vehicles. Their local 
expertise had been essential and we thanked them warmly. 

Those with an appetite for more ferning explored one of the short trails near the Lodge 
where we immediately found Woodsia obtusa and Asplenium platyneuron by a bridge over 
a dry creek and Pleopeltis polypodioides on the tree branches. Close by was a very large 
Botrychium, which was at first thought to be B. virginianum but the woods contained so 
many examples of large and vigorous B. biternatum just reaching maturity that it may well 
have been the same species. One of the specimens had a fertile frond measuring two feet. 
Day 5, 7th October - Caddo Lake & Nacogdoches Pat Riehl 

There was a beautiful sunrise as we left for the long bus ride to Nacogdoches. Our first stop 
was Caddo Lake, named after a native American tribe. Flat bottomed boats waited for us in 
a small rustic town called Uncertain to take us out on the lake for an hour to see the cypress 
swamps. It is the largest natural fresh water lake in the south, covering 34,500 acres of 
Texas and Louisiana. The water level is now controlled by a dam. It is an eerie place with 
cypress trees hundreds of years old draped in Spanish moss, a bromeliad. A water fern 

called Salvinia molesta i 

: prolific water hyacinth. The 

name should make its character pretty clear. Presently Salvinia is mainly on the Louisiana 
side and those who enjoy and use the lake in Texas are making a serious effort to keep it 
out. There was an article about it in The New York Times on July 25th of this year. 
In Nacogdoches we toured Stephen F. Austin College's Mast Arboretum with Roger Hughes 
and Dr David Creech, the recently retired professor of the College and now head of the 
arboretum. A staff of five and a lot of volunteers take care of 60 acres. Roger was largely 
responsible for the ferns in this arboretum. This area is in hardiness zone 8 and gets about 48 
inches of rain per year. They have a hot, humid, dry summer. There had just been a plant sale 
and we got a chance to see what was left over: Dryopteris ludoviciana, D. champion n, Atkyrium 
otophorum and Woodwardia orientalis, to name but a few. I learned that Athyrium * 'Ghost' 
will grow crested fronds in very hot weather, then when il cools produce normal fronds again. 
There was also a curiosity, an Amorphophallus titanum called Mack', whose corm weighed in at 
26 pounds. At one point we crossed a flood canal bridge and found ourselves in an area of ferns. 
Unfortunately there was simply not enough water for them. Many of the ferns were 
mislabelled, which was not helpful to a beginner like me. We moved at breakneck speed and 
there were lots of winding trails, which caused some of us to lose the main group. We did 
happen upon some Cheilanthes and Pellaea though there is some question as to which they 
were, and there was a wonderful patch of Pleopeltis polypodioides on the roof of a little shelter. 

We all found our way back to the bus and went to the National Centre for Pharmaceutical 
Crops. Here we met Dr Shiyou Li who has been working on the use of extracts of native 
plants as possible cancer treatments since 1999. So far they have worked with button bush, 
Cephalanthus occidentalis, red buckeye, Aesculus pavia and Camptotheca, the Chinese 
happy tree. The centre has received a grant to study weeds and ferns. Ferns are good 
research subjects because they are usually virus-free. The current fern candidates are 
Pteridium aquilinum and Pleopeltis polypodioides. 

i finally to dinner at an Italian restaurant, joined by 

Day 6, 8th October - Enchanted Rock Klaus Mehltreter 

We left our hotel in Nacogdoches at 8.15a.m., heading south-west to our next destination, 
Salado. After a three-hour drive through a changing landscape from pine-oak forests to 
mesquite {Prosopis glandulosa) savannahs and pastures, we arrived at the Stagecoach Inn, 
an old charming restaurant that Naud had known for more than 60 years. 
After lunch we were ready for our field destination, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, near 
Fredericksburg, where we arrived at 4.30p.m. Even for the late afternoon and the cloudy 
weather, it was still hot (about 85°F) but windy. Enchanted Rock is in Llano County and 
presents a huge granitic dome of Precambric origin. Its peak reaches an elevation of 1,825 feet 
and overtops the surrounding landscape by about 400 feet. The pink granitic rock with an age 
of 1.25 billion years was uplifted in the Tertiary and scraped clean by erosion from overlying 
sedimentary Cretaceous rocks. Its name makes reference to the creaking and groaning noises 
caused when blocks grind against each other during the expansion caused by solar heating 
during the day and contraction during the cooling nights. However, on the top we did not hear 
anything other than the wind and we enjoyed an incredible outlook over the surrounding plain 

The most abundant species, taking advantage of cracks and fissures in the rock, were 
Cheilanthes lindheimeri with its wide brown costal scales on the lower leaf surface, and 
C. tomentosa, which has only dense tomentose hairs on the leaf surface beneath. Both 
species formed mainly pure colonies and only sometimes mixed with a mat-forming, erect 
species of Selaginella, probably S. riddellii. The two dominating species of Cheilanthes 
were especially happy on east-facing slopes where they were in the shade during the 
afternoon. Although present in other places, here their leaves and pinnae were completely 

inrolled, showing their lower leaf surfaces covered with hairs and/or scales. A third species, 
C. kaulfussii was immediately spotted by Patrick who observed it only on the lowest sites, 
growing in the surrounding vegetation but not on Enchanted Rock. C. kaulfussii could be 
le two other species by its glandular and pentagonal leaves. Not 
find C. alabamensis, which has been recorded for this site, 

The genus Pellaea was also present with three species: P. ovata with its characteristic zig- 
zag-shaped rachis was common and while a dozen P. ternifolia were observed, 
P. wrightiana was only spotted once. P. ternifolia has pinnae with three pinnules, and the 
pinna midvein below is distinctly coloured from that of the lamina, while P. wrightiana has 
mostly five pinnules on the basal pinnae and the pinnae midvein and lamina below are the 
same colour. Both species have strongly mucronate (acute spine-like) tips to the pinnules. 
On the way back, we located a second species of Selaginella with prostrate stems and roots 
on the branch nodes, which resembled S. peruviana. Because it was completely dry and 

After this exciting excursion into Texas' geological history and i 
brought us during sunset to Fredericksburg, an old German settlemer 
and shops, where we stayed for the night in the Fredericksburg Inn. 
Day7, 9th October - Austin 
The day began with a two-and-half-hour journey t< 
was to the garden of James David. A landscape ar 
as 'just a gardener', explaining that he grows what he enjoys growing, so his garden is full 
of 'wacky stuff. A persimmon tree laden with large fruit is the first plant to greet visitors at 
the front gate; just a few steps further and one soon realises that this garden is an eclectic 
mix of flowering shrubs and herbaceous perennials, cycads, cacti, ferns and grasses, planted 
seemingly somewhat casually in beds or pots, and garden features including a rill down a 
flight of steps into an ornamental pond, a swimming pool and clipped box hedges. Trees, 
festooned with climbers, provide the shade. The ferns, scattered around the beds of the 
garden, included Woodwardia orientalis, Blechnum appendicu latum, Dryopteris sieboldii, 
Cyrtomium falcatum and the ubiquitous Thelypteris kunthii. Four species were identified 
on various walls around the garden: Cyrtomium falcatum, Phymatosorus diversifolius, 
Drynaria quercifolia and a Boston fern, Nephrolepis exaltata. 

We moved on to the Zilker Botanical Garden in the same neighbourhood. Here we were 
met by Laura Joseph of The Garden Club of Austin, who was responsible for our itinerary 
in Austin. The garden is described as a "botanical showpiece for native Texan foliage 
plants, roses, ponds, an oriental garden and 100 million year old dinosaur tracks"! Adiantum 
capillus-veneris and Asplenium platyneuron were growing in a falling cascade of ponds. A 
narrow wooded area separating the rest of the gardens from the Visitor Centre was under- 
planted mainly with ferns, including Cyrtomium falcatum, Astrolepis sinuata, Dryopteris 
filix-mas (known in the USA as the Mexican male fern), Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum', 
Dryopteris cystolepidota, Pteris vittata, Blechnum brasiliense, and, of course, Thelypteris 
kunthii. The tree ferns Cyathea cooperi and Dicksonia antarctica, a large Nephrolepis 
exaltata in a ceramic pot and two enormous clusters of Platycerium alcicorne hanging from 
the branches of a tree provided eye-catching features. 

In the Hartman Prehistoric Woodland Garden, a life size Ornithomimus, the footprints of 
which were discovered in the gardens in 1992, 'inhabits' an island over which drifts of mist 
help to create a steamy prehistoric atmosphere. In the surrounding garden, ferns, horsetails 
and liverworts represent the spore-bearing plants that existed at the time of the dinosaurs, 
along with examples of the more primitive angiosperm and gymnosperm families, including 
six species of cycad. Pteridophytes were represented by Dryopteris erythrosora, D. * 

australis, Cyrton I - ilepis sinuata and the under-storey 

tree ferns Cyathea cooperi and Dicksonia antarctica. Also of particular interest was a 
colony of Equisetum, probably E. giganteum. as well as / wincgatum and £". hycmalc and 
extensive carpets of Marsilea macropodu. grow ing at\ picalh for a Marsilea in dry soil. 
After a short welcome by Sara Macias, the Central Parks Division Manager, we had lunch 
in the garden, provided by the ladies of The Garden Club of Austin. Then we crossed town 
to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. President Johnson's wife was a great lover of 
the American countryside and especially its wild flowers. She set up the centre for research 
and the encouragement of the growing of local native flora in gardens and along the major 
highways of the United States. Two or three of the demonstration garden plots featured 
Thefypteris ku\ lus-veneris and Arach d nil ar. variegata. 

In the dry lands demonstration area, Astrolepis cochisensis and Cheilanthes alabamensis 

Our final visit was to the Town Park, newly opened in August. There \ 

but our Austinian hosts were obviously thrilled with the city's new 

show it off, especially its three main features: a retaining lake to tak< 

Colorado River, which flows through the town, an interactive founl 

hill. Nearing 6p.m., it was time to book into our hotel and set out for Congress Avenue 

Bridge, opposite the hotel, to go bat-watching! 

Day 8, 10th October - Westcave Preserve & Austin Don Naylor 

It was a 40-mile drive from Austin to Westcave Preserve in the Texas Hill Country. The 

Preserve is on the Pedernales River and demonstrates unique ecological diversity with rock 

outcrops enclosing a woodland canyon. Limestone aquifers create pockets of spring water 

that provide moisture for abundant plant life. The area is subject to severe flooding, the worst 

in recent times being in 1970, when the river reached a height of 70 feet a 

Two ecosystems 
grassland area with 45 j 
species and a sheltered 

; tl..od - 

a in Westcave Preserve 

estimated to be 400 years old. 
The Preserve is ecologically 
sensitive, and while visited by 
large numbers of school- 
children, it is carefully protected. 
Rock ferns were common. We 

Asplenium resiliens, Cheilanthes 

P. ovata, Thelypten 
mexicana, recently 
Astrolepis integerrima are 

ater from the waterfall had formed c 
:attered, along with displays of mo 
'owing in a tropical-like environme 
lini-islands in the stream, while n 

t waterfall with a small cave behind it. Spring 

i referred to only as 'common rock moss'. Ferns 
t included large clumps oi 

nerous A. capillus-veneris were basking on rock 

ream. Nine unidentified lichens were observed on one piece of limestone 
pockets of quiet water as well as rapidly flowing water that created two 
Behind the waterfall, formed by erosion of the soft limestone, was a 
shallow cave with re-forming stalactites and stalagmit< 
columns before the area became a Preserve. Two cotton n 
were playful in a water pocket at the bottom of the canyon. 

The group returned to Austin for lunch. Tour participants were then given the choice of five 
activities - visiting the Capital Complex, The Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History, 
Umlauf Sculpture Garden, The Blanton Museum of Fine Art, or local nurseries. 
For this writer, the most memorable part of the tour was the visit to two private gardens. The 
group was invited to the home of Scott Stewart, a retired Dell executive, for refreshments 
before dinner. The Texas-style home was perched near the edge of a limestone outcrop. It 
featured a swimming pool and water garden that provided wonderful vistas of a wooded 
area and downtown Austin. One side of the house featured a water garden with large 
boulders brought in and built up to the edge of an outcrop. Scott had used a wide variety of 
plants, including Asplenium bulbiferum, Cyrtomium falcatum and Cheilanthes alabamensis. 
Our last visit for the day was to the nearby southern antebellum-style home and garden of 
Laura and Cater Joseph, where an international chef served up a wide selection of Lebanese 
food. The beautifully landscaped garden featured large oak trees and numerous large 
Platycerium hanging baskets. Laura has collected seventeen of the eighteen known 
Platycerium species and many were observed in several display areas around the grounds. 
Darkness prevented a tour of the garden but a re-visit was scheduled f< 
After dessert, Ron Miller, a volunteer from Zilker Garden, gave ; 
dividing a Nephrolepis while Dr Steven Reynolds demon; 

Day 9, 11th October -S 

After leaving The Embassy Hotel, Austin, we drove the short c 
host of the night before to see her ferns in daylight. Laura has a i 
of ferns, which only really need protecting on those few days in the year when there i 
sharp frost or ice-storm. The rest of the year the problem is regularly watering the hanging 
baskets and ground plants. The hanging baskets are huge and are hung on long metal wires 
from branches high up in the trees. They contained an array of stenochlaenas and 
Nephrolepis cultivars and species such as N. biserrata. Smaller baskets contained 
Polypodium formosanum and Phymatosorus divers ifolius. As well as the really fine range 
of platyceriums of varying ages and sizes on a large number of boards, on one small board 
I Ophioglossum similar to O. scolopendrina in shape if not size; I 
J who has done this. In a pot was one of my favourite local ferns, 
Astrolepis sinuosa, growing to an incredible size 

All too soon we were off to San Antonio where we were met at the Botanic Gardens by 
Paul Cox who had been tl 

s beginnings. Paul gave us a quick history and ti 
i features before we were left to roam 

Fern Grotto I 

: Exhibit Room. Paul I 

t the ferns. The best ferns v 

_ to the tree ferns when the power failed, 
preventing the misting and air circulation, there was quite a laudable collection of tropical 
terns. These included Cibotium schiedei, Angiopteris evecta, Diplazium esculentum, 
D. proliferum and Cyathea glauca, as well as a few different davallias and aglaomorphas. 

i pub for lunch. Walking back to the hotel, we saw 
[ . cordifolia, Cyrtomium falcatum, Dryopteris erythrosora, 

Day 10, 12th October - San Antonia to Big Bend National Park Pat Acock 

We set out early from San Antonio for the long journey westward on Highway 10. Some 
had a delayed start to lunch at the Rest Stop just east of junction 307, as we found the trees 
were a staging post for monarch butterflies on their migration to Mexico. Hundreds were 
fluttering around the trees and resting in the branches. We also found a pecan nut tree with 
the majority of the nuts perfect to supplement lunch. 

After going to the visitor centre at Big Bend National Park we went on to the Chisos Lodge 
where we met naturalist Petei Guth, our leader for the next two days, who agreed to take us 
for a short walk above our chalets before our evening meal. Here we were reminded of the 
characters of Pellaea atropurpurea and Astrolepis simtata, and discussed whether or not all 
the Cheilanthes were C. eatonii. We also saw Pellaea cordifolia for the first time. We then 

Day 11, 13th October- Big Bend National Park 

Early next morning we were taken by Petei not more than 1 00 yar 
saw the delightful Bommeria hispida along with Cheilanthes 
i\ sinuata. 

We drove a little way to one of the Big Bend Trails, the Lost Mine Trail. On our very hasty 
walk here we saw all the previous ferns but had to return all too soon as we were to meet 
two rangers in 4-wd vehicles who drove us a short way along another trail leading to Cat 
Tail Falls to save us a little of the walk. This turned out to be my favourite part of the tour. 
It was an incredibly hot day. The terrain was marvellous. The shrubby plants and cacti all 
had lots of space around them because of the lack of rainfall, a semi-desert. After half a 
mile we came across a wooded area with evergreen oaks along the banks of a stream. I 
thought that we would see ferns here but we did not. However, continuing back into the arid 
area it was not long before we came to a rocky bluff and saw our first treasure - Astrolepis 
a patch of Selaginella arizonica. 

our left revealed more and more gems - Astrolepis integerrima, A. sinuata and Cheilanthes 
eatonii. Although I have seen it in a pot from time to time, to see a patch of Notholaena 
standleyi growing naturally is simply magical. At the waterfall we saw Adiantum capillus- 
veneris, and Cheilanthes alabamensis behind some large rocks close by. On the way back 
I Notholaena aliena and Klaus also saw N. aschenbomiana off 
plendid day and gave us a close up view of the Trans Pecos 
terrain we had been passing through for long periods of the day before. 
Day 12, 14th October - Girl Scout Camp & Nature Trail in Fort Davis Jack Schieber 
We started the day at the Mitre Peak Girl Scout Camp, named for the almost perfectly 
conical peak located nearby. Here we travelled up a stream-bed, mostly dry, nestled in a 
narrow gorge. The geological formations in this area are commonly volcanic extrusions, 
often columnar and very striking in appearance. And of course, weathering had had its way 
over the millennia so that ou 
heights above. The walk was 
I am from eastern US so the ferns we had been seeing on this trip were almost invariably 
new to me. I had never even heard of Bommeria hispida let alone seen it. We saw 
Cheilanthes bonariensis, C wrightii, C tomentosa, C eatonii, C lindheimeri and of the 
somewhat related genera, Astrolepis sinuata, Pellaea wrightiana and Notholaena standleyi. 
I was mostly flummoxed in my observations and in my defence I quote from Flora of North 
America: "Cheilanthes is by far the largest and most diverse genus of xeric-adapted ferns. 
In its classic arc inscription, the genus has been notoriously difficult t 
other cheilanthoid genera, especially Notholaena and Pellaea." 

I have always thought of selaginellas as growing in mossy, somewhat protected places; after 
all, we do call them spike-mosses. Here we saw Selaginella peruviana and S. rupincola 
growing on exposed hillsides of rock and they seemed luxuriant in their desiccation. When I 
took a moment to merely see rather than to study, they were indeed beautiful. 
A highlight for me was a headland at the end of our walk where a rock wall overhung a 
pool. Here south -veneris, grew in huge colonies from the 

roof of the overhang and from every nook and cranny. I know this fern well as it is one of 

Mitre Peak Girl Scout Camp, Texas, USA 

Front row left to right: John Scott, Jennifer Ide, Pat Riehl, Sue Olsen, Alan Ogden, 

Margaret Scott, Rose Marie & Jack Schieber 

Rear diagonal left to right: Joy Neale, Martin Rickard, John & Pat Acock, 

Klaus Mehltreter, Shanti Claycamp, Wimberley & Naud Burnett, Don Naylor 

In the afternoon v\ 

System. The Fort 

settlers, wagon trai 

nature trail that climbed about 300 feet 

switchbacks and, here and there, ferns tucked in 

provided a checklist of 20 ferns 

Fort Davis National Historic Site, part of the National Pat* 

! from 1854 until 1891, the troops stationed there protecting 

coaches, primarily from raids by Indians. Our focus was a 

mile with many boulders, 

s. Petei Guth, our guide, had 

see them all because they are 


in secluded areas. We saw ferns all along the way but many were dried up l 
point of being unidentifiable. Cheilanthes villosa was the only new one althou 

Day 13, 15th October - Pecos to Dallas Sham 

After spending the night in the little town of Pecos, we again loaded the bus and were ready to 
embark upon the final leg of our journey back to Dallas. As we drove eastwards toward 
Odessa the landscape was flat with only a few trees. Interspaced with the low mesquite trees 
were the many 'nodding donkeys' pumping up the rich West Texas crude oil that has sustained 
that part of the state. After about an hour on the road we stopped at the Monahan Sand Dunes 
State Park. Naud told us that he had heard of a Cheilanthes growing at the top of some of the 
sand-dunes. His daughter Galen met us and had already scoped out the area for this fern. 
Climbing up a steep sand-dune where Galen indicated, Klaus suddenly exclaimed "That's 
impossible!" We huddled around the Astrolepis sinuata he had found, everyone vying for a 
look at this fern. Then Klaus again spoke: "It must be in a pot..." As the pot was pulled from 
the sand we all turned to look at Naud, who was sniggering on the sidelines, watching the 
drama unfold. He had pulled a fast one, with his daugl 

dunes in order to come whooshing back down on a small plastic 
As we continued to drive east on Highway 20 the 
landscape slowly changed from low mesquite trees to 
lush oak forests, indicating a change in rainfall from 
1 5 to almost 40 inches. We sampled Texas cooking at 
lunch-time at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Abilene. 

dinner. Everyone checked back into the hotel and we 

too far from Naud and Wim's house. The food was 
excellent, but the company was even better. We ate 
heartily and shared stories from our trip and our lives. 
Near the end Martin gave a rousing speech recapping 
some of the best parts of the trip and thanking Naud 
for the superb job he did in planning the tour. Naud 
was presented with a memorable glass and two of 
Martin's books, and Wim with a colourful flower 
basket. It was a wonderful end to a very memorable 
trip: Ferns of the South-west. Naud Burnett re,axi "g at final 

P dinner, Texas, USA 

Conclusion Pat Acock 

We must thank Naud and Wim for all their hard work in conceiving and executing such i 
magnificent tour; Naud even got up early the next day to take a hardy few for a second lool 

Texas was indeed a state of contrasts. The gradation of rainfall from 60 inches in the east to 
15 inches in the west gave us valuable lessons in ecology. The ferns were in direct contrast 
to any I had experienced in being mainly xeric. And it was incredibly interesting to see 
cheilanthoid fern species first appearing rare then often becoming abundant as the 
conditions changed as we moved ever westward. 

We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to all the staff at Naud's nursery, the garden 
directors and leaders at the many botanic gardens we visited and the naturalists who gave of 
their valuable time. To all of them we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation, with a 
special vote of thanks to Laura Joseph and her Garden Club in Austin. We must also thank 



- 24-25 March Alastair Wardlaw 

Not everyone becomes passionately excited by the prospect of an AGM. Nevertheless the 
2007 AGM and Spring Meeting, held at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), 
attracted 43 members from as far apart as London, Cornwall and the Island of Skye. 
After being welcomed by Prof. Mary Gibby, Director of Science at RBGE, and by Frank 
McGavigan, the BPS Scotland Regional Group Organiser, we settled down for the main 
event of the morning, the valedictory speech by the retiring President, Dr Adrian Dyer. 
His subject was Discovering the Lost Generations and the text is presented elsewhere in 

This took us up to the lunch break, which the organising committee had generously set 
at two hours to allow time for activities that might otherwise have been too rushed. In 
fact, the two hours were scarcely enough for inspecting the display of old fern books 
(courtesy of Jane Hutcheon, Librarian at RBGE), looking at the posters, consuming 
refreshments, chatting to friends, engaging in retail therapy, going on a tour of RBGE 
ferns, and viewing an automatic slide-show of all the native British fern species. This 
latter had been prepared by Dr Heather McHaffie, the Conservation Officer at RBGE. 
In addition, Bryan and Gill Smith had the usual attractive montage of BPS merchandise, 
Frank Katzer, the new Booksales Organiser, had a table laden with fern books old and 
modem (of which he sold well 

Grant Fortune, Tim Godfrey 
and Mike Taylor presided 
over a rapidly snapped-up 
assemblage of potted ferns 
contributed by members and 

, and Frank 
McGavigan' s poster on the 
new advice for Fern Recording. 
Yvonne Golding displayed 
the Citations for the 
three pteridologists receiving 
Honorary Membership (see 
pp. 521-523). 

the highlight in the tree-fern house was Dicksonia arborescens, the type species of 
Dicksonia, raised by Andrew from spores collected on the Island of St Helena. This 
specimen and the few others he has donated, are to my knowledge the only 
representatives of the type species living in Britain today. Outside the glasshouses, 
Andrew showed us the South African Cyathea dregei, with wrapping to protect against 
the typical -11°C 'grass' temperatures that RBGE experiences most winters. Nearby we 
saw where he has been trialling Blechnum cycadifolium, from his own growing of 
spores collected on Robinson Crusoe Island (Juan Fernandez) in the Pacific Ocean. 
The AGM started promptly 
at 2p.m. and finished at 
around 4.10, the detailed 

. 503 of 


and the 

of Robert 
incoming President, 
presentation of 

areas the Society i 
health and adequate wealtl 
However, among th 
significant challenges sti 
remaining, probably the mo; 
pressing is the more vigorou 
promotion of an interest i 
ferns, if possible in schools, J 

ther our charitable 
> but should also 
increase our membership. 
AGM-day was rounded 
off by a dinner, which 35 
members attended at the 
nearby Dionika Restaurant. 

from Adrian Dyer 

level. Growing nearby i 

Next day (Sunday), which was 
dry but with a cold wind, about 
25 of us had an excursion to 

Arthur's Seat, the volcanic mountain and park in central Edinburgh. This was led by 
Adrian Dyer who took us to see one of Britain's rarest wild ferns, Asplenium x 
murbeckii, which exists as a single plant on a rock-face about two metres above road 
s same basalt-type rock were the two parent species, the 
d the extremely uncommon A. septentrionale. With the 
knowledge that this hybrid exists so precariously as a single isolated plant, I finished 
the weekend with the notion of having (another) go at making Asplenium hybrids 
artificially, by co-culturing the gametophytes of parental species. With nine British 
parental species of Asplenium, one would have to plan a large checker-board of 
combinations to produce all of the 13 interspecific hybrids (A.C. Jermy & J.M. Camus, 
The Illustrated Field Guide to Ferns and Allied Plants of the British Isles, 1991), let 
alone setting up the pairs of species not yet observed to hybridise. Maybe there is 
someone in the Society with such a programme already in hand? If so, it would be good 
if we had news of it. 


SURREY - 3 November (Leader: Jennifer Ide) Jennifer Ide et aL 

On a beautiful sunny day, with the Gardens at their autumn best, 30 BPS members and eight 
RHS staff gathered in the Hillside Events Centre at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) 
Gardens at Wisley for a meeting centred on the donation of the BPS Herbarium to the RHS. 
John David, Senior Botanist of the RHS, welcomed participants to the Gardens and 
explained the importance of the BPS herbarium to the RHS, in whose herbarium ferns 
generally were under-represented, which limited the potential of the collection for 

The BPS joined the Royal Horticultural Society in 1920 and has been a fully paid up 
affiliated society ever since 87 years! Jennifer Ide outlined the BPS's varied connections 
with the RHS during this time as seen through the Minutes of the Society. Two subjects 
frequently recur: the need to recruit more members and the need for a code for the naming 
of cultivars. The RHS fortnightly shows (now monthly) were seen as prime opportunities to 
bring the "the fern cult - and our Society - before the gardening public", and attract new 
members. Displays were arranged on a number of occasions from the 1920s to 1968, 
winning the Lindley Medal on two occasions. From 1959 to 1996 several attempts were 
made to draw up a code for the naming of fern cultivars and to define cultivar groups, the 
last attempt being at the invitation of the RHS. But on each occasion it appears to have 
proved a task too great for the Society to tackle on its own. 

Chris Whitehouse, Keeper of the RHS Herbarium at Wisley, gave a talk on 'The 
i purposes of such a herbarium: for plant 
i historical record (of events, people and places), and to act as a 
statutory repository for botanical 'types' and their equivalent horticultural 'standards'. He 
indicated the differences between botanical and horticultural taxonomy, such as the use of 
images and the recording of colour - much more important in cultivar than in species 
recognition. Some plant groups contain enormous numbers of cultivars, topped by camellias 
with a staggering 32,000; fern cultivars were estimated at 'only' 650! Chris went on 
to outline the history of the RHS herbarium, which included the sorry tale of the first 
one being sold as a result of financial difficulties, and so lost. (This parallels the BPS in that 
think our first herbarium was also lost!) The present collection includes specimens 


ns, members, 

RHS expeditions. It is an essential facility used by 1 
Nomenclatural Standards, serving as a permanent record of plant trials and awards, and 
age library for plant portraits. [Paragraph author: Graham Ackers] 

nly of cultivars of British species. The main advantages ot 
lount the specimens where necessary 
(mainly by Jennifer Ide), and the vetting of the names and the databasing of the collection 
(by Graham Ackers), thereby enabling greater accessibility and availability to RHS 
botanists and other researchers. A BPS number allocated to each specimen will allow the 
identification of the BPS material in the future. Graham reported that the collections of 
Martin Rickard, as well as some cultivar specimens presently housed at the Natural History 
Museum, are also to be donated to the RHS. He finished by suggesting how the BPS might 
work to fill the gaps in the RHS c 

Martin Rickard compi< the morning's programme by illustrating and, - 

! history and garden-worthiness of cultivars (monstrous 
Y participants as their top ten favourite and five least favourite cultivars. 

Asplenium scolopendrium 'Crispum Bolton's Nobik 

topped the survey equal first, with Dtyopteris affinis 'Cristata Angustata' ru 

second. Several cultivars appeared as both favourite and least favourite ferns z 

some surprising omissions from the list. 

The accession of the BPS herbarium into the Wisley collection hi: 

devoted to the subject of cultivar standards and the registration of cultivar 

John David gave a rapid but lucid summary of this complex state of affairs. He 

outlining the differences between the International Code of Botanical . 

(ICBN) and the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). He 

described the concept of Registration, including 

uniformity, accuracy and stability in the naming of c 

ICNCP relates to other statutory and non-statutory systems such as Plant I 

and 'Selling Names'. Then he outlined the t 

publishing lists of accepted names and detailed the process of registering them. He 

described how to maintain a set of 'Standards' - which can be type specimens, paintings or 

photographs of the cultivar - and concluded that it may be possible to designate some fern 

cultivar Standards from the BPS Herbarium. [Paragraph author: Roger Golding] 

Michael Grant, a member of both BPS and RHS, continued the theme of registering cultivar 

names. He explained that it would be possible under the ICNCP to have a register of fern 

cultivar names. However, it would depend on a Registrar being found who would take on 

the task of checking the validity of proposed names and compiling a register. Mike took us 

through a quick history of the naming of fern cultivars, and how the system had improved 

'Divisilobum Group' would be allowed, whereas quasi-Latin names, such as Tveryanum', 
would not. As with the names of species, the registration of cultivars depends on 
establishing the first occurrence of a published name complete with a useful description 
(which, for ferns, could be difficult to track down in early documents and may not even 
exist). [Paragraph author: Bryan Smith] 

A forum of four panellists drawn from the team of speakers and chaired by the BPS 
President, Robert Sykes, examined the question 'Where do we go from here? Is there a role 
for the BPS?' After discussing several problems raised by speakers, it was generally agreed 
that the registration of fern cultivar names was desirable and that the BPS was the obvious 
organisation to be the registering authority. However, the task of setting up the registration 
scheme was a mammoth one, and the guidance and support of the RHS would be required if 
it wa* to be achieved and succeed. To avoid the collapse of the project as in previous 

attempts, it was suggested that a 'road-map' be drawi 
of which could be seen as achievable. A small 
j formed to plan the project. 

i chunks of work, each 

To finish the day, Jennifer Ide looked ahead towards 'filling t 

herbarium. She outlined draft guidance notes, prepared in ( 

Whitehouse, on the submission of fronds for the RHS Herbarium 

pointers such as the advantage of rolling fresh fronds in bubble wrap and a template for the 

folding of fronds too long for the herbarium sheets. 

It was generally agreed that it had been an interesting and useful day, enjoyed in lovely 
vith an exciting new glasshouse to view, and that the support offered by John 
If of the RHS would hopefully enable the BPS to realise its long-time dream 
registrar for the names of fern cultivars. 



Clapham & Trow Gill, near Ingleton, North Yorkshire - 25 November 2006 

Our November Polypodium meetings 
are not usually noted for good 
weather, but this year we were lucky 
and had a mild, dry day despite 
forecasts of gales and heavy rain. Five 
of us met in Clapham (car park 
34/745692) and started by the river in 
the village, finding Polypodium 
interjectum on garden walls, and 
growing luxuriantly on the river bank 
with Asplenium scolopendrium, 
A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens 
and Dryopterisfilix-mas. Bruce took a 
frond of a possible Polypodium hybrid 

from the river bank - a plant with very Clapham, near Ingleton, North Yorkshire 

broad fronds, toothed pinnae and Barry Wright, Frances Haigh, Ken Trewren, Bmce Brown 
abnormal looking sori, but that also 

turned out to be P. interjectum. We walked up to the church and found P. vulgare on the garden 
wall opposite, then P. interjectum again on the wall just through the gate to the Clapham estate. 
On the path by the lake, Ken showed us Dryopteris affinis subsp. paleaceolobata 
(34/749697), very glossy with twisted pinnules. D. dilatata was still green but most of the 
Athyrium filix-femina was brown and dying back, as was the bracken. There were some 
handsome specimens of Polystichum aculeatum and Asplenium scolopendrium. We were 
able to compare D. borreri with the 'robusta' form (34/749698) as the two plants were 
growing side by side - the robusta being a very large plant with broad, overlapping pinnae. 
We also saw D. affinis and D. borreri growing together - the D. borreri looking paler than 
the darker, glossier D. affinis. We found Blechnum spicant by the path, and Cystopteris 
fragilis and Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens on the stone arch 'folly'. There 
was an unreachable Polypodium on the top of the arch - probably P. vulgare. A little 
further on there were some nice clumps of Asplenium ruta-muraria growing on the rocks. 
Once through the gate beyond Ingleborough cave entrance, we spent some time on the steep 
bank to the right (34/75471 1) looking for Selaginella but did not find any. The hillside was 
full of little waterfalls, very picturesque but very soggy underfoot. Once in Trow Gill we 
used the long snippers to sample a colony of polypodiums, which turned out to be 
P. vulgare. Further up the gorge we found colonies off. cambricum on the left. At the top 
of the narrow part of the gorge we climbed up the bank to the rock-face and found 
Asplenium viride, in places growing in amongst A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens. We 
also found Cystopteris fragilis again, and Polypodium vulgare and P. cambricum. 
Time for lunch - sitting on the grass in the sunshine, then back into the gorge to try out 
Bruce's extra, extra long snippers on what turned out to be more P. cambricum. However, very 
interestingly, one of these fronds was later confirmed microscopically to be the hybrid P. * 
font-queri. We had a brisk walk back down to the village, where we found an extensive colony 
- on to another site, 

Sinnington, near Pickering, North York Moors - 27 January 2007 Ken Trewren 

The main purpose of this outing was to visit the recently discovered Polypodium 
sinningtonense in the North York Moors. It was discovered quite by accident, when Ken 
Trewren was asked by BPS member Vincent Jones to check a frond that he believed to be 
P. x mantoniae. The frond did indeed look like that hybrid, but examination of the sporangia 
under a microscope revealed the presence of paraphyses, and the numbers of indurated and 
basal cells were consistent with P. cambricum, so at the time of the outing it was thought 
that it must be that species, despite the atypical frond morphology. Although some abortive 
spores were present, the vast majority were good, so it was considered that the plant was not 
' later, when a chromosome count revealed that the plants are 

the pretty village of Sinnington 
(44/7485). As we were leaving 
the village a few plants of 
Asplenium scolopendrium were 

wall. After a walk of about half 
a mile northwards along the 
river bank, we picked our way 
carefully down the very steep 

P. sinningtonense was growing 
on a mound just above the 

particular colony looked n 
like P. interjectum, being oval 
in outline, relatively narrow 
and fairly leathery in texture, 
and were somewhat different 
from the other colonies. 
After much discussion on the sti 
forcing our way through bramble 
P. sinningtonense along a stretch of 
Most of them looked rather like P. * shivasiae, 1 
just above the base, a fairly leathery texture, 
suggesting hybrid vigour. Over the next 300 metres of river b 
colonies off. vulgare growing on tree trunks and rocky outcrops, 
end of the site, three colonies of P. interjectum. 
Apart from the polypodies, the other taxon that was of significant i: 
bicknellii, of which there were two plants, along with a few plants of P. s 
P. aculeatum, A large boulder was home to a few plants of Asplenia 
quadrivalens, and other common ferns noted were Ptehdium aquilimm 
D. dilatata, D. affinis, D. borreri, and more A. scolopendrium growing on 
ugh vegetation, but the final 

) metres, nearly all growing c 
ihivasiae, having a frond outl 
ry texture, and many were 

The day had been hard going through i 
i section of river bank whe 
I by finding a single plant of Blechn, 

test was a very steep 
a gap through the cliffs, a struggle that 
spicant, presumably growing where an 
pocket of acidity in an otherwise base- 

Ingleton, North Yorkshire - 3 March Bruce Brown 

This meeting was exploratory in nature but proved to be successful pteridologically, as well 
as being scenically enjoyable with some spectacular limestone gorges and caves to wander 
through and admire. Ken Trewren had previously eyed up some possibilities in the Ingleton 

cancelled due to snow we finally got together at Ingleton with our first venue being the 
limestone gorge at Easegill Force above Jenkin Bridge (34/709728). Permission was gained 
at the farm, this not being access land. Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens and 
A. ruta-muraria were seen on the roadside walls and further up the beck side along with old 
fronds of Dryopteris filix-mas and D. dilatata. As we reached the gorge itself high 
limestone crags and a spectacular waterfall pouring through a natural arch got our cameras 
clicking. Polypodies were prolific - Polypodium vulgare along the wall top at the bottom of 
the gorge, followed by P. interjection on the rock outcrops higher up. Then jubilantly we 
discovered a good colony of P. cambricum on the highest crag overlooking the fall pool. 
Pofystichum aculeatum and Asplenium scolopendrium also abounded. A few polypodies 
above the fall were checked for hybrids but none were found. 

We drove up the B6255 to Chapel-le-Dale, calling at a parking area en route (34/718751) 
to clock more Polypodium interjectum. After lunch by the little church of St Leonard's 
we walked up to Weathercote House to seek permission to botanise, signing the visitors' 
book to receive a key to access Weathercote Cave (34/739775). The gate in the wall led 
us into a veritable paradise of awesome proportions, clothed with trees, ferns, mosses and 
Saxifraga spathularis hybrid. There was a hundred-foot drop down into a huge cave into 
which a large waterfall was pounding noisily. Some steep slippery steps enabled us to 
scramble down into the dimly lit bottom of the cave filled with a continual misty rain. 
Here no ferns grew, only mosses covering all the rock surfaces. What a place for filmies 
we thought, had it not been limestone. High up near the rim and above the waterfall was 
the favoured polypody location with luxuriant fronds hanging down from the rocks and 
epiphytically from the tree trunks. Totally unreachable, but through binoculars it was 
thought to be P. interjectum. On our climb back up, a solitary Polystichum setiferum was 
noted amongst the many P. aculeatum. One or two hybrid possibilities were considered 
but not confirmed. 

We continued downstream to Jingle Pot (34/738774) passing more Polypodium vulgare and 
Asplenium viride on the way, and eventually reached Hurtle Pot (34/737772). Both pots 
were deep vertical chasms well festooned with polypodies around their rims. P. interjectum 
was prominent with P. vulgare also present. No hybrids were discovered. Another solitary 
Polystichum setiferum was found at Hurtle Pot. 

Our final call was at Gargrave on the way home to view the healthy Asplenium ceterach 
colony on the canal bridge (34/931544) and Ken fished out a couple of dead fronds of 
Cystopteris fragilis from the lock wall. A. ceterach also grows on the main A65 roadside 
overhanging the river bank and has fortunately managed to survive the recent road 
improvements. Our local member Martin Harrison kindly invited us in for a welcome cup of 
tea before we finally left for home. 

Moonwort surveys, North York Moors & Teesdale - 12 & 19 May Barry Wright 

This year we decided to revisit one of the more productive roads in the North York Moors National 
Park (NYMNP) as well as moving further north than previously, into Teesdale, to look for new 
locations. It was to prove interesting, to the point of being pulling, to go back to the 'old stamping 

grounds' and see if there were still colonies of moonwort (Bottychium hmaria) in the same 
locations, or if we found new colonies or even complete absence from former locations. 
The chosen section of road in the NYMNP on the 12th May was the section from Lealholm 
towards Rosedale between approximately 45/74697-05672 and 45/74582-00077. We were 

moonworters (sounds better than moonies!) who are also equally skilled as 'adder's 
tonguers'. The results showed that there were some areas where the colonies had clearly 
same species (moonwort or adder's tongue 
y the same locations as in previous years. But 
:s where extensive new colonies were found and also where 
ot re-found. This could just be a function of timing in that we 
■r or slighth later in different years and have either just caught, 
. Or we may have been too late and the sheep got there first. It 
is the new records that are most intriguing. If we can assume that former records that did 
not appear in 2007 are still there, but were just "hiding' from us, then the new records lor 
2007 could suggest that if we keep doing repeat surveys we may gradually increase the 
number of records and locations each year. We may find that the entire road verge is 
effectively one massive colony that only varies in the number and location of spikes that 
appear each year. This is worth investigating. It was also a feature of 2007 that there were 
generally more records of adder's tongue than previously. It remains intriguing that we 
never record close intermixing of both species. Colonies may seem close, but not an 
intermixing of spikes in a given patch. Too many questions and not enough answers! 
Alison Evans re-found the colony of adder's tongue that Alastair Wardlaw recorded as 500+ 
spikes in 2004. I could have been cruel and kept quiet while she unknowingly and laboriously 
began counting every individual spike 1,2,3,4,... 22, 23, 24, ... 50, 5 1 , 52. But I gave in and 

The other area we ventured into was Teesdale (Durham) on the 19th May. Colonies are well 
known from parts of the National Nature Reserve, but we wanted to see if there was a 
similar association with roadside verges. We looked at a number of sections from Langdon 
Beck to Cow Green Reservoir. These were from 35/84660-30955 to 35/81150-30815 and 
the metalled road from Cauldron Snout to the Cow Green Reservoir car park from 
35/81730-29825 to 35/81 195-30855. The latter section started at the well known colonies at 
the weather station. 
The first section was n 

. However, we did get t 


1 35/83781-3 1048 (one spike). These were high altitude records at over 400 metres. 
After crossing the cattle grid the grassland became more typical and odd records were made 
all the way to the car park next to the reservoir. The section from the weather station to the 
car park was also well supplied with records, although these were all of moonwort. 

Horton Bank Country Park & Dowley Gap, Bradford, West Yorkshire - 9 June 

Brian Byrne 

Cm a sunny day seven members assembled in the car park of Horton Bank Country Park 
(44/127309), which was a mid-Victorian reservoir 160 metres above and only four kilometres 
from the centre of Bradford. After the disastrous failure of a similar aged Italian earth dam. the 
reservoir was effectively emptied, and the site opened as a small country park ten years ago. 
Ferns were abundant on the stone-clad sloping sides of the old reservoir, mostly male fern 
{Dryopterisfillx-mas), broad buckler fern (D. dilatata) and lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), but 
thinly scattered among these were scaly male ferns (Dryopteris affinis agg.). Unfortunately, our 
visit was far too early for identification within the scaly male fern aggregate, except to note that 

two taxa were present. A notable find near the bottom of one slope was a small, sickly-looking 
soft shield-fern (Polystichum setiferum) (44/1263 3099). In the wet area at the bottom of a more 
wooded slope to the west (44/125309) was a mixed colony of horsetails. Water horsetail 
(Equisetum fluviatile) was plentiful and extended up the wet slope under the trees, but the 
dominant plant was the hybrid shore horsetail (E. x litorale). Common horsetail (E. arvense) 
grew alongside the path through the wet area at the top of the slope, above the main colony. 
Our pub lunch was had alongside the Leeds/Liverpool canal at Dowley Gap (44/118384) 
near the world heritage site of Saltaire. Suitably sated, we set off and immediately found 
common maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens), a colony of 
over 70 plants on the wall adjoining the humpback bridge opposite the pub. The double rise 
lock at Dowley Gap (44/120383) was surprisingly rich in fern species. Where the canal 
narrows at the top, a single small specimen of brittle bladder fern {Cystopteris fragilis), a 
very rare fern in West Yorkshire, was growing only a few inches above the water. Just 
inside the lock were a few plants of maidenhair spleenwort, but most ferns grew on the 
north wall, facing south in full sun. We crossed over to get a closer look and saw male fern, 
lady fern, hart's-tongue (.K »). and wall rue (A. ruta-muraria). In 

2001 a friend spotted a single small rustyback fern (A. ceterach) here, another rare plant for 
this area; four sporelings were seen in 2003, and we now counted nine to 1 1 plants within a 
few feet of each other, plus an outlier 15 yards away on the lower of the two rises. 
Moving on, we found wall rue, male fem, lady fern and notably a single plant of black 
spleenwort {A. adiantum-nigrum) (44/122382), all growing above the water at the edge of 
the towpath on '7- Arches', the aqueduct carrying the canal over the river Aire. From here we 
took the riverside footpath and stopped above the recently reported site of a hard shield-fern, but 
considering the potential danger of venturing down, the bank erosion, and the likelihood that the 
plant had been washed away, we walked on. The woodland here is a very narrow elongated strip 
on mostly sloping ground, but where the woodland floor flattens out it can get very wet. Broad 
buckler fem was predominant, but both male and lady ferns were present, and alongside the 
footpath near the end of the woodland there was a colony of common horsetail. The fem on a 
log that we thought might be Dryopteris x deweveri, was found from its spores collected on a 
return visit, to be just a depauperate D. dilat \ \ ibiguous guise. Crossing the 

river we rejoined the canal at Hirst Wood lock (44/132382), where we noted wall rue, male, 
broad buckler, lady and hart's-tongue ferns. But the star attraction here was black spleenwort, 
an uncommon plant of old walls in West Yorkshire, and supposedly known on this lock for 
150 years. The stroll along the towpath back to our cars ended a very enjoyable fern day. 

Bawtry Forest, South of Doncaster, South Yorkshire - 21 July Alison Evans 

This meeting was a follow-up of a brief trip to Bawtry Woods by Ann Robbins and Alison 
Evans with a party from Doncaster Naturalists in 2006, when we found several plants of 
hat we were uncertain about. We were again very fortunate to be guided by Louise 
Hill and Pip Seccombe from the Naturalists, and also fortunate that we had very little rain, 
although the ground was very wet. We met at the car park (43/634949) and in the morning we 
mainly went along tracks that are open to the public. Heading east to 43/637949 we saw 
Dryopteris dilatata, Athyriumfilix-femina, Pteridium aquilinum and Oreopteris limbosperma. 
As the ground became wetter we found Blechnum spicant, more Athyrium filix-femina, and 
a young specimen of Dryopteris borreri. There was more Oreopteris limbosperma and a 
little farther into the undergrowth we found the first magnificent specimen of Dryopteris 
affmis growing on the side of what is usually a dry ditch, but this year was quite a 
respectable stream. Moving further into the wood we found six more large plants of 
D affinis. Down a side path we found a red-stemm w. There were 

also a few plants of Dryopteris fdix-mas. 

After rejoining the main track we walked a bit further afield, with frequent stops to lo« 

e several p 
of Dryopteris carthusiana (43/626946) plus the hybrid D. 
D. dilatata. We stopped for lunch at this point 
path to wade through shoulder-high bracken I 
island of high ground, though we weren't 
plenty of non-ferny interest here, 
Athyrium filix-femina, but sadly i 
equisetums. After leaving the moal 
stream with a large stand of Dryopteris c 
(43/628943) and D. dilatata. This area also had D.filix 
the bank of the stream we found another large specimen of D. afj, 
Equisetum arvense (43/627943). Again there were many f 
the weather continued to be kind, we botanised for the rest of the afternoon. Again, many thanks 
to Pip and Louise for guiding us, and to Sir Jack Whitaker for allowing us on to his land. 

Helmsley area, North Yorkshire - 18 August Bruce Brown 

Our first objective on this visit to the North York Moors, led by Ken Trewren, was to see 
the one and only plant of Dryopteris expansa, which had been recorded by Ken and 
confirmed by chromosome count a year or two back. It turned out to be a large well 
established specimen with bright yellowish-green fronds and it clearly stood out amongst 
the sea of Dryopteris dilatata in the coniferous plantation of Roppa Wood (44/590910). It 
seemed odd that no other plants or even hybrids with D. dilatata have been found despite 
diligent searching by Ken. A few colonies of D. carthusiana were also present in the wood 
along with occasional D.filix-mas, Athyrium filix-femina and Blechnum spicant. 
We spent an hour on the moor above, where there is a 140-year old record for Diphasiastrum 
it there were no signs of it now in this man-managed environment of regular 
heather burning. The ditch alongside the forestry track gave us a few more pteridophytes - 
Dryopteris borreri, Oreopteris limbosperma and Equisetum arvense, but old records for 
Pilularia globulifera and Selaginella selaginoides were not refound. 

On our return we saw a nice plant of Dryopteris borreri in its foliosum form near the 
D. expansa site. We also looked at the Pteridium aquilinum here. Some plants had long 
patent white hairs around the ends of their unfurling \ 

which Ken identified as P 

Moor Ings Bank (44/518878), which we 

The lure of the fish and chip shop ii 

There is a better stand of it 

display of Asplenium adu 
A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens, A. ruta-muraria, A. scolopendrium and Poiypodium 
interjectum in Cleveland Way in the town centre (44/61 1839). 

We drove along narrow lanes to Hawnby, noticing that all the bridges had been recently 
repaired after the flash floods, and parked at Arden Hall (44/519905). On the steep hillsides 
above the woodland zone were small outcrops of Jurassic limestone, which have weathered 
into undercut ledges where calcicolous ferns can thrive, just out of reach of the hungry sheep. 
Old records for Asplenium viride have been refound by Ken and we saw several c 
one particularly photogenic clump in Stoney Gill Hole (44/513901). 
Cystopterisfragilis, Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens and A 
After our abortive mission looking for Pteridium aquilinum subspe 
steep v-sided valley of Stoney Gill Hole, which fully lived up to its name after the severe flood 


erosion and also Ken's reputation of leading us into rugged terrain. But there were some nice 
clumps of Polystichum aculeatum to hang on to and plenty of normal Pteridium aquilinum 
lower down to wade through before returning through the woods to Arden Hall. 

We gathered at Tockwith to see Barry and Anne Wright's garden, which is crammed with 
ferns and includes a very comprehensive and enviable Polypodium collection. Anne had 
enticing specimens potted up for sale, which were too tempting for many of us to resist. We 
then transported ourselves to Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate for our group's AGM. After 
the formal business, Ken Trewren gave us an update on the current Dryopteris affinis situation 
using a collection of fronds to illustrate the differences (subtle to some of us). A number of 
interesting Dtyopteris taxa cultivated by Ken were quickly snapped up by members, including 
plants thought to be the hybrid between D. oreades and D. borreri. With other ferny photos 
and videos to view, we all had a very interesting day. 

Brodsworth Gardens, Doncaster, South Yorkshire - 27 October Bruce Brown 

Our final visit of the season was to the English Heritage Brodsworth Gardens near Doncaster. 
We had been invited by their Head Gardener, Dan Booth, to look at the Eric Baker fern 
collection, which is now to be found in a restored Victorian fern dell. Dan was seeking help 
with correct i 

his predecessors had not left any r 
banking and consisted of many Polypodium and Polystichum setiferum cultivars as well as a 
good range of other ferns. After six years a lot of natural regeneration was taking place, so 
providing a challenging exercise in identification but, thanks particularly to Barry Wright's 
efforts, many labels were written out. Near the dell is a corner of the quarry with a picturesque 
group of mature Dicksonia and an understorey with more Eric Baker ferns - very nice! The 
work at Brodsworth is moving towards a really great visual display with the accent being to 
restore the garden as it was in its heyday of 1 860. 


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey - 26 May Paul Ripley 

(Leaders: Pat Acock & Nigel Rothwell) 

Fourteen members and guests met at a cool and damp Kew for a joint meeting with the East 
Anglia regional group. We were pleased to welcome a member new to the South-East group 
- Richard Lewis. 

Under the expert and helpful leadership of Nigel Rothwell, we visited the tropical and 
temperate greenhouses dedicated to fern culture. The ferns were healthy and well grown in 
their 'state-of-the-art' environments. Emphasis was on display, and Aglaomorpha, tree 
ferns, Lygodium and a scrambling Selaginella were particularly impressive. We were 
particularly struck by a silvery, furry small unidentified pinnatifid fern which could have 
been a Polypodium or even a Ctenopteris, Nigel next showed us the alpine nursery where 
we were delighted to see Asplenium marinum growing in the brickwork on the outside of 
some of the cold frames. Polystichum tripteron also impressed. We next visited the Princess 
of Wales Conservatory, which was looking good, with beautiful ferns growing well. 
Asplenium oceanicum especially caught my eye. We also paid quick visits to the Palm 
House and the Evolution House (Equisetum giganteum) but not before seeing the woodland 
garden. Stegnogramma mollissima was doing well here and appeared to be completely 


We are very grateful to Nigel for his ex< 

(and highly deserved) promotion and Peter Edward's 

expertise in the culture and conservation of ferns at Kew is not lost. The ferns we saw were 

Gernon Bushes & Coopersale Fields Woods, Epping, Essex - 16 June Pat Acock 

Seventeen members and friends from the SE and East Anglian groups, including Ken Adams, 

the BSBI vice-county recorder for Essex, met in this northern part of Epping Forest. Out leader 

for the day, Howard Matthews, gave us a very informative talk on the area and added to this 

during the course of the meeting. Much of the forest is now substantially grazed I 

and fallow deer that are becoming e 

We started at Gernon Bushes (52/478029) and early a 

nigrum on the old railway bridge in the High Street, 
looking at a collection of hardy ferns in a private garden in Gamon Mead. 
After recording Pteridium uijiiiliiuim. Dryopteris filix-mas and D. dilatata, 
rewarded with an extensive colony of Thclypteris palustris. which i 
diminishing plant in SE England. We added Dryopteris borreri, Equisetum telmutcia and 
Athyrium filix-femina. On the stream bank we came across a crested D.filix-mas. We were 
then shown a second, even larger site for Thelyptehs palustris before someone sought out 
Dryopteris carthusicma to end the morning session. Lunch at the Garnon Bushes pub was 
recommended justifiably. 

In the afternoon we proceeded a little way south along the Bl 81 to the woods surrounding 
the Woodyard car park (52/470130). After spotting a diminutive polypod we moved on to 
an area of gravel pits where we were intrigued by the two horsetails present, which turned 
out to be Equisetum palustre and E. arvense. We now added Asplenium 
Blechnum spicant and Dryopteris affinis to our list. Further on, close to the old railway line 
and along its banks, we were able to find two large groups of Polys tichum setiferum. 
After all this our leader furnished us with many unusual Dryopteris sporelings from the 
boot of his car, many of which originated in the Indian Sub-continent. We thanked Howard 
for a well researched and interesting day in this rather special ancient woodland. 

East Kent - 22 September Paul Ripley 

Eight members and guests met at Farthing Common, with its marvellous views along the 
North Downs Scarp and across Romney Marsh, to explore some surprisingly remote by- 
ways in what remains of Lyminge Forest. Our number included Joan Bingley, who I hope 
we will see at other meetings in the future. A species list is appended, and only brief 
descriptions of the sites follow. 

Site 1: Road east of Bossingham, 61/156489. In scrubby woodland beside the road, where 
small chalk heaps retained moisture, was probably the largest colony of Pofystichum 
aculeatum in south-east England. P. setiferum replaced P. aculeatum on the other side of 
the road. Also here we found Dryopteris borreri, and a likely candidate for D. x critica 
(D. borreri x D.filix-mas). 

Site 2: Cover Wood, near Lynsore Court, 61/173488. We found Dryopteris carthuskma 
here, as well as the more common ferns, and a very photogenic and 'classic' D. affinis. 
Ferns with foliose and twisted pinnules may have been D. affinis subsp. paleaceolobata. 
Site 3: Road near Bladbean, 61/172470. Approached via a gated road from Site 2, the 
roadside verges here were of interest. P. aculeatum grew in the more open spots, while 
lower down where it was more shaded, P. s 
- with Asplenium scolopendrium. We also found Dryopter 

Site 4: Elham Park Wood, 61/166159. This wood, now managed by Forest Enterprise, is 
very close to the well known Park Gate Nature Reserve where orchids (and Ophioglossum) 
are supposed to be abundant in spring. This area really is a delightfully unspoilt backwater 
although the roadside verges have been massacred by forestry operations. Dryopter 

both Polystichum 

Blechnum spicant. 
Site 5: Park Wood, 
Greensand ridge abo 

agton, 61/043358. After lunch, we moved on to the 
n. Our approach was via a portion of the Saxon Shore 
Way, which marks the coastline as it was before the reclamation of Romney Marsh. This 
was acid woodland, and in a boggy area we found Blechnum spicant and Dryopteris 
carthusiana, among other species. In spite of the abundance of both D. carthusiana and 
D. dilatata, we failed to find any D. x deweveri. Lower down, along a small stream-bed, 
the two Polystichum species were again found. 

Some members left at this point, while others enjoyed tea at The Old Rectory in Aldington, 
where the view over Romney Marsh was again admired. 

Ferns seen during South-East me 

ting in East Kent, September 2007 



Site 2 

Site 3 

Site 4 

Site 5 







Blechnum spicant 



Dryopteris affinis 



D. borreri 



D. carthusiana 




D. dilatata 











Polypodium interjectum 


Polystichum aculeatum 




P. setiferum 





Pteridium aquilinum 






We met at Hayes Church, Kent (51/405663) at 10.30 to admire the limestone wall outside. 
This has been known for some time to have the largest colony oiAsplenium ceterach in south- 
east England. Members who were seeing the wall for the first time were enthralled by the 
quantity and size of the plants. We also saw A. trichomanes, A. scolopendrium and Dryopteris 
filix-mas, but surprisingly n 

As it was between our two morning sites, I had also agreed at short notice to do a quic* 
survey for Tabitha Nelson of her wood in South Park, Holwood Estate (51/421642). Tabitha 
knew that her wood contained many ferns but, with only a fire-damaged copy of Grasses, 
Ferns, Mosses & Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland by Roger Phillips for reference, had 
not been able to identify all the species. Members quickly confirmed that she had been right 
about there being a good selection of ferns, finding Dryopteris filix-mas, D. dilatata, 
Asplenium scolopendrium, Polystichum setiferum, Athyrium fdix-femina, Dryopteris 
borreri, D. affinis and Pteridium aquilinum on the remains of this old iron-age fort. 

Alhyrium fili.x-femina. 

Dryopteris filix-mas 

and D. dilatata in 

large stand 

Standing majestically 

Hayes Church, Kent colony of Onoclea 

Paul Ripley, Karen Munyard, Jack Hubert. Steve Munyard, sensibilis, growing 

Lesley Williams, Graham Ackers, Roger Golding, ever more strongly 

Gerry Downey, Howard Matthews each year. 

At the Acock's, guided tours of the fern patches took place either side of lunch. Slide-shows 

by Paul Ripley, Steve Munyard, Howard Matthews, Roger Golding and me presented our 

ferning year, including the BPS Texas tour and BPS meetings in Nice/Alpes Maritimes and 

North Wales, as well as personal outings (including Colombia!). 


Indoor Meeting, Little Thurlow, Suffolk - 20 January Marie & Geoffrey Winder 

Once again, Mary Hilton welcomed us to her home at Little Thurlow for our January 
meeting This year the group's retiring organiser, Barrie Stevenson, told us about his six- 
week visit to New Zealand in 2005. Barrie' s talk, illustrated by numerous excellent 
photographs, was not just about ferns but also about the many other plants he saw, and 
about the towns, parks, gardens, terrains and countryside he visited, making it difficult to do 
it justice in this relatively short report. 

His visit started at Christchurch, an attractive town in the South Island with many older 
buildings, and plants such as tea trees (Leptospermum) and Pseudopanax ferox growing along 
the streets and in gardens. He was very fortunate in that he was able to meet up with several 
people able to show or suggest places of interest for him to visit. He headed south across the 
Canterbury Plains towards Dunedin and the Otago Peninsular and then worked his way north, 
crossing the Southern Alps and visiting the west coast. Plant growth was luxuriant with lots of 
tree ferns, sometimes in beautiful stands. He saw filmy ferns and Leptopteris superba, a 
/ ,,, l , ,„ im| [k k ' t //„s Bk-chmtm dist > » and B m ac-zchmdicK 

His visit to South Island finished in the area around the town of Nelson, which is in a 

gardens, while Jacarcmda and red or pink forms of Eucalyptus occurred both along the streets 
and in gardens. Ophioglossum coriaceum and Bkchmim Jhniatile grew m the west of the area. 
Barrie caught the ferry from Picton to North Island, which in contrast to South Island has 
much terrain of a volcanic nature. He headed north towards Auckland via the New 
Plymouth area on the south-west coast and saw tree-fern stumps from cleared woodland 
being used as fencing and sometimes starting to grow. He mentioned that the large fern 

Marattia salicina had become rare, as its starch-rich roots are eaten by pigs. Peter 
Richardson, a former member of the East Anglia group who now lives near Auckland, took 
Barrie on a tour of various interesting areas including the Kaimai range, where they saw 
Asplenium polyodon, and an area in the north where Kiwi fruit is an important crop. 
Many thanks to all who helped with the meeting, particularly Mary Hilton and Dawn 
Winder. Congratulations Barrie on ten interesting years as our regional organiser, and thank 
you Tim Pyner for taking over. 

Southrepps Common, near North Walsham, Norfolk - 7 July Tim Pyner 

Seven members joined the leader Mary Ghullam at Southrepps Common (63/260351) on a 
warm and sunny morning. Mary is the honorary warden and explained the history and 
i n ge nt t the area. The Common of 30 acres is all that remains of a much larger area. 
It is managed as a trust in partnership with Natural England. The major part of the Common 
is an SSSI, surrounded by a complex of smaller areas. It is a valley fen mire, the underlying 
chalk allowing the development of rich calciphilous flora. In places the pH is lower, the 
result being an interesting mix of base- and acid-loving plants. The management consists of 
cutting compartments on an annual or less frequent basis to prevent scrub encroachment and 
maintain the diversity. 

The pteridophytes were not dominant but formed an interesting background to the rich 
variety of angiosperms. A stroll along a boardwalk revealed Pteridium aquilinum to be 
frequent in the more acid areas along with Dryoptehs dilatata. Equisetum palustre was 

marshy grassland. Here it grew amongst a variety of orchids including fragrant {Gymnadenia 
conopsea subsp. densiflora), southern marsh {Dactylorhiza praetermissa) and marsh 
helleborine (Epipactis palustris). Mary pointed out two inconspicuous sedges, dioecious sedge 
(Carex dioica) and few-flowered spike-rush (Eleocharis quinqueflora), both rare and 
decreasing in Norfolk. Further on in a wooded area we saw Diyopteris carthusiana and some 
large Athyrium filix-femina along a stream. In another open area we managed to re-find 
Ophioglossum vulgatum amongst the long grass along with a couple of stunted Dryopteris 
ftla -mas. Making our way back to the car park for lunch we spotted a few stems of Equisetum 
fluviatile in some standing water. Our final fern for the morning was E. arvense in the car park. 
Mary was leading a group of batologists (bramble lovers) after lunch so after our goodbyes 
we set of to check some old walls in the area. At our first stop in Southrepps (63/256365) 

tower. The only fern at 
Felmingham was a small patch of 
Polypodium interjectum on the 
churchyard wall (63/251292). Our 
final stop of what was turning out to 
be a very hot day was at the old 

abandoned station at Felmingham Looking at ferns on Antingham Church, Norfolk 
(63/251286). Here we saw more Barrie Stevenson, Karen & Steve Munyard, 

black spleenwort and P. interjectum Gill Smith, Tim Pyner 


on the old platforms. Under blackthorn we also spotted a very large polypody 
be a possible hybrid. Later, on checking in the Flora of Norfolk I noticed P 
recorded from Felmingham in 1972 so we may possibly have found the same ] 
I would like to thank Mary Ghullam for sharing her knowledge 
morning and directing us to some interesting sites in the afternoon. 

Stour Wood, Wrabness, & Gerry Downey's Garden, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex - 
4 August Bryan Smith 

We always look forward to our annual joint meeting of the South-East and East Anglia 
Groups, as it gives us a chance to meet old (and new) friends and venture out of our 'home 
patches', and this lovely sunny day in August was no exception. A good sized group met at 
Stour Wood car park (62/192310) and headed off into the woods led by local expert. Jerry 
Bowdrey. This ancient woodland belongs to the Woodland Trust and comprises sweet 
chestnut coppice, intermixed with hornbeam and other tree species. Apart from PuriJiwn 
aquilinum, we soon came across Dryopteris fi/ix-mas. D. dilatata, D. twthusiana and 
colonies of abundant D. borreri. Stour Wood must hold one of the largest populations ol 
IX borreri in East Anglia. We also found scattered groups of Blechnum spn ant. and fairly 
frequent colonies of Athyriitm /iliy-lcniina confined to wetter areas. We had heard that 
Polystichum was to be found, but it took an excursion down to the River Stour foreshore 
and an eagle-eyed Tim Pyner to find Polystichum scutamil in a wet gully leading onto the 
foreshore. Our return trip to the car park kept the Equisetum fans happy when a small 
outcrop of E. arvense was spotted in the undergrowth. 

After a picnic lunch by the woods, we drove to Gerry Downey's home and garden in 
Frinton-on-Sea (five miles north-east of Clacton-on-Sea). Gerry must have one of the most 
extensive fern collections in the country, so to try and do it justice in a written description is 
an impossible task. Not only does he grow ferns in his garden, he also propagates and displays 
them, particularly at the Alpine Garden Society shows where he is a regular prize winner. 
Gem's particulai passion though is Poh stk hum and in both the garden and his greenhouses 
~" ' ;t time I visited Gerry's garden (in 2001) he had 
has now been transformed into a 

• waterfall, and we were able to sit and admire this while partaking of tea 

tents kindly provided by June, his w ife. I started making a list of ferns ( ,ne\ itably . 
ones I had not seen before) but gave up. Looking back on the list, just to whet your appetites, I 
noted Polystichum retrosopaleaceum, P. phcatum \ai cleans. Blechnum hrasihense, 
B. microphyllum and Coniogramme japonica (variegated). This splendid day was rounded off 
by Peter Tindley producing several trays of unusual sporelings from the boot of his car; several 
of us took away little bags of these ferns to add to our own collections. 

Autumn Indoor Meeting, Barrow, Suffolk - 27 October Tim Pyner 

Fourteen members and friends met for our regular autumn meeting at Geoff and Mane 

Winder's house in Suffolk. The garden, as always, featured many interesting ferns and 

other plants. As usual the attendees provided items of interest, books and photos. The latter 

consisted of pictures taken on various national and local BPS meetings during 2007 along 

with some additional non-BPS tops. These photos and associated commentary are always of 

interest, particularly for those who have not managed to attend all the meetings. 

The usual splendid refreshments were supplied by Geoff and Marie and other members and 

a big thank you to Marie and Dawn for all their hard work preparing the food. 

After ten successful years this will be the last time that we hold this meeting at the Winders, 

and I and the other members are very grateful for the time and effort that Geoff and Mane 

have contributed to ensure the success of these meetings. 


Bridge of Orchy, Argyll - 23-24 June Bruce Brown 

I was eagerly looking forward to this trip as it was a great opportunity to see some alpine 
ferns new to me. The other members of the party, Peter Campion, Frances Haigh and Ken 
Trewren, had similar thoughts and happily we succeeded in finding all the rarities we had 
hoped to see, thanks to the sound guidance of our leader, Robert Sykes, who had visited the 
area several years earlier with Heather McHaffie. 

Our first day was spent in Coire Achaladair and under the crags of Beinn an Dothaidh. It is 
a steady climb up to about the 550-metre contour line to reach the zone where the montane 
ferns start to appear on the lower crag outcrops and boulder-scree. On the way from our 
start point at Achallader (27/322443) we had passed Asplenium ruta-muraria on the old 
castle wall, Oreopteris limbosperma, Athyrium filix-femina, Dryopteris borreri, D. dilatata 
and Blechnum spicant especially in the vicinity of the railway, then further up, Ptehdium 
At a stream crossing Ken pointed out Dryopteris 
cambrensis growing alongside D. filix-mas. 

Eventually we reached the montane zone and the first craggy outcrop we explored 
(27/333417) revealed the typical vegetation of these calcareous mica-schist rocks - 
Cystopteris fragilis, Polystichum aculeatum, Asplenium viride, Selaginella selaginoides and 
Uuperzia selago along with roseroot (Sedum rosea), water avens {Geum rivale), lesser 
meadow-rue (Thalictrum minus), globeflower (Trollius europaeus) and yellow saxifrage 
{Saxifraga aizoides). It did not take long to find Phegopteris connectilis and Gymnocarpium 
dryopteris under boulders or in sheltered nooks among the rock outcrops. Dryopteris 
expansa became more prolific than D. dilatata. Clumps of Diphasiastrum alpinum and 

i ulgare were spotted. 
The call of a peregrine falcon echoing round the corrie must have been a good omen as our 
next crag at about 620 metres revealed several specimens of Woodsia alpina. Cystopteris 
fragilis was growing close by so we could compare and contrast the differences between 
them. Our first Polystichum lonchitis was here, and also Asplenium trichomanes subsp. 
quadrivalens along with more A. viride. Ken was eyeing up the Dryopteris expansa and 
D. dilatata colonies for any likely hybrids and took some samples home for chromosome 
squashes. He later informed me that two specimens from this area (27/330414) had been 
confirmed as the triploid hybrid Dryopteris x ambroseae. 

We gradually made more height as we worked our way westwards along the outcrops and 
across the boulder fields. Polystichum lonchitis became more abundant, with occasional 
P. aculeatum. One plant of Cryptogramma crispa was noted, a rarity amongst these basic 
rocks. We also came upon a few clumps of Athyrium distent if olium (27/327411) 
recognisable by their round sori lacking an indusium. The natural rock gardens of 
Dryopteris expansa, Phegopteris, Gymnocarpium, P. lonchitis and A. distentifolium all 
growing luxuriantly together amongst the boulders were a joy to behold. And the final 
delight of the day was to see two resplendent colonies of Cystopteris montana in their 
element up a steep vegetated gully not too far away. 

On day two we returned to Achallader, as some of us had not seen the flexile variety of 
Athyrium distentifolium. From the Water of Tulla track we crossed the railway at 27/340448 
then climbed steadily up to the unnamed corrie west of Meall Buidhe, which was one of 
Heather McHaffie's study sites described in 2006 Pteridologist 4(5). The ferns seen on the 
approach were much the same as on the previous day, with the addition of a Dryopteris 
affinis and clumps of Polypodium vulgare on the wall top near Achallader. Equisetum 
palustre grew in the peaty pools of the corrie floor. 

It was amongst the scree and larger boulders above it that t 
(27/354437) at an altitude of 650-700 metres. Here were lots of Athyrium d 
Dryopteris expansa. Associates were Oreopteris limbosperma, Biechnm 
Phegopteris co- ■■■ Eijiiisctuni \ylvaticum. Dryopteris 

dilatata and the occasional D. borreri. Dryopteris oreades replaced D. filix-mas and a few 
Cryptogramma crispa were spotted. Having 'got our eye in' we were then able to identify 
occasional clumps of A. distentifolium var. flexile with their narrower bipinnate deflexed 
fronds - very photogenic! A happy hour or two taking in these delights passed by before we 
decided to climb out of the corrie and traverse the slopes north-east to reach the next corrie 
holding Lochan a'Chreachain. The south-west corner (27/366445) was the most interesting 
for ferns, with most of the afore-mentioned species plus Huperzia selago and Dryopteris 
cambrensis. We split up to explore, Peter and I finding just one colony of A, distentifolium 
var. flexile in a gully not far below the crag base. Ken and Robert found an interesting 
2 form of A. distentifolium lower down. 

! the lochan's outflow stream we returned through Crannach. parts 
s i of the old Caledonian pine forest. A stand of Pteridium at 27 35345S 
of P. pinetorum subsp. pinetorum, which he had seen in its Aviemore 
) definite conclusions were reached. Has it been recorded from this area? 

Another discussion point was our impressions of the alpine lady terns in the location 

discussed in Heather's Pteridologist article. We did find some blackened stumps indicating 

large old plants that had died off, but there was certainly no shortage of new growth, with 

fronds springing up everywhere in suitable locations amongst the boulders and scree. 

Occasional sori were found but most of the fronds were young so we were probably too 

early in the season to assess likely fertility. 

This had been a fascinating visit to a lovely area of the Scottish hills. 

Smardale Fell, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria - 14 July Roy & Denise Copson 

Smardale Fell in the heart of the Westmorland countryside consists mainly of Carboniferous 

limestone. Scandal Beck courses though the dale bottom. Scandal is Old Norse for short 

valley. The dale is renowned for its diversity of habits and its flora and fauna and has 

several conservation designations including National Nature Reserve. Our main objectives 

for the day were to see the pteridophyte floras of the boundary walls, the built 

of the disused railway and a group of small quarries that supplied sandstone for the building 

of the railway viaduct in 1 860. 

Our party of eleven brave souls strode out along a walled bridleway from Brownber 

(35/701057) in cloudy, wet and windy weather for a day of excellent botamsing, later on under 

blue skies. Our first encounter with ferns was on moss-covered limestone walls to both sides of 

us beneath a small spinney. Here was brittle bladder fern Cystopteris fragilis, hart's tongue 

Asplenium scolopendrium and maidenhair spleenwort A trichomanes subsp. quadrivalent. 

Shortly we arrived at Brownber Hall (35/705056), on the south-facing boundary wall of 

which was a mixed flora of mosses and lichens, ferns and flowering plants: wall rue A ruta- 

muraria, A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens, ivy-leaved toadflax Cymbalaria m 

welsh poppy Meconopsis cambrica. "" 

Hall was clothed in moss and topp< 

lady fern Athyrium filix-femina at its base. 

Keeping to the bridleway we continued through the walled landscape under a clearing sky. 

We crossed Scandal Bridge and began to climb up Smardale fell from the south-east side of 

Smardale and soon arrived at the disused quarries. After lunch we began to explore the 

, which provided numerous a 

habitats for ferns. The 1 

kept rose to a final total of eighteen: field horsetail Equisetum arvense. Polvpodium 
vulgare, bracken Pteridiui ,„ linum, lemon-scented fern Oreopteris limbosperma, 
Asplenium scolopendrium, black spleenwort A. adiantum-nigrum, A, trichomanes subsp. 
quadrivalens, green spleenwort A. viride, A. ruta-muraria, rustyback A. ceterach, Athyrium 
filix-femina, limestone oak fern Gymnocarpium robertianum, Cystopteris fragilis, hard 
shield fern Polystichum aculeatum, male fern Dryopteris filix-mas, D. borreri, broad 
buckler fern D. dilatata and hard fern Blechnum spicant. 

We departed from the quarries reluctantly and continued alongside the fell through its 
flower-rich grassland, admiring the dark green fritillary butterflies. This eventually brought 
us to the disused viaduct and railway line, where we turned our attention to the retaining 
walls, bridges, buildings and the viaduct itself. All these structures were built using lime 
mortar produced in the lime kilns on the construction site of the railway line. This mortar is now 
home to aspleniums, namely A ruta-muraria, A. ceterach, A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens 
and A. scolopendrium. Dryopteris fdix-mas and Cystopteris fragilis were also present. 
We adjourned to admire a colony of fragrant orchids Gymnadenia conopsea, melancholy 
thistles Cirsium heterophyllum and field scabious Knautia arvense. In conclusion, we wish 
to say thank you to all our like-minded friends who shared their knowledge, enthusiasm and 
good humour with us despite the damp start. 

Cumwhitton Moss & the River Eden, Cumbria - 4 August Mike Porter 

Cumwhitton Moss is situated in the lower Eden Valley a few miles south-east of Carlisle. It 
is an acidic valley bog with areas of old peat-cuttings and some extensive patches of dense 
tree cover, including possibly native Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine). Present management is 
directed at keeping much of the site open and, where feasible, reducing tree cover. 

On a rather grey, damp day a group of 
nine BPS members met to have a look at 
the specialities of this site. A previous visit 
by the leader and Jeremy Roberts had 
ascertained that the chief attraction, 
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern), was 

access to the original site extremely 
difficult. However, a new site had been 
found by Jeremy much nearer the edge of 
the wooded area, which was much easier 
of access and it was to this that the group 
headed. On the way, good quantities of 
Dryopteris carthusiana (narrow buckler 
fern) were noted, growing with D. dilatata 
(broad buckler fern) and before long 
members were seeing plants that appeared 
to be the hybrid between the two - D. * 
deweveri. The plants that drew our 
attention looked like particularly large, 
robust D. carthusiana, generally lacking 
the 'shuttlecock' growth habit of 
D. dilatata. Our confidence that we had 
found this hybrid was later proved to be 

well-founded, as microscopic e 

all the plants we had selected as hybrids were a 

area just inside the woodland where a good nu 

e spores of a 

number of plants of T.palustris were to be fount 
?y a stream (35/512519). Their distinctive growl 
habit with fronds often arising well apart from each other and their pale green colour mad 
vtive even in the gloom under the dripping trees. This is one of only three knowi 
sites for Cumbria - perhaps somewhat surprising considering the amount of suitable habitat b 
be found in the county. Having photographed and examined me fronds in detail we moved 01 
to a more open area of the moss to admire a fine patch of Vacci 
northern bilberry) and large quantities of abundantly fruiting I axycoccos (eranbem 1 

Having returned to our cars we moved < 

weather, had lunch (35/467552). The 1 

down to the River Eden and then following i 

botanical interest along the course of the Eden, 

distinctly uncommon in Cumbria, such as the Tilia cordata (small-leaved lime) a 

our group. The commonest polypody hereabouts is Pofypodium interjectum ( 

polypody), collected specimens being once again confirmed by r 

Bruce Brown. We also had the opportunity to compare Pofystichw 

fern) and P. setiferum (soft shield fern), the softer texture, longer 1 

obtuse-angled base of the pinnules nearest the rachis being the key c 

the latter species. P. setiferum, though rather more wid 

even ten years ago, is much less common here than P. aculeatum. 

Other species seen during our walk through the woods to and from St Constantine's cells (a 

series of square caves cut deep into the rock and probably used by the monks of Wetheral 

Priory) included Dryopteris borreri, D. affinis subsp. affims and, of course, D.filix-mas. 

Finally, the stroll back to the cars provided Aspienium scolopendrium (hart's tongue) and 

some good specimens of A. adiantum-nigmm (black spleenwort) growing on red sandstone 

walls at Wetheral Priory Gatehouse. 

Mike Hayward's Garden, Blundellsands, i 

- Liverpool - 15 September 

is of modest size but every possible part is made use of in 
the ferns that he grows so well. The location is not far 
the wind and fenced in all around. The layout includes p 
water, and places to sit and enjoy the sunshine. 

We were welcomed with coffee ; 
the greenhouse and conservatory 
many tree ferns: Dickson ia 

of Polypodium 

and many other Blechnum 
species, as well a 

r had a guided tour around the garden, including 
ed by individual browsing at leisure. There were 
in quantity, D. fibrosa, D. sellowiana, Cyathea 

pteridologists enjoying themselves. After lunch we were given the ru 
library and in particular his large collection of very fine Nature Prints from the eighteenth to 
twenty-first centuries. The details of how the various processes were developed in Victorian 
times so that a beautiful facsimile of a specimen could be reproduced on a commercial scale 
were explained for the uninitiated. 

t away inspired to adapt our gardens t 

Annual General Meeting, Holehird, South Cumbria - 6 October Peter Campion 

The weather was once again superb, enabling North-West members to enjoy the National 
Collection of Polystichum and the flowering plants of Holehird Gardens. 
Professor Mary Gibby gave us a fascinating talk on UK Biodiversity Action Plans, Red Lists 
and conservation 'on the ground'. In particular she illustrated her talk with examples of the 
problems of conservation using three of our rarer ferns, Killamey fern, Trichomanes speciosum, 
Woodsia ilvensis and the mountain lady fern, Athyrium distentifolium vat. flexile. The first has 
so far defied reproduction in the laboratory but thrives in the Azores and also survives as the 
gametophyte generation in deep rock crevices in the UK and Europe, no doubt waiting for 
global warming to enable it to produce more of the sporophyte generation. Woodsia ilvensis 
seems to be surviving well after being re-introduced into the wild. It remains to be seen if it 
will reproduce naturally in the wild again on any scale I \ ar. flexile, is a 

form of A. disten a recessive genes and probably survives by being better 

adapted to its habitat - the spores ripen sooner, are on the lower pinnules and it has a low 
growing habit, so is less vulnerable to browsing than the larger Athyrium distentifolium. These 
contrasting examples gave us a glimpse of the challenges confronting those responsible for 
conservation and showed the need to apply different policies in each case. Most illuminating. 
The AGM reappointed the secretary and appointed Frances Haigh as the new treasurer. This 
enabled us to thank Melville Thompson for all his work as treasurer over a good number of 
years. The prize for the best outdoor fern went to Alec Greening and to Melville for his 
indoor fern. Our thanks to Mary Gibby forjudging the exhibits. The prize for the quiz was 
not awarded as Jim Adams made it more challenging than usual by leaving out the clue for 
one letter! Shrewdly, to avoid setting it again for 2008, Jim proposed a photographic 
competition, which should make an interesting display as well as hopefully encouraging 
skills in this area in the North-West. 

Our President, Robert Sykes, gave us an illustrated account of the 2006 joint BPS and HFF 
visit to Germany. A bewildering 823 taxa were seen in nine gardens, two nurseries and two 
wild sites. Excellent pictures of numerous varieties of ferns, a number of interesting 
growers and enthusiasts in the party made this a very good talk. A great respect was created 
for the pteridological abilities and enthusiasm of those visited. 
Our grateful thanks to the speakers and to those who provided refreshments. Altogether a 


There was again a full year of meetings throughout Cornwall organised by the Botanical 
Cornwall group (BCG), with an emphasis being placed on recording the flora in those areas 
less well covered by past recording activities. This report gives a brief overview of selected 

Deerpark Wood, near Looe, South-East Cornwall - 9 May 
The first meeting of the year attracted six members who explored and recorded in the 
extensive woodland, hedges and streams to the north-west of Looe (20/197603). The 
landscape of this area is gentle with many pleasant interesting wooded valleys with 
abundant ferns. The usual 'ferns of the area' recorded were Asplenium adiantum-mgrum, 
Ulnrhm, nCx-hminu. Blcchnum spicant, Dnopteris affinis, D. dilatata, D Uhx-mas. 
AspUmum s.olopuid, urn /' < • ■ ■ • • > •;, and Ptendium 

aquilmum. In addition to the above the group was pleased to find Dryoptens aemula 
and Oreopteris limbosperma. Near a stream a young Dryoptens had characters of 
D. carthusiana but this was not confirmed. 
Sennen Cove, near Land's End - 20 May 

Sennen Cove (10/355262) is located at the western tip of Cornwall only a mile or so from 
Land's End. Here our party of eight explored the coastal habitats, cliffs and beaches hoping 
to find Euphorbia portlandica, Baldellia ranunculoides, Glaucium Jlavum and Stellana 
pallida but also keeping an eye out for any ferns. As} '"'■ *■ ma ™ um > 

Umm and Polypodium interjectum were recorded, all 
of which are new tetrad records. Osmunda regalis was also found macoastal flush and 
Asplenium obovatum subsp. lanceolatum around granite outcrops at 10/360269. 
Loe Pool & Carminowe Creek- 21 July 

Loe Pool (10/643242) is Cornwall's largest freshwater lagoon, only separated from the 
Atlantic Ocean by a shingle bar. The pool itself is some 1.7km long by 0.3km wide and 

comprises The Loe and Carminowe Creek. The area is botanically interesting and the group 
of six set off to explore for species such as Eleocharis acicularis, Elytrigia x obtusiuscula 
and Elatine hexandra. During the morning plenty of ferns were seen, with ten species being 
recorded, includi V in the pool margins. In the afternoon the adjacent 

small wooded valley area near Chyvarloe (10/653239) was explored where Dryopteris 
aemula (10/6530 2394), D. affinis and£>. borreri were recorded. 
South of Plusha - 5 August 

A group often met at Plusha (20/252802) on the edge of Bodmin Moor where open granite 
moorland dominates, interspersed with woodland, hedges and clear streams. This proved to 
be a fern-rich day with good populations of Oreopteris limbosperma, Osmunda regalis, 
Dryopteris aemula, D. affinis subsp. affinis and D. borreri. In some of the wooded areas 
there were good populations of Polystichum setiferum. There was an unsuccessful search 
for an old record of one of the rarer ferns in Cornwall, P. aculeatum in Upton Wood 
(20/247792). Other notable records for the day were two plants of Dryopteris x complexa 
nothosubsp. complexa and one plant of D. cambrensis. 
Fowey & Polbrock- 17 September 

During September we had a day of ferning accompanied by Ken Trewren. At Fowey 
(20/125516), an historic harbour situated on the south coast, there are good populations of 
Polypodium cambricum. In one of the sunken lanes on the edge of the village (20/125521) 
Ken had found a good selection of Dryopteris affinis agg. growing in the damp banks, 
including D. affinis, D. borreri and specimens of D * complexa nothosubsp. complexa and 
D. cambrensis. 

The rest of the morning was spent exploring the mid-Cornwall moors. At Breney Common 
(20/056610) Pilularia globulifera was found in the edge of a small stream. In the willow 
carr Dtyopteris carthusiana was common and after a period searching, D. x deweveri was 
found. Lunch was taken on Helman Tor (20/062615). where Hymenophyllum tunbrigense 
was found in the rocky crevices. Deep inside one of the crevices Ken pointed out a patch of 
Trichomanes speciosum gametophyte. 

Following lunch we set off to explore the area around Polbrock Bridge (20/013695) on 
the River Camel. Here, Cystopteris diaphana was observed with numerous healthy plants 
visible all along the almost bare, sheer riverbank, as the river level was low. This proved 
to be a very good site for Dryopteris, and within a short time D. affinis subsp. affinis and 
subsp. paleaceolobata, D. borreri and D. cambrensis were found. Later, we returned to 
the mid-Cornwall moors to search for Lycopodiella inundata on Retire Common 
(20/003633). This is a known site but despite careful searching the plants were not 
found. It is thought that a recent change in the water table may have caused the loss, as 
the site appeared much wetter than previously. However, it is hoped that with the recent 
introduction of grazing to the Common, the species may reappear in areas opened up by 
the cattle hooves. 

Cam Galver, near St Ives - 20 October 

This was mainly a bryological field meeting, with mosses being of particular interest. This 
site (10/426365), known for filmy ferns, is located on the north coast of the granite moors to 
the west of St Ives and spectacular views of both the south and north coasts are to be had 
from the top. After clambering over the granite clitter, good populations of both 
Hymenophyllttm tunbrigense (in deep crevices) and H. wilsonii (in more open conditions 
amongst mosses) were found on the north-eastern slope, with the populations being larger 
than previously recorded. Also found after a fair bit of searching was a single plant of 
Dryopteris aemula, but D. affinis and D. borreri were more common. 

SCOTLAND Frank McGavigan 

Pease Dean, Berwickshire, Scottish Borders - 9 June 


(36/793708) and the ancient woodland of Pease Dean was astonishing, particularly as 
initially we chose not to take the paths high up on either side of the glen but rather 
scrambled through the undergrowth along the bottom until further progress was barred by 
fallen trees across the stream. We were rewarded by masses of Polystichum setiferum, a 
relatively scarce fern in Scotland. One could be forgiven for mistaking it at first glance for a 
member of the Dryopteris affinis aggregate but it does not take long before the eye easily 
spots the differences, which is more than can be said for the members of the D. affinis agg. 
itself. On several occasions we studied plants trying to decide whether each was D. affinis, 
D. borreri or D. cambrensis but to no avail. None seemed to fit any of the separate species 
convincingly. I can hear certain members of the BPS saying, "Must try harder". By contrast 
we had no difficulties with Asplenium scolopendriwn. Athvhum tiln-hmma. Dn<, r nn.s 
dilatata, D.filix-mas, Equisetum arvense and Pterkliwn aquilinum; we hesitated about 
which Polypodium we were looking at but soon decided it was P. interjectum. 
Later we did a circuit of the upper paths, a delightful and easy walk that includes crossing a 
magnificent old stone bridge across the glen. Passing lots more Polystichum setiferum we 
also took note of a leaf gall on hazel caused by the mite Phytopus avellanae, and Rosa 
sherardii with white flowers rather than the usual deep pink. Then right at the end, Alex 
appeared with a frond of Equisetum telmateia, which Adrian's detailed notes for the area 
had told us was present but which we had not yet seen. 

With only half the day gone, Adrian invited us to visit his garden on the other side of 
Edinburgh, but first a few of us detoured to Edrom Nursery, which stocks a small selection 
of unusual woodland plants that would make 
provided us with much i 

fern flora of Scotland including Woodsia alpina and W. ilvensis, Amy 

and its variety flexile, Polystichum lonchitis. Thehpteris palustris, Cystopter 

and of course members of the Dryopteris affinis agg. No, he is not sure which is which 

either. He also has several equisetums, which he only half-heartedly controls so that such as 

E. telmateia pop up everywhere. Surprisingly he has lost E. arvense, making him surely 

unique among British gardeners. Adrian's collection is not confined to native ferns, and I 

particularly noted Dryopteris fragrans, D. goldiana, D. intermedia D. valhchana, 

Matteuccia struthiopteris, Onoclea sensihifh and Polysti, hum acrostichotdes. Pease Dean 

had been well worth the visit; this was an added and delightful bonus. 

Aviemore Area, Invernessshire - 7-8 July 

{Participants: Adrian Dyer, Roger Golding, Frank McGavigan, Chris Nicholson.) 
Last minute cancellations and a poor weather forecast meant our numbers were fewer than 
expected - a pity given that we had a most interesting and informative weekend. We began 
just off the A939 south of Grantown-on-Spey, parking at 38/065232. Ou, -principal aim was 
to find three species of clubmoss on the hillside close to the road where Adrian had brought 
students on field trips in the past. But first, beside a burn next to the road we spotted 
Equisetum sylvaticum. I defy even the most hardened horsetail hater not to admire this one. 
Almost opposite was a magnificent clump of the melancholy thistle (Orstum 

heterophyllum), not a fern of course but what 

a wonderful 

companion it would be for, say, 

Athyrium filix-femina, in 

the garden. Next ca 

me Dryopter 

is dilatata and what we agreed 

was D. affinis, but these ' 

were isolated plants, 

:ompared wi 

th the almost tropical Blechnum 

spicant carpeting the bir 

ch woodland on the 

west side of the road. In comparison, the 

Blechnum on the heathei 

■ moorland on the e 

ast side, which is managed for grouse (i.e. 

periodically burnt), although just as plentiful, 

was in a ve 

ry poor state. The early growth 

had been blackened by 

late frosts and the 

new growth 

was poor and uneven, almost 

: clubmosses we quickly spotted Lycopodium clavatum scrambling over 
a bare, rocky patch. A little higher Chris found Diphasiastrum alpinum, relatively common 
at high altitude in Scotland but seldom as accessible as here (38/0672 2312). Of Huperzia 
selago we found not a trace. 

In the afternoon we headed for Cairn Gorm, or at least its car park (28/989061). Sheltering 
from the one rain storm we had over the weekend we had a chat with the mountain ranger, 
Nic Bullivant, who directed us first to the little garden of mountain plants at the foot of the 
funicular railway (though strangely some of the ferns were mislabelled), and then into Coire 
an t-Sneachda below Cairn Gorm itself (28/992039). Noting Oreopteris limbosperma and 
Blechnum spicant in passing, we soon found the Huperzia that had eluded us in the 
morning, as well as Lycopodium annotinum and Diphasiastrum alpimun, but we were taken 
by surprise by Athyrium distentifolium - lots of it in a very healthy state (28/9918 0394). 
There had been heavy snow as late as May with the last fall in June so it had been well 
protected from damaging spring frosts. Nearby were Gymnocarpium drvopteris and 

Phegopteris connectilis as well as Trollius 

europaeus (the globe flower and another garden- 

worthy plant), cow wheat, cloudberry, dwarf cornel, and various orchids and sedges, 
foot of a scree (28/9902 0366) Roger found several plants of Dryopteris expansa, which we 
convinced ourselves were not D. dilatata though the two at this altitude can appear very 
similar. A wild but fascinating place, well worth the little effort it takes to get there. 
On Sunday, in beautiful weather, Adrian took us to the car park at Loch an Eilein 
(28/897086). A little walk back along the road and we had soon 'ticked off Attn nun; <;! , 
femina, Blechnum spicant, Dryopteris affinis (we agreed on this one), D. dilatata, D.filix- 
mas, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Oreopteris limbosperma. Asplenium ruta-muraria (on a 
- U), md Pnhpodium vulgare, but the real purpose of our visit was to see the type locality 
of Pteridium aquilinum subsp. pinetorum (28/8955 0906), first identified (as a separate 
species) in 1983 by Chris Page (and also discovered almost simultaneously by Adrian Dyer 
at a site nearby). Subsp. pinetorum is clearly distinct from subsp. aquilinum, especially 
when you see them growing side by side as you can here. It is a smaller, and, dare I say it, 
more graceful plant with the stipe angled at 60° from the vertical at the lowest branching 
giving a swept-back appearance (subsp. aquilinum tends to grow upright with its fronds in 
tiers). The frond shape also differs, being almost equilaterally triangular in subsp. 
■"»< ■' " um. bin in subsp auiu una,, elongated with the lowest pinnae pair frequently shorter 
than the next pair above. In subsp. pinetorum the pinnae of each frond unfurl almost 
synchronously whereas in subsp. aquilinum they expand successively, a feature particularly 
noticeable in the early summer. It is of course associated with pine woods and so far has 
only been recorded from a few places in the Scottish Highlands. Its exact relationship with 
Pmus sylvestris is clearly a research project in the making. 

In the afternoon we moved south-west to Loch Insh and more woodland (28/841045). One 
U ' ' feat !l reS ° f these Eastern Highland woods is the absence of ferns in 
3und A. filix-femina, B. spicant, 
i aquilinum subsp. pinetorum (at Adrian's 1983 
usin. Adrian had wanted to show us a plant that 
might be Dryopteris expansa. Roger felt it had more the appearance and 
characteristics of D. carthusiana. Expert verification later by Mary Gibby proved Roger 


Clearly I need to go on a Dryop 

Meall Tionail, Beinn an Dothaidh, Bridge of Orchy, Argyll (27/343391) 

- 25 August 
{Partii ipants: Roger Golding, Yvonne Golding, Frank Katzer, Bridget Laue, Richard Lewis. 
Frank McGavigan, Andy MacGregor, Heather McHaffie, Paul Sharp.) 

The purpose of this outing was to monitor a Woodsia alpina site visited by John Mitchell 1 1 
al. in 1978 but probably not recorded s 

faced - rain and yet more rain. Scottish r 

and I was worried, especially when there were murmurings from some about their ability to 

cope. Should I call the whole day off, or split the party in two leaving half the group to wait 

in the rain while the other half pushed on? In the end we all went on, wading the rivers up 

to our knees, and slowly picking our way up to the site. 

Or what I thought was the site, but of course I was wrong, there being no sign of Woodsia 

alpina. As always Frank Katzer came to the rescue and was soon scurrying across the 

hillside examining each outcrop of rock until he found one with evidence of basic seepage, 

his triumph the rain stopped, the sun shone, and we found lots of ferns. As well as the 
A. trichomanes there were plants of A. viride, Blechnum spicant (strange for a limey 
outcrop), Cystopteris fragilis, Polystichum aculeatum, P. lonchitis, and a little way off, 
C ryptogramma crispa. The clubmosses Huperzia selago and Selaginella selaginoides were 
also present. Flowering plants, as identified by Andy MacGregor, were represented by 
Sedum rosea, Rubus saxatilis, Galium boreale, Angelica sylvestris, Geranium sylvaticum, 
Plantago maritime, Oxyria digyna, Silene acaulis. Solidaso virgaurea, and Rhinanthus 
minor - a veritable alpine garden. And the tt 
four small clumps, clearly not thriving or spreading but no v 
Mitchell in 1978. But we duly completed a record card, and Roger Golding took 
photographs, all of which will be copied to the local Vice-county Recorder as well as to 
Scottish Natural Heritage. So what's a wet sock or two when it comes to fern recording duties' 1 

Kintyre, Argyll - 15-16 September 

(Participants: Pat Batty, Wendy Byford, Frank Katzer, Frank McGavigan, Heather McHaffie, 
Christine & Livingston Russell, Ian Teesdale.) 

i invitation to Kintyre i 

i sought help from Heather 

on fern identification, was too good an opportunity to miss, as, althougn nome to some rem 
rarities, this beautiful peninsula is too remote for many visitors. We began the weekend at 
the Russells' house in Peninver: hot coffee, home-made cake and dramatic views out to sea 

First stop, a nearby roadside dyke (16/7572 2391), from where Polypodium cambricum, 
almost unknown in Scotland, had been recorded in the past. The plants we saw certainly 
looked like P. cambricum, but afterwards, using the Russells' microscope, Heather was able 
to show they were P. interjectum. Incorrectly recorded in the past? Or had we homed in on 
the wrong plants? This was the only disappointment of the weekend but the Russells 
; the search. 

in the wood that forms part of the Russells' extensive garden, 
the west of Scotland it was no surprise to find Athyrium fUix- 
Dryopteris aemula, members of the Dryopteris affinis agg. 

(we positively identified D. affmis and D. borreri), D. dilatata, D.filix-mas, Oreoptehs 
limbosperma and Pofypodium vulgare, but there is a streak of limestone running through 
the garden and so we also found Asplenium scolopendrium, Polystichum aculeatum, and 
much to the delight of Christine, who had not realised it was there, P. setiferum. The 
cultivated part of the garden, which incidentally is spectacular and beautifully maintained, 
had several wild plants of Asplenium adicmtum-nigrum and A. trichomanes, as well as 
introduced exotics such as Adiantum pedatum, A. venustum, Blechnum chilense, Dicksonia 

We then travelled slightly north to Ardnacross and the only known site in Scotland for 
Asplenium obovatum subsp. lanceolatum (better known as A. billotii) (16/76642554). We 
counted 141 clumps over a 2x10m area of dolerite dyke. Only 18 had been recorded in 1971 
Aesea ^ C ° ,0ny " ^^ ^ ^^ ^^ ^ similar ^" ^iantum-nigrum, and, nearer 

After lunch we moved on to Saddell to another stretch of old mixed woodland (16/797318). 
Here we were rewarded with Asplenium adiantum-nigrum, A. scolopendrium, 
A trichomanes, Athyrium filix-femina, Blechnum spicant. Dryopteris affmis agg., 
ilatata, D.fihx-mas, both D. aemula and D. expansa, Oreopteris limbosperma, 
Polypodmm vulgare, and Pteridium aquilinum. But the main reason for our visit was to find 
filmy ferns, and sure enough both Hymenophyllum tunbrigense and H. wilsonii were in 
great abundance, and as a bonus we learned from our hosts a mnemonic to distinguish them 
- tunbrigense with teeth, wilsonii without'. 

Among the ferns in Saddell wood, Argyll 

Frank McGavigan, Ian Teesdale, Christine Russell, 
Pat Batty, Frank Katzer, Livingston Russell 

With Sunday came heavy rain, but undaunted, we first sought in vain in Tangy Wood for 

zz:z::tt:%T the : went to Aros moss o^r^?^^ 

ST^f£ carthusiana, and some fine specimens of Osmunda regalis, the 

pomted ^: u "z r « a ;°:f ide wal1 v^ 1 *™ a*m™*n 0U r h 0S t S 

Pofypodium interjectum ' ' ° m " rarw ' A - trich <>manes subsp. quadrivalens, and 

After again taking advantage of the Russells' hospitalm to shelter from the rain and eat 
lunch (we repaid their generosity by infecting them with the fern bug), a few of us 
travelled to Claonaig in the north of the peninsula to the, until recently, only known site 
for Dryopteris x sarvelae (D. carthusiana x D. expansa) (16/8600 5535). I understand 
this hybrid is now being found elsewhere. Here in very acidic, old oak woodland it 
proliferates, though neither of its parents seems to be present. There were lots of small, 
young plants, indicating that spores are viable. Also present were Oreopteris 
limbosperma (the dominant species), Blechnum spicant, Dryopteris aemula, D. dilatata, 
Pteridium aquilinum, and epiphytic Polypodium vulgare. A beautiful spot with the 
persistent rain only adding to the drama of the roaring burn that flows through the 

Dollar Glen and Rumbling Bridge, Clackmannanshire - 13 October 

(Participants: Adrian & Janet Dyer, Grant Fortune, Frank Katzer, Bridget Laue. Paul Sharp. 
Frank McGavigan, Chris Nicholson, Andrew Sanderson.) 

With the mist swirling overhead and Castle Campbell emerging through the trees at the top. 
our visit to the dramatic ravine of Dollar Glen (26/963989) was like stepping into the pages 
of Scottish mythology. The steep flanks of the glen are covered with ferns revelling in the 
damp shade and creating such a beautiful scene that we were tempted to abandon formal 
recording in favour of just enjoying the overall spectacle. Certainly, on this our last outing 
of the year, no one had the inclination to decipher the intricacies of the Dryopteris affims 
agg. It was a day for lumping and liking. 

In the mixed woodland, we inevitably came across other Dryopteris (D.filix-mas and 
D. dilatata) as well as Athyrium filix-femina (now going over) and Blechnum spk ant I hose 
were growing in the accumulated acidic humus on the surface. Where the under!;, ing rock 
was exposed, the fern flora changed to more calcicole species, notably Polystichum 
aculeatum (here in abundance) and Asplenium scolopendrium (some with very narrow 
fronds) with the occasional A. trichomanes. Pofypodium interjectum was also present, 
although we could not quite reach a frond to be 100% certain. Polypodium vulgare was 
growing epiphytically on oak and sycamore (and also unusually on ash), and on a few trees 
was present all the way up the trunks, creating a tropical appearance. Some of these 
polypodies seemed large and vigorous with a good chance that they were the hybrid P. * 

The walls of Castle Campbell carried a fine crop of Asplenium trichomanes, but also 
A. adiantum-nigrum, A. ruta-muraria and Cystopteris fragilis, as well as^ the odd 
Polypodium and Athyrium. Grant told us that the garden 

where the hillside becomes more open, Pteridium aquilinum and Oreopteris limbosperma 

After a leisurely lunch we moved on to Rumbling Bridge (36/016995), so named because 
here the River Devon roars through a spectacularly deep and narrow gorge with dramat.c 
sound effects. The path is laid out with platforms strategically sited to give the best views of 
the rushing water, but also coincidental^ of the ferns. Again the exposed rock encourages 
aculeatum, Asplenium scolopendrium, A. trichomanes and Polypodium 
interjectum. In the leaf litter above grew the more usual Athyrium filixjemina, Dryopteris 
affinis agg., D. dilatata, Dfilix-mas, and in the more open areas Pteridium aquilinum, with 
Polypodium vulgare in the trees. But, as at Dollar Glen, a mere list of ferns cannot do 
justice to the magical beauty of this gorge. Both s.tes ■ 
paths and frequent resting points from wru 
and of course tick off a few ferns. 

Group of European Pteridologists (GEP) Excursion 

Czech Republic - 15-19 July Pat Acock 

Nineteen pteridologists arrived from all over Europe during Sunday afternoon. We were 
staying in the hotel 'Vila Krenov' in the small hamlet of Krenov close to the Polish Border 
in the Krkonose Mountains in the northern Czech Republic. The weather was very hot at 
35°C but the vegetation was lush, hinting at regular rain. The family-run hotel was ideal for 
our needs and we were the only guests, which allowed us the freedom to make as much 
noise as we wanted in our discussions on matters ferny. 

Monday saw us in Spindlerova, a ski resort above Spindleruv Mlyn. We only saw Athyrium 
distentifolium, Dryopteris fi I ix-mas, D. dilatata and Cystopteris fragilis in the conifer forest 
at the top but were rewarded in addition with Equisetum arvense, E. sylvaticum, 
Phegopteris . icant, Oreopteris limbosperma, Athyrium filix-femina 

and Gymnocarpium dryopteris on the long walk back to the car park. 
On Tuesday we went in a cable car up the highest mountain of Middle Europe outside the Alps, 
Snezka. The party split in two. The hardy group went off to more distant places to look at 
Isoetes but were disappointed as a warden would not let them leave the trail and they only saw a 
few ferns. Unfortunately for the second group the first coffee stop was in Poland and the 
exchange rate was not in our favour with only kronas to spend! Early on, Andrew Leonard 
spotted a very large Botiychium lunaria and a little further along the trail the French party called 
us over to examine their Diphasiastrum find, which turned out to be D. alpinum. Another long 
walk, fortunately with many stopping places for tea, saw us back at the cars footsore but happy. 
In the evening after dinner, Wilfried Bennert treated us to a slide-show on his recent trips to the 
Philippines, which seemed magnificent for ferns but not for staying dry! 
Serpentine rocks are often good sites for interesting aspleniums, so on our final day together 
it was decided to set off to explore 'on spec' the serpentine region of Poland, south of 
Sobotka, which proved elusive with roads cut off by barriers. When we did eventually all 
reach the woodland with the serpentine rocks, we found it very damp and shady and 
disappointingly we could not find a single Asplenium. 

Although the number of ferns was 
small, the breathtaking beauty of 

Back: Ronnie Viane, Claude Jerome, Pascal Holveck, 

Martin Rickard, Manfred Horn, 

Christianne Baumann, Karsten Horn, 

Franco Passarello, Sylvain Speissner 

Front: Andrew Leonard, Arnaud Bizot, Pat Acock, 

Wilfried & Carmen Bennert, Paul Ripley, 

Lien Van den heede, Daniella Ivanova 

the British contingent returned to 
the lower ski slopes of Spindlerova 
and was able to recognise 

If you are interested in joining 
the GEP annual excursion please 
contact Prof. Ronnie Viane, 
Research Group: Pteridology, 
Dept of Biology, Ghent University, 
K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 
Ghent, Belgium. 

Tel. & Fax: +32-9-2645057. 



The theme set for the show this year was 'Music'. Our token response 
presence of fiddleheads in our display! Vases of cut fern fronds and a 
photographs formed the background to the stand, with a demonstration u> ^.u^iucuhh, 
methods to the fore. This year we displayed an increased number of young ferns in pots. 
which attracted a steady stream of visitors to the stand. 

Southport Flower S 

Yvonne Golding, Michael Hayward, Harvey Shepherd (with Happiland Trophy). Ann Gill 

Visitors frequently enquired about selecting suitable vaneties of ferns for the garden and for 
next year we plan to produce a range of pamphlets on this topic, as well as one giving 
details of local branches of the BPS. The FSC Key to Common Ferns was again the most 
popular item of merchandise on sale. 

The number of exhibitors in the competitive classes is slowly increasing and although the 
standard of exhibits was a little patchy, there were many excellent specimens on show. 

particularly a large pot of the small 0fa ' ^TrZ ? I 1 

this year won the Happiland Trophy. The BPS Captor the .ndtvidual Championship was 

again won by Brian Russ. The fern judge v 


s Richard Godard-Key. 

e prize-winners are listed below. 
Class 8 Individual Championship: Four Hardy British Ferns (dissimilar), 
Ferns (dissimilar) and two Foreign Ferns Hardy in Great Britain: 
2nd M. Hayward, 3rd I. Rawson (3 entries) 

Class 9 Three Hardy British Ferns (distinct species, not varieties): 1st I. Rawson, 

2nd H. Shepherd (2 entries) 
Class 10 One Foreign Fern Hardy in Great Britain: 1st H. Shepherd, 2nd B. Russ, 

3rd I. Rawson (4 entries) 
Class 1 1 Three Polypodium (3 distinct varieties): (no entries) 
Class 12 Three Polystichum (3 distinct varieties): IstH. Shepherd (1 entry) 
Class 13 Three Athyrium (3 distinct varieties): 1st M. Hayward (1 entry) 
Class 14 Three Asplenium excluding A. scolopendrium (3 distinct varieties or species): 

IstH. Shepherd (1 entry) 
Class 15 One British Fern (any genus or variety): 1st H. Shepherd, 2nd O. Fairclough, 

3rd I. Rawson (3 entries) 
Class 16 One Greenhouse Fern: 1st J. Abbott, 2nd D. Abbott, 3rd D. Need (4 entries) 
Class 17 Three Asplenium scolopendrium (3 distinct varieties): (no entries) 
I would like to thank Ruth Berry, Roland Ennos, Ann Gill, Yvonne Golding, Rita Hardman, 
Trevor Piearce and Harvey Shepherd for manning the stand. All the helpers again enjoyed 
social evenings at my house in Blundellsands after the show. 

The dates for next year's show are 21-24 August 2008. The theme for the show is 
'Liverpool' and we are planning a new look for the BPS stand, complete with our own 
'Liver Bird', so do try to come and see what surprises we will have on display. Or why 
not join us on the stand and get your entrance to the show free! I can arrange stop-overs 
for anyone travelling a distance. You also get a complimentary ticket to the show if you 
exhibit in the competitive classes. If you are interested in showing ferns at Southport 
either contact M. Hayward (6 Far Moss Road, Blundellsands, Liverpool L23 8TQ; or obtain details of the schedule direct from the 


The AFS invites all readers of this Bulletin to join the American Fern Society. You are welcome 
to visit the AFS website: Regular members receive Fiddlehead Forum five 
times a year, a newsletter published for those who are interested in growing ferns, hunting for 
them and expanding their knowledge of ferns. Journal members also receive the scientific 
quarterly American Fern Journal. Membership costs $19 and $32 per annum respectively for 
members residing outside USA, Canada or Mexico, including postage for airmail-assisted 
delivery. For particulars please write to Dr George Yatskievych, Missouri Botanical Garden, 
P.O. Box 299, St Louis, Missouri 63166-0299, USA ( Online 
credit card payment is now available for the AFS via the AFS website. 

AFS SUBSCRIPTION PAYMENTS: Our societies have an exchange arrangement whereby 
members of the BPS can pay their AFS subscription through the BPS Membership Secretary and 

, Kyleakin, Isle of Skye IV41 8PH (] 


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2008 - The 105th AGM will take place on Sa 
5th April 2008 at The Natural History Museum, London at 2p.m. 
SUBSCRIPTIONS 2008 - Members are reminded that subscriptions were due on 1 st J; 
2008 and should be paid to the Membership Secretary. Cheques should be made pay; 
'The British Pteridological Society'. Current rates are given inside the front cover of this 
Payment can be made by Credit Card - see renewal form. Standing Order forms are | 
on the reverse of renewal forms and are also available from the Membership Secretary a 
BPS website ( Standing Orders may be paid on 1st January 
February. In either case, membership is deemed to be from 1st January to 3 1st Decembei 
Members are reminded that according to Clause 1 1 of the Constitution "Am member tailing i 
pay their subscription within six calendar months of its becoming due shall be li " 
their name removed from the List of Members of this Society"! Defaulting n 
do not amend their Standing Orders with their bank and are still paying at the oli 
be notified that they will not receive the Fern Gazette until such time a.s tliei 
Orders are updated. Members still paying even earlier rates shall be notified thai 
will be removed from the Membership List until such times as Standing Orders a 
or cancelled. Any monies received from old Standing Orders will be ti 
GIFT AID - Since 2003 the BPS has been a registered charity. This enables i 
back from the Inland Revenue 28p for every pound paid in the annual subscript 
member who authorises us to do so. Since 2003, increasing numbers of men 
authorised us to claim Gift Aid on their behalf, and last year (2007) \ 

, which brought i 


addition to the Society's annual income, it could be considerably more. There are probat 
further 200 members on whose subscriptions the Society could claim Gift Aid if t 
members authorised it and this could lead to perhaps another £1,000 per annum. All th 
required is a minimal amount of form filling (about one minute) and a second class sti 
Even better, the form has only to be filled in once. The forms are retained by the Gift 
Secretary and the same ones used year after year to make the claim. 

1 ■ Gift Aid is available only to members who reside in the UK. 

2. Members on whose subscription Gift Aid i 
capital gains tax at least equal to the amount c 

3. Members whose subscriptions are allowed 
employment may not claim Gift Aid. 

in connection with their 

If the Inland Revenue allows us to claim reliet on your dkuiu»»i 

Please authorise us to do so. It's the equivalent of a yearly £5 donation to tne aoony. 

DIRECT DEBIT - The Society does not offer a Direct Debit facility for sub ^ cn P tionS n ^ 

reasons are two-fold Expensive software is required to create a direct debit ^tape to sena io 

the bank and is too expensive for a small Society like the BPS. With Standing Orders the 

bank does all the administration, whereas with Dfrect Debits a considerable additional 

workload would fall on the Society, in particular the Treasurer, and it is necessary to bear 

mind that all officers offer their time and services on a voluntary basis. 

NOTIFYING CHANGES OF ADDRESS - Please inform the Membership Secretary of 

changes of address and telephone number. He will be responsible for notifying any other 

officers and appointees who need to know. 

E-MAIL ADDRESSES - These are now published in the Membership List, as agreed, "for 
members who have a relatively stable e-mail address and who keep up-to-date with their 
messages". A supplementary list and amendments are published in the Bulletin. Members 
who wish to have their e-mail address added, changed or removed are requested to inform 
the Membership Secretary BY E-MAIL: 
PUBLICATIONS BY AIRMAIL - Our journals can be sent by airmail to overseas 
members, provided that they advise the Membership Secretary and pay an additional 
subscription to cover airmail postage. See inside front cover for rates. 
attending Society field meetings should be aware of the Society's Safety Code (see 2000 
Bulletin 5(5): 275), as well as the Code of Conduct for the Conservation and Enjoyment of 
Wild Plants (see 1999 Bulletin 5(4): 199), and are required to sign a Declaration form. 
Copies of these documents can be obtained from the Meetings Secretary or BPS website. 
GREENFIELD FUND - This fund, set up as a memorial to one of our Society's great fern 
growers, Percy Greenfield, is used to finance approved projects, helping with the cost of 
necessary equipment, books and travel expenses. Percy Greenfield's interest leaned very much 
towards the non-scientific side of our activities and it is felt that he would have wanted this 
taken into consideration when decisions are made. Workers eligible for university or college 
grants and similar support are not therefore eligible for help from the fund. Applications will 
normally be dealt with once a year and should be submitted by 1st November. Anyone wishing 
to apply for this funding should contact the General Secretary for further information. 
CENTENARY FUND - This fund is used to promote the study of all aspects of 
ptendophytes - horticultural, scientific and educational, whether by amateurs, students or 
professional ptendologists. As such its scope is much broader and more flexible than the 
Greenfield Fund. Applications will normally be dealt with once a year and should be 
submitted by 1st November. Anyone wishing to apply for this funding should contact the 
General Secretary for further information. 

THE JW. DYCE AWARD - This award was set up to honour the memory of Jimmy 
Dyce who was a member from 1935 until his death in 1996. During this time he held all the 
key committee posts, virtually single-handedly saved the Society from extinction after the 
war, and contributed in so many other ways to shape the Society as it is today. The first 
award of £100 together with a certificate will be made at the AGM 2008 to the author of the 
best paper, article, book or other substantial piece of work published during 2007 in any of 

books, will be placed < 

t special publication. 

ite tor all to read. Ihe award is open to 
everyone, whether professional or amateur, pteridologist, horticulturalist or fern enthusiast. 
TREE-FERN SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP - For further information, please either 
send a stamped addressed envelope to the organiser, Alastair Wardlaw, 92 Drymen Road, 
Bearsden, Glasgow G61 2SY, or contact him by e-mail: Tree-Ferns a Alastair, 

^no g Tv < een , COnVen0r SlnCe 199? ' haS mdlCated that he would like to stand down at AGM 
^009. Therefore if the Tree-Fern Group is to be kept going beyond that date, it would be 
necessary to have a replacement. Please contact him for particulars of what is involved. 
MEMBERS' INFORMATION SERVICE - Members often require information and advice 
aspects of ptendophytes but are reluctant to ask or simply do not know where to 

obtain help. Queries from n 
of ferns should b 


i of the biology, identification or cultiv. 

; first class stamps, to the Horticultural 

Information P 

n Fern Journal, 

Fiddlehead Forum, which publishes many 'term' hems ol interest to the amateur grower. 
accompanies it. To receive these journals contact the Horticultural Information Adviser. 
exchanges journals with a number of other fern societies in the world. We have a collection 
of journals/newsletters from societies in the United States (2), Australia (3), New Zealand, 
India and the Netherlands. If members would like to browse these, they are welcome to get 
in touch with the Back Numbers Organiser for a list of our holdings. The journals can then 
be borrowed for just the cost of postage both ways. 

BACK NUMBERS OF JOURNALS - Our Back Numbers are always a good source o\' 
Pteridological information. They contain articles written by an array of authors on interesting 
fern subjects. You can have a sample pack of six journals for £6. A full list of journal parts 
stocked is available from Pat Acock. 

BPS WEBSITE - (hosted by The Natural History Museum.) In today's 
internet-oriented world, it is increasingly important for the Society to see its website as a major 
means of communication. The website provides information for the membership, but it is also, 
and perhaps more importantly, a 'shop-window' to present the Society and pteridology to the 
wider world. Our aim is to make our website the premier source on the internet of information 
about pteridophytes and pteridology. Despite a number of serious problems outside our 
control, there have been a number of further significant enhancements to the website this year 
and the 'look and feel' and navigation of the whole site have been revised. There is an expanded 
Website Group to support the website, which helps to identify requirements, to support the 
work necessary to meet those requirements and to look at the future strategy. Members w ith 
views on what the website should provide and with offers to help with content should contact 
the Website Editor, Anthony Pigott. In particular, we would appreciate suggestions for wild 
sites, gardens and nurseries for 'Where to See Ferns'; contributions should be sent to Frank 
McGavigan (, who is assembling this information. 

linded that there is an e-mail group or iisf for BPS 
.„ of Society matters of common interest and for 
tended as a list to discuss the botany or growing of 
ferns, for which another list such as UK-FERNS or FERNS would be more appropriate (see 
the BPS website under 'Links'). Send a blank e-mail to: 
to subscribe. Unless your real name is obvious from your e-mail address, please send an e- 
mail at the same time to in order to identify yourself as a BPS 
member. Members are encouraged to join as the potential benefits are greater with fuller 
participation. Contact the BPS Website Editor for further information. 
BRITISH WILDLIFE - Concessionary individual subscriptions to British Wildlife 
magazine are available to BPS members: 

ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY - Our Society ,s affiliated to the RHS. enabling 
a limited number of members to enjoy certain privileges in connection with RHS Sh ws 
competitions and services. Further information is available from the General Secretary. 

the Rules of Conduct for the 
Treasurer (BPS/T/1), the Rules foTsee^nJ Re-imblrsemen t ofPe rsonal TrwUmgnf 
Administrative Expenses by officers and members acting on behalf of the Sociel 
and the Authorities for Payment (BPS/T/3) can be obtained from the Treasurer on request. 
COPYRIGHT - All contributors to the BPS journals and website are required to sign an 
agreement assigning ownership of copyright of the article, photograph etc. to the BPS. lms 
has the aim of safeguarding the contributors' work from unlawful copying and use. It does 
not stop contributors from using their own work elsewhere provided that they acknowledge 
the original source of publication. 

MERCHANDISE - Do you have a BPS sweatshirt, polo shirt or fleece? These are all dark 
green with a small embroidered BPS logo in yellow. Other items, such as BPS ties, metal 
badges, ferny greetings cards, bookmarks, pens and mugs, are also for sale. Can't find your 
order form? Contact the Merchandise Organisers or look on the website for details. The 
Organisers also welcome suggestions for new stock. 

BOOKSALES - It has now become more difficult to find second-hand fern books at 
reasonable prices so if you are thinking of selling any of your books please consider first 
offering them to the Society. Frank would also be pleased to receive any donated or 
bequeathed books that could then be offered to members at affordable prices. Contact him 
by e-mail if possible: 

records of ferns, horsetails, clubmosses and quillworts in the wild should be sent to the 
appropriate Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) Vice-county recorders, whose 
addresses are available from the BSBI website or BSBI yearbook, which is available to 
BSBI members. For those without access to the Internet or yearbook, records may be sent to 
the BPS Recorder, Fred Rumsey, who will forward them to the BSBI. These records are 
stored centrally at the Biological Records Centre, and can be accessed by the BPS. 
SOUTHPORT FLOWER SHOW - Why not spend a few hours or a day helping man the 

Society's stand? You d 

t prepared to 

spend a few hours or a day with us. Expenses are available, as well as free entry L _. 
Show. Details are available from Michael Hayward, 6 Far Moss Road, Blundellsands, 
Liverpool L23 8TQ. 

BPS FIRST MINUTE BOOK - This historical document containing the Committee 
Minutes from the inception of the Society in 1891 to 1983 is available in full colour on a 
CD ROM at £10 per copy, including postage. Place your order with Pat Acock. 
NURSERY ADVERTISEMENTS - Members with nurseries that offer ferns are reminded 
that they may place an advertisement m the Bulletin, Pteridologist and on the website, free of 
charge, m return for the inclusion of a note about the Society in their catalogues. A suitable 
torm ol words is available from the Secretary. The Website Editor can include an image if 
required. If members wish their nursery to be included, please contact the General Secretary. 
AMERICAN FERN SOCIETY - The AFS has had a reciprocal payment arrangement with the 
HPS tor many years through their respective Membership Secretaries. See AFS advert on p. 498. 
NEW POST - PUBLICITY AND MARKETING Officer - The Society is considering 
creating a new post of Publicity and Marketing Officer. If you have these skills and would 
be prepared to help us draw up a job descri " 
this post, then please contact the General S< 
NEW POST - EDUCATION OFFICER - The Society already offers educational 
opportunities for its members. We would like someone to co-ordinate and expand upon 
these activities for the general public as well as for our members. We anticipate that any 
vo unteer for this post would have some experience in adult education. Please contact the 
General Secretary if you are interested in helping to establish this post. 

™ J ~ a ^! AR ^KTKATION SUB-COMMITTEE - Following the successful 

meeting at Wisley in November 2007, tins new sub-committee has been set up. The 
intention is to airoiv for th<» <:«ni««,, ♦ u , F 

Authority rt l ^ ocl ety to be registered as an International Cultivar Registration 

Nm«J;"^ P o t0 St3rt Wlth cu,tivars of Polypodium. The existing FERN VARIETIES 
NOMENCLATURE SUB-COMMITTFF will mnt-n,-» t u •, u, r uu~m 

The contact is Robert Svll ° ntmUe t0 be aVa,laWe f ° r nammg nCW ^^^ 


[Preamble. These minutes were prepared by Graham Ackers using, for most of the Officers' 

and Committee Appointees' Reports, written reports supplied by the post holders. These 

minutes have been reviewed by Adrian Dyer, Robert Sykes, Yvonne Golding and Alison 

Paul, and their approval will be sought at the next Annual General Meeting on 5th April 

2008. Notes, not being part of the minutes, are enclosed in square brackets as is this one.] 

IN THE CHAIR: The President, Dr Adrian Dyer. 

PRESENT: Graham Ackers, Pat Acock, Tony Braithwaite, Rob Cooke, Jonathan Crowe, 

Adrian Dyer, Grant Fortune, Mary Gibby, Tim Godfrey, Roger Golding, Yvonne Golding, 

Alec Greening, Michael Hayward, Jennifer Ide, Frank Katzer, Howard Matthews, Bridget 

Laue, Richard Lewis, Frank McGavigan, Heather McHaffie, Steve Munyard, Chris 

Nicholson, Alison Paul, Mike Porter, Tim Pyner, Martin Rickard, Paul Sharp, Harvey 

Shepherd, Bryan Smith, Gill Smith, Alex Storie, Matt Stribley, Robert Sykes, Mike Taylor, 

Ken Trewren, Alastair Wardlaw, Maurice Wilkins. 

Item 1 - APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Matt Busby, John Edgington, Peter Freshwater, 

Andy MacGregor, James Merryweather, Joy Neal, Anthony Pigott, Paul Ripley. 

Item 2 - APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES: Minutes of the 103rd Annual General 

Meeting of the British Pteridological Society held on Saturday 25th March 2006 and 

published in the 2006 Bulletin (Vol. 6, No. 5) were approved and signed by the Chairman. 

Item 3 - MATTERS ARISING: There were none 


Item 4a - REPORT OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY (Yvonne Golding): Prior to 

the AGM 2006 the Committee recognised that the duties of the Secretary had increased as 

the Society's activities expanded. As a result, following the retirement 

Secretary, it was agreed to split the post: Graham Ackers took c 

Secretary, which involves servicing the Committee i + '"' 

Golding took on the role of General Secretary, which 

external matters. I am pleased to report that this has worked well. 

There have been quite a few changes on the committee during 2006. We now have a new 

treasurer (Gill Smith), Membership Secretary (Mike Taylor), Chairman of ^.cations Sub 

Committee (Martin Rickard), Plant Exchange Organiser (Jonathan Crowe) and Book^a e 

Organiser (Frank Katzer). We have created some new posts: a Data Integrity OJ^^ 

Hayward) to reflect our growing dependence on ^puter tectaolog^^^^ 

(Anthony Pigott) to mobilise our membership to increase and pool our knowledge about ferns. 

The Society has a very busy programme at t^e regjonj ^"fZlZT^^MrZ 

regional group leaders are retiring: Barry Wright has run me Leeos *_ f 

renamed The Yorkshire Fern Group) for ten yea*; Barne Stevenson has ma^ £j^^£ 

Group for ten years; Ian Bennallick has ran the Cornish group for four ^T^^* 6 

North-West Group for two years. We thank them for their sr— 

Bruce Brown, Tim Pyner, Matt Stribley and Peter Campion - 

-the best of luck h 

Finally, we note that James Merryweather, editor of Pteridologist wishes to .retire ;. Dun 
Perioi' of office James will haTedited mj-****^™! 

o Mow but we urgendy need a 

r who will be given all necessary support 

renewable. We felt this was a less daunting prospect for potential 
up these positions. The term of office for the President 
We looked again at the role of Vice-Presidents, concluding that this should be a working role, 
not automatically awarded for long service or having been a President. We can have up to six 
Vice-Presidents at any one time, each serving a period of six years, which is now renewable. 
During 2006 the committee decided to award three pteridologists honorary membership, 
which they have all gratefully accepted. These are John Mickel, Chris Page and Alan Smith. 
You can read their citations in this issue of the Bulletin. 

you will also have read in the 2006 Bulletin that the 

J.W. Dyce Award in memory of Jimmy Dyce. This will take the form of an i 

prize (the first to be awarded for 2007) for the best piece of published work in any of the 

An important issue that the committee had to address was the use of the term 'fern allies'. 
In the light of recent developments in pteridology we took the decision not to use this term 
but instead to refer to 'lycophytes' (which are the clubmosses and quillworts) and 'ferns' 
(which include ferns and horsetails). The remit of the Society, however, remains unchanged, as 
will our name, and our focus will continue to embrace both groups. It will take a long time 
tor this new nomenclature to be generally used, so if in doubt refer to ferns, horsetails, 
clubmosses and quillworts, which is unambiguous and correct, if a bit long-winded! 
During the past year Graham Ackers and Jennifer Ide 

herbarium into the RHS 1 

incorporating the nr 
t Wisley. Jennifer Ide has also been working on a 

application tor a possible grant to develop the BPS archive and is making efforts to find it 
permanent home. Frank McGavigan has been re-invigorating the recording of ferns through 
taKing the initiative in Scotland. Michael Hayward has been surveying the Jones' Nature 
!™ ™ a ,y. ,ewt0 their eventual publication. The committee are deliberating as to what 
i should take and what should happen to the original prints. Michael 
t the Southport Flower Show, < 

also successfully 

representation there that was ii 

tigated by Matt Busby. 

m^mK 7 1S o my Sad duty t0 brin § to vour notice the passing, in the last year, of seven 
members ot our Society. Doreen Holly of Oxford joined in 1979 and was a regular at BPS 
who ? S h H^ yeatS - She WaS a S ardener ' growing many fine ferns and a keen rambler 
m J , de u eply about the environment. Rosemary Stevenson of Suffolk was a family 

with the Society for longer than 
Grnnn Z£T ""* J** m ^ m(X Bame durin 8 his te " years as organiser of the East Angha 
D Zhn r^ 7 mdude Dt RA - Finch of Cambridge who joined the Society in 1968, 
who ileH Gn ^" of K Comwa " who joined in 2004, Mr Malcolm Heywood of East Yorkshire 
Williams nfZ «u Graham Th0msit of London ' a ^mber since 1980 and Mr Bryan 

Williams of Northants, since 1996. The Society sends its condolences to all their families. 

cons^mrir! 118 I™ SOme ° f 0Ur time wil1 be taken with the drawing up of a new 
bring our Socl^f t^ ^ haVe made in the ^ of the Society "* ^ ! t 
our AGM in ?nns A nCW Charit y Law " This ne w constitution will be presented at 

our aum in 2008. Our registration as a c 
presidency of Alastair Wardlaw, has been 


Society. However, we must not forget that as a charity we have obligations not just to our 
come up with new and interesting ways of promoting ferns to everyone. 
In conclusion, we are saying goodbye (or hopefully an revoir) to our President. Adrian 
Dyer, and welcoming the new one, Robert Sykes. Adrian has worked extremely hard on our 
behalf over the last three years, putting in place his vision for the future of the Society. His 
three-pronged approach was much more wide-ranging than simply Education. Education. 
Education but rather, Publications, Meetings and Projects with plenty of Education thrown 
in for good measure. In the near future we will be holding a planning meeting to build on 
Adrian's legacy and set out some objectives to take the Society forward into the 2 1 st century. 
Following this report, Jennifer Ide passed on Barrie Stevenson's gratitude for his wife 
Rosemary's remembrance in the Bulletin. 

Acceptance of the report was proposed by Mike Porter, seconded by Grant Fortune, and 
approved by the meeting. 

Item 4b - REPORT OF THE TREASURER (Gill Smith): The Treasurer distributed i dull 
set of the 2006 accounts, commenting that the layout was slightly different to the pre\ ions year, 
but the finances were essentially similar. Catching up with the backlog of Fen, Gazette issues 
had resulted in an expenditure increase in this item. She pointed out that only the Centeoarj and 
Greenfield Funds were marked as restricted (ring fenced) at the moment but a case could be 
made for restricting other areas e.g. Publications. She also pointed i 

Chancellor's budget would mean a disappointing r 

J Revenue Gift Aid it 

Grant Fortune queried the increase in postage; this resulted 

increases in overseas postal charges. The Treasurer brought to the attention ot all members at the 
AGM that there may be difficulties this year in getting the accounts audited, as Nick Hards had 
been seriously ill and there was no other examiner appointed. She asked for a volunteer to help 
out in this role as a second examiner when the elections took place later in the day. [Note that 
the final accounts for 2006 appear elsewhere in this Bulletin]. Acceptance ot the report was 
proposed by Mike Taylor, seconded by Michael Hayward, and approved by the meeting. 
Membership numbers suffered a decline in 2006, the overall total dropping from an 
impressive 793 in 2005, to a disappointing 746. This decline appears to have affected us 
across the board with a fall of 40 Ordinary and Family members and ad^ 
Subscribers (Universities and Libraries). On the face of it a drop of six Subscriber -m embers 

but the situation is in tact worse man u appear »mvw. „. .... 

-ther 12 Subscribers had not paid for 2 ^^**^£Z£* 

as of the world and many are 

this point that, as regards deadlines for payment ot iees, we 
Subscribers since many are based in comparatively remote are 
in contact with us solely through agents. Nevertheless, if after a further rem > naer * 

momhp rshin will have to be canceiiea. i nis cum 

which is worrying. 

s of up to 18 Subscribers 
: the general situation frc 
iers in 2006 (as opposed 
lapsed, compared with 67 in 2005. This 

of 92 in the space of one year - 

-coking at the general situation from a slightly different ^^"l" Z^Ac 
ew member, inSno* ( as opposed to 86 in 2005) and that ,n 2006 83 members res, 

iummed up as fewer new members plus £ 
of established r 
Canwe prnpoin, anv reasons £ «^ rf "*"S^^ 

«r« -a . • .• it;,-..tinn None of the Subscribers who failed to pa> gave 

provide enough " lon - ^ one U1 u Ct . „ r ^. ot1 ^ t „«. the term 

wnL a, S toeV (by the end of 2006), although the deliver, was somewha, errand 

Could it be that the decline in membership, which, anecdotally, has hit most sn 

over the last few years has at last started to affect us as well? Could it be that we simply don't 

provide what the fern-loving members of the public require? Suggestions are welcome! 

A reduction in the number of members in a society inevitably leads to a drop in the amount 

of Gift Aid received and this indeed has occurred. However, the fall has not been as great as 

might be expected. In 2005, 207 members enabled us to reclaim £1,129.52 in Gift Aid, in 2006 

the equivalent figures were 206 members and £1,1 18.88 - a very worthwhile sum. In the four 

years for which we have been able to claim Gift Aid we have received just short of £4,000. 

Finally, I would like to thank my predecessor Mike Porter for all the help he has given me 

in my first three months in office. 

Following the report, a discussion took place on possible reasons for the drop in 

membership and ways to avoid further drops. Points put forward were: 

• There may be a decline in the interest of institutions 

• The idea of electronic subscriptions could be explored 

• On-line publication policies could be reviewed 

• There may be insufficient coverage for gardeners in the Pteridologist; competent 
gardeners reluctant to put pen to paper could be interviewed as an alternative to their 
producing an article 

• The Society should extend its presence at garden shows 

• Advertisements could be placed in magazines such as BBC Gardeners ' World or (more 
locally) the Suffolk Gardener 

• The Pteridologist could run a series of articles on growing different types of ferns 

• There could be a Q&A feature in the Pteridologist 

• One of the aims of re-formatting the Pteridologist was potentially to enable sales outside 
the Society - could this idea be pursued? 

• Change the name of the Society to the more accessible 'British Fern Society'. 
[These points will be considered by the Committee.] 

Item 4d - REPORT OF THE MEETINGS SECRETARY (Pat Acock): The weather 
was superb and I had the very good fortune to attend nearly all the meetings. Our leaders 
did us proud once again. Someone on the meetings' sub-committee rings a candidate from 
out of the blue and they just seem to make it happen. We are so very fortunate to have 
people not only to serve on the sub-committee but also to find people who are willing to 
throw themselves into the preparation with such gusto. 

All the meetings were superb and I must record on your behalf our grateful thanks to all our 
leaders and organisers. Thanks go to Barrie Stevenson, Graham Ackers, Barry Wright, Mike 
Hayward, Matt Stribley and Paul Ripley and all those who helped them. I must mention 
especially our grateful thanks to Dr Bemdt Peters who was one of those people who received 
an e-mail from me out of the blue and said he would lead a meeting. He produced a meeting of 
ten days in Germany that was as towering in its organisation as it was intricate in its attention 
to detail. Also our very grateful thanks must go to Edmond Grangaud who not only had to put 
up with Paul Ripley and me in 2006 but spent another three days with us this year as well as 
coming out with us every day in the field when the main group arrived in his tropical paradise. 
Such wonderful generous people and we should be so grateful. 

Our Autumn Indoor Meeting was disappointingly attended although of the 28 attendees we did 
have one member who travelled from Ireland, two from Wales and three from Scotland. The 
speakers and organiser really did deserve better than that especially from those who live so 
close to the capital. I am disappointed for them but also for the people who missed such an 
informative event that cannot be repeated in the near future as we will want to do other things. 
Following the report, Robert Sykes thanked Pat Acock for all his work, and this was 
endorsed by Adrian Dyer. 

Heather McHaffie): No report given. 

Item 4f - REPORT OF THE FERN GAZETTE EDITOR (Mary Gibby): After 
apologising for the recent publication delays, Mary announced that there was now sufficient 

copy for the next two issues, thus further delays were unlikely this year. It was felt to he a 

good idea to publish review articles, and more would be sought. Andrew Leonard continued to 

help with the editing, and was also producing an index using Mary's mark-ups. 

Martin Rickard thanked Mary and Andrew for their work. 

Item 4g - REPORT OF THE BULLETIN EDITOR (Alison Paul): The 2006 Bulletin 

was distributed two weeks before the AGM. On account of the number of meetings being 

reported, including two large overseas ones, the issue was once again large and had 

necessitated a considerable amount of micro-formatting. 

Graham Ackers queried whether there could be more and larger photographs, and whethe. 

they could be printed in colour. This was discussed, and the follow ing points emerged: 

• The inclusion of colour photographs might entail formatting difficulties for the editor 

• Photographs in the Bulletin used to be fewer and larger 

• It was important to strike the right subject balance between people and ferns 

• A portfolio of colour photographs could be included on the BPS website 

• A quotation for the inclusion of colour photographs should be obtained. 
[These points will be discussed by the Committee.] 

Item 4h - REPORT ON THE PTERIDOLOGIST (presented by Martin Rickard.: 

Our editor James Merryweather is standing down following the next issue. Pott 

is a problem and members were urged to contact Martin if they felt they could help with 

any aspect of the editing. It was noted that, for various unavoidable reasons, last year s 

issue was late, and should have appeared in May as had been customary. 

Item 4i - REPORT OF THE WEBSITE EDITOR (Anthony Pigott. read by Graham 

Ackers in his absence): 

• Routine updates have gone ahead in a timely manner. 

• A number of significant enhancements have been made .bis year. e.g. Fern Cnb, full up 
to date Fern Gazette contents/abstracts, fern nu 

• Photographs - permission h 

• We still need more contributions. e. r — - 
s with the hosting at the NHM, only very recently re-™ 

, without being able to update the website. This 
: first half of the year, 
being cleared include completely revised BPS 
Society pages (to be c -ordina^with the Bulettn editor,, a , ■ Recording- section. Where 
to see Fe™ in (he Wild', an -Editor's Blog' and special pub hcan a . * ^ . 

external and sometimes novel routes on the internet, e m > ^ ^ 
appropriate modern methods of digital ^^0^^ in the twenty-first! 
one foot planted in the nineteenth century and the other firmly 
Item 4J - REPORT ON SPECIAL ™£ONS ^^^^^ 

d matenal from other officers editors 
s problems 
n a period of over tw 
1 significant delays to our plans for t 

m Cultivars had sold around 200 copies ^.^.^ should ' be forward ed t 
" 100. Any ideas for furnV*- ne 
Ties editor, Barry Thomas, \ 

further Special Public 

s intending to stand down. 


Item 5a - REPORT OF THE PROJECT OFFICER (Anthony Pigott, read by Graham 
Ackers in his absence): The basic principles of how the Project Officer will operate have 
been discussed and agreed by the committee. We hope to have regular reviews to agree the 
main project areas to focus on, aligning these with the current priorities of the Society. 

• Funding is important to many potential projects and we will be looking at how to make 
best use of currently available resources and at ways to increase the amounts available. 

• 'Quick Win': Fern Crib to be published on website - this is now complete. 

• 'Quick Win': 'Affinis Watch' re-invigorated. There's been a lot of affinis related activity 
recently. It's a sometimes sensitive area with strong personalities involved and often 
opposing views on the taxonomy (both inside and outside the pteridological community). 
New website material is being prepared which will serve the original objectives of 
providing up-to-date information and encouraging recording. 

• 'Quick Win': BSBI data exchange. Much good work has been done independently in 
Scotland; I expect to be able to use this to help produce a general procedure with support 
to make it 'routine'. I expect to meet with BSBI representatives shortly to confirm this. 

• Electronic Publication: There are many, sometimes opposing views on what is 
appropriate to publish electronically. We are discussing the issues within the Publications 
Sub-committee with a view to establishing what we can all agree on with the intention of 
then starting an implementation project. 

• Revitalised recording and data transfer: This follows from the data transfer and other 
recording initiatives already underway. I am working on a plan to co-ordinate this. 

• Generally, some project areas may sometimes proceed with little direct involvement from 
the Project Officer. I don't see this as a problem! The important thing is that our 
objectives are achieved. 

Wright, read by Graham Ackers in their absence): The exchange continues to be a 
popular service offered to members. The new procedures for the 2006 spore exchange were 
implemented. The spore list was only sent out to those requesting a list and members had to 
apply for a list with their autumn mailing. The main benefit for us was that we were in 
complete control of the publication of the list and the time window for the distribution 
itself. Hopefully members were happy with these new procedures. There was also a major 
saving on paper and ink (and potentially postage) in not printing 700+ copies for everyone, 
compared to the eventual 132 lists which were requested. There were 76 requests for an 
electronic version, again reducing the paper usage. We have not had any adverse comments 
so far. We had a total of 132 (158 in 2005 and 133 in 2004) requests, 91 (107 in 2005 and 
99 in 2004) from the UK and 41 (5 1 in 2005 and 34 in 2004) from overseas, so it seems that 
we have not made it too difficult and put anyone off applying with our new procedures. 
Each year we tweak the wording of our literature to intercept some misunderstandings that 
seem to creep .in. But also it seems that some members do not read the information carefully 
enough^ We had people sending stamps when requesting postal spore lists. This postage is 
borne by the Society and is not asked for on the form. We still have trouble with some 
overseas members having difficulty obtaining IRCs and ensuring that they are franked by 
■ tice. We may be able to accept money using 'Paypal' or offering to have a 
contribution for the spore exchange as an add-on to their subscription in future. 
We do have problems when members ask for 'your choice' or 'pot luck', for their alternatives. 
J*! I 10 !, , ? UtS US Under pressure t0 &> ess what sort of things they might like, but could 
po entially lead us to give them a taxon that another member may specifically want, but may 

ask t h USe W£ had gWen thiS t0 an earlier rec l uester as a 'P ot luck ' s P ecies - Please d ° n,t 
us o choose for you, or we might send you ten packets of bracken!! 

Another slight problem is with some donations that have leaked out of their packets en route 

to us, or alternatively are so securely fastened with sticky tape that it's impossible to get at 

them. Occasionally virtually all the spores end up stuck to the tape, which is such a waste of 

the donor's efforts in collecting them for us. However, we are totally dependant on the 

donors for the success of the exchange, so please don't be offended if we give a little 

'feedback' about your donation. 

Thanks for all your support. Here's to the next one. 

Following this report, Adrian Dyer made the point that the Spore Exchange organisers 

would probably require additional support in the future. Regarding the point about overseas 

postage, since this report was written, the committee have agreed that the Society will 

waive postage charges for overseas members as well as UK members. 


Donor forms were distributed with the autumn 2006 mailing. The Plant Exchange List was 

compiled and distributed at the end of February 2007. 

Statistics for taxa offered are shown below. 


Plant Status Description 

No. in 


No. in 

No. in 

No. in 





Sporeling 1-2 years old 




























he statist 

cs for participants are shown belov 















Total Number of Participants 





good time to distribute c 
forms with the Bulletin mailing. This will allow etc, 
ave available and for the Plant Exchange List to be d 
~~~ f.wn„ ra hle season for growing and distributing 

..en, 5d - REPORT OF THE BOOKSALES MANAGER (Frank Ka«r, : The m*r 
change for BPS Booksales has been .ha, Steve Mnnyard has stepped do ^ Hm e token 

books will go out with one of the next mailings to members. The 
i books at reasonable prices is becoming ™«* 
Steve in the past. As a result, BPS Booksales mc» 

be able to offer fern books to BPS members at reasonable prices. With the next mailing I hope 

to provide more information about what services BPS Booksales is going to offer. 

Following this report, Adrian Dyer thanked Frank for taking over Booksales. 


2006 was another busy year for Merchandising, particularly as Gill took on the role of BPS 

Treasurer and Bryan concentrated on the Merchandise. We dealt with nearly 30 orders, which 

came mainly from the UK, but also as far afield as the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Belgium 

and Eire. Overall, intake amounted to over £1,300, somewhat less than the £2,000 for 2005. Details 

were available in the Merchandise accounts, with a summary in the Treasurer's account distributed. 

So what was different in 2006? Well, probably the main reason for fewer sales is that Pat Acock 

kindly took over sales of Special Publications, which had been a big seller for us in 2005. 

Mail order continues to be our main outlet for sales, but we did sell items face-to-face to 

members by making use of the AGM in Cambridge and at national meetings in Yorkshire in 

July, in Cornwall in September, and at the November 'Books' indoor meeting. We also sold 

items at our local East Anglia regional meeting, and colleagues in the north again sold a 

number of items at Southport Flower Show and at their North-West AGM. 

Despite plans not to introduce any new items, we did trial John Mickel's US fern calendar, 

but with only limited success. Again, thanks to Anne Wright, we continued to add new 

varieties of her lovely fern greetings cards, including more designs of Christmas cards. The 

merchandise list that was distributed with the autumn mailing boasts some 17 ranges and a 

total of nearly 40 individual products. The list continues to be available through the BPS 

website, and we send out copies when we fulfil orders. 

This year, we hope to add photographs of items to the website. If anyone has any ideas for 

ferny items they'd really like to see, please do let us know. 

Following the report there was a brief discussion on the sales of the calendars produced by 

John and Carol Mickel for 2006 and 2007. For future years, consideration would be given 

to producing a BPS calendar. 


Busby, read by Graham Ackers in his absence): I am pleased to report that I have been 

able to assist with four enquiries this year. The queries ranged from the identification of 

various ferns from photographs, the availability of spores, particular species for research 

and a response to an article published by me in the 2001 Pteridologist. 

It should be noted that answers to such queries do not depend entirely on my grey matter 

but that within the Society, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience for me to draw 

Item 5g - REPORT OF THE ARCHIVIST (Matt Busby, read by Graham Ackers in 
his absence): For the first time since the inception of the Society, we can now quickly 
retrieve from the Society's archive any material requested. This year, we received a request 
from a Warwickshire branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A), for colour-slides of 
the life history of a fern to illustrate a lecture on this subject by a member of the U3A. I am 
pleased to report that we received a letter of thanks from that branch complementing us on 
the excellent quality of the slides that we supplied. 

Work on cataloguing the Society's slide collection is on-going and should be completed by 
the spring of 2007. 

COMMITTEE (Matt Busby, read by Graham Ackers in his absence): Once again I 
must report that this subcommittee has not had any business since my last report for 2005. 
Unless some matters that require discussion present themselves during 2007, it is unlikely 

that this subcommittee will meet. At present the subcommittee consists of Dr Alan 1 eshe. 
Martin Rickard and Matt Busby (convener). 

Acceptance of the above reports (items 4c to 5h) was proposed by Frank McGavigan, 
seconded by Jennifer Ide, and approved by the meeting. Adrian Dyer pointed out thai the 
above reports do not include those of the Regional Organisers, but we should recognise die 
importance of the regional activities to the membership. The regional meetings reports arc. 
however, included in the Bulletin. Adrian thanked all of the Officers. Committee 
Appointees, and their respective helpers for their hard work during the year. 
Having served his three-year term, Dr Adrian Dyer retired from the Presidency at this 
meeting. Mr Robert W. Sykes was proposed as the new President by Adrian Dyer and 
seconded by Yvonne Golding. 

Both Mr Martin H. Rickard and Prof. Barry A. Thomas retired as Vice-presidents at tins 
meeting having served their six-year terms. Mr Rob J. Cooke was proposed as a new Vice- 
president by Adrian Dyer, seconded by Alison Paul. Mr Mike S. Porter was proposed as a 
new Vice-president by Graham Ackers, seconded by Frank McGavigan. 
All of the Officers will retire, but are available for re-election. They are - General iSeaetorj I >. 
Yvonne C. Golding, Treasurer Mrs Gillian J. Smith, Membership Secretary Mr Ml 
Meetings Secretary Mr Patrick J. Acock. Conse. n ation < >rticer> I >r I leather s Me at ,c ,, I , 
Fred J. Rumsey, Fern Gazette Editor Prof Man (},b 

r Miss Alison M. Paul, Website Editor Mr Anthony C. P.gott. 

! Members who retired at this AGM were Mr 

Two of the longest serving Elected C 

R. Graham Ackers and Mr Bryan D. Smith, both having served since Marcn **»•*£ g 

elected President, Mr Robert Sykes resigned as an Elected Committee Member .The o he 

committee members will also retire, but are available for re-election - Mr A.R. ( Matt ) 

Busby, Dr Michael Hayward, Dr Sylvia D. Martmelli and Mr Frank McGavigan. 

The following new Elected Committee Members were proposed. . . 

Prof John A. Edgington, proposed Yvonne Golding, seconded Martin Rickard. 

Mr Roger Golding, proposed Adrian Dyer, seconded Yvonne Uolding 

Mr Howard W. Matthews, proposed Pat Acock, seconded Alison Paul. 

Mr Matt J. Stribley, proposed Bryan Smith, seconded Gill Smith. 

Dr Nick J. Hards had agreed to be nominated by the Committee *»**^ offe 

Adnan Dyer poimed ou. ,ha, ,, was proposed thesra.os of »me of ^ 

positions when the cor 

item 4a above for an ac 


excellent people to come on board - a vtta staU m {& and proj£cts 

volunteers. He had brought some addtttona clarity _ ^ ^ ^^ ^^ ^ 
activities, and had established the new post ot f rojec 
that we would conttnue to enjoy Ms skill and congenial company in other roles. 

Graham Ackers 

BPS ACCOUNTS FOR 2006 & 2007 


Ordinary Fund as at 1 January 2006: 

Total Income 





Fern Gazette 



Printing & Stationery 

Administration & Postage 


Credit Card Costs 
Computer Leasing 

Total Expenditure 

£117.85 £116.81 

n/a £267.20 

£16,212.39 £12,974.99 

£5,419.79 £10,057.20 

£23,820.27 £29,240.06 


it brought forward from previous year £ 


iught forward from previous year £ 1 ,234.63 

Capital brought forwai 

i Fun d £2,383.80 £2,483.04 


£6.687.89 £6,678.84 


Income 2007 

f API \DITURE 2007 

Notes to the Accounts 

1. The accounts reflect the subscriptions actually received in the year. 

1 Savings and Investment terminated their Treasurer's account in August 2007. After 

l, BPS Committee decided to hold a large p 

Charitable Organisations Investment Fund. Favourable reports of this fund had been received 
from other charities - at the present time, interest of 5.8 

3. The Society possesses the following stock: 

Back issues of the Bulletin, Fern Gazette and Pteridologist valued a 

Merchandising valued at approximately £2,000 & capital of £1,385.75 

Booksales - new and second-hand books valued at approximately £5,8 14 & capital of £2,775.88. 

FSC Key to Common Ferns - 25 valued at £38 

BPS Special Publications - Title (no. copies) valued at: 

Fern Names and their Meanings (9 1 ) £4 1 CD Rom - BPS Minute Book (7) £70 

Cultivation and Propagation (255) £ 1 ,275 Polystichum Cultivars (85) £ 1 ,063 

History of British Pteridology (745) £1,863 New Atlas of Ferns (70) £630 
BPS Abstracts & Papers (379) £947 Fern Books Before 1900 (397) £5,565 

4. Full details of Merchandise and Booksales Accounts can be obtained from the Managers. 

5. The Society decided to split the two Restricted Funds into 'Capital' and 'Interest'. 
The 'Interest' section of the Funds is available for payment as grants. 

6. A gram of £300 was made from the Centenary Fund in 2006 to Ken Trewren to investigate fern 
hybrids in Ireland (see 2006 Bulletin 6(5): 433). No grants were made in 2007. 

7. Computers for specific BPS officers use are being leased from Dell Computers. In 2007, the 
Treasurer and the Bulletin Editor were recipients of such machines. 

8. It was decided in committee during 2007 that the accounts published in the Bulletin were too 
tar behind the year that they represented. Therefore accounts for 2005, '06 and '07 are 
presented for comparison in this one 'catch-up' issue. Also for this reason, the invoice for the 
printing of the 2007 Bulletin is NOT in. ! sUC Q f the accounts, but it 
will appear in the 2008 accounts and yearly thereafter. 

Gillian Smith, Treasurer 



In this issue of the Bulletin, we are doing things a little differently in that the reports for 2<X 
are being published now. This is mainly to give more currency to the repots, ratha fa 
having them published as part of the AGM minutes, when they are over a year oui ol dale « 
t this will be more helpful to the majority of members who do not attend the AGM ar 
therefore cannot hear the reports when they are current. For those members « ho dg attend d 
AGM, it allows us the possibility of shortening proceedings by restricting the reports session 
one of questions and answers, although this will be up to the President Btthe tin* \ Q* 
session will of course require AGM attendees to hai 

copy of this Bulletin to the meeting. Another reason fbi bringing the a leta ifl 
contains AGM minutes and reports from 2006, and conventional l> these are Mppmsal 

Ifae next Bulletin will only have the reports for one year, not two as m this changes a edition 
Graham Ackers, Committee Secretin 


2007 has been another busy year for the BPS coi 

fistory Museum (NHM); we had our AGM in Nmbindu 

n in May, this time in Manchester, and were back in 

President. Robert Sykes. 
a task that took much longer than we 
e many clauses that had to be changed to reflect our 

change the name of our Society. For the moment we are leaving it o b 

Soc4 b u, we have agreed ,ha, we shouUi -"^-JJttSffi 
'the society for fern enthusiasts' wherever possible. We will nnans ^ ^ ^ 

changes at our committee meeting in January 2008 and asK 
constitution at the AGM at the NHM in London on 5th April 2008. 

, • j fno at Wislev in November, a small working group 

Following the successful indoor meeting at wisiey ^ 

met (on the Sunday!) to discuss the future direction of the BPS 1 am 
an achievable three-year plan. These Planning Meetings a reianc ^ ^ ^ ^ 

every three years during the first year of a new Presidency. Such , 

members of the committee to discuss strategic issues unen t^ ^ - ^ 
business. One of the mam topics identified ^^~Z, wlth the genera, public, 
of the BPS, both to attract new members and also to eW ^ ^ ^ we are 
which is our statutory duty as a chanty We "™ ^ fems , both for our members 

actively pursuing. Other issues discussed were eaucauu regional 

and the y p P ublic, what else we can provide for gardeners and how we can expand 
groups to cover the whole of the UK. 

One of the downsides of the year's end is marked by the J^^^^Z^ j oh in 
working officers. We say goodbye to James M^eaffle^ ^ ^ ^^ ^^ ^ ^ 
editing ten issues of Pteridologist, the last six o productive years as Meetings 

professionally done. Patrick Acock retires after jed) up and 

Secretary, organising full V™f™™* °J^ e Wnght are retiring as Spore Exchange 
down the country and abroad. Barry ana mmc & 

they too have provided this very popular service to members both in this 
abroad for ten years. We shall miss them in their roles but hope they will all 
. Our Society is run entirely by volunteers who work on behalf of 
our members and I would like to thank all of them for their hard work throughout the year. 

Last year we reported a worrying decline in membership numbers from 793 in 2005 to a 
disappointing 746 at the end of 2006. Unfortunately, this year the number has continued to 
decline, although to a lesser extent. We now have a total of 727 members, made up of 597 
Ordinary, 28 Complimentary, 6 Honorary, 14 Student and 82 Subscribers; of the 'Ordinary' 
members, 89 choose not to take the Fern Gazette. 

Most of the new members we have recruited this year found out about us via an internet 
search, and our website is absolutely vital in both recruiting and retaining our membership. 
A small proportion said that a friend or colleague had passed on information about the 
Society and I would urge all members to help to recruit new members, after all at £20 for a 
year's membership it is extremely good value. We have 65 members who pay via the 
American Fern Society; however, I have been informed by George Yatskievych that due to 
the weak dollar he expects that figure to drop in 2008. 

The amount recovered in Gift Aid was almost the same as last year: £1,131 this year as 
against £1,1 18 in 2006. However, the changes made to income tax in the 2007 budget mean 
that we will receive less in future years unless more members sign the Gift Aid form. The 
Society has benefited by £4,960 since we first started claiming Gift Aid. 
Finally, I received an e-mail from someone asking me to remind members of the importance of 
putting the 'e' in our eBPS e-mail addresses. He forgot and got the British Psychological Society! 

mother enjoyable year thanks to our hard-working meetings 
committee. Reports are in this issue of the Bulletin. Some complaints were voiced 
concerning the fact that only one meeting was organised before August. At the planning 
meeting we always strive for a balanced programme, but as we negotiated with leaders, 
changes came about either through their preferred dates, when particular ferns were at their 
best, or the sudden need for a leader to switch dates after the other meetings were set. 
All meetings were superbly led and were most interesting for a wealth of different reasons. 
Attendance was especially good at Edinburgh, North Wales, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and 
Wisley. Numbers of British participants were down in Texas at our regular joint meeting 
with the Hardy Fern Foundation and on our short foray to France. However, this did not 
detract from the enjoyment. It is by attending these meetings that we really get to know 
each other better and also exchange ideas and bring newer enthusiasts into the fold. 
I would like to thank our regional organisers who do an excellent job fitting local meetings 
amongst the national ones. I would also like to remind members that they are most welcome 
to contact regional secretaries for a programme whether they live in the area or plan to be 
visiting; some programmes are available on the website. 
We would like t 

i Wessex. 

r regional meetings to places devoid of them at the mome 
, Wales, Ireland and Northumberland. When Paul Ripley a 

were asked to become involved in the South-East meetings, we were helped by Clive 
Jenny for year one. We soon got the idea and have continued for the last twenty plus years. 
You need only offer one meeting in the first year to get a group started and help would be at 
hand with who to contact and how to plan a meeting. Basically it would be down to you as 
to what type of meeting to hold. As the group grows new ideas would come from those 
attending. Do feel free to contact me for help eithS by e-mail or regular mail. 


Working with Heather and me and other individual members, the Society's local groups 
have, during the course of the year, provided valuable monitoring data for the conservation 
agencies on several threatened fern species. We hope to integrate such actions more fully in 
future meetings programmes. During the year one previously overlooked native taxon 
(Lycopodium lagopus syn. L. clavatum subsp. monostachyon) has been added to the British 
list through herbarium study and confirmed as still present in two sites by Society members. 
Even more excitingly, a novel species of Polypodium has been discovered on a BPS trip and 
will be described shortly in the Fern Gazette. 

I continue to contribute to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan review process and am ad\ imivj 
on the DEFRA consultation on non-native species. Invasives have a potentially profound 
effect on our flora and most arise as garden escapes; their study and documentation is thus 
of some importance. Proposed legislation may, however, make illegal the sale and 
distribution of what are considered potentially damaging organisms, which could impact the 
Society's members; a watching brief is being maintained. Advice continues to be given on 
conservation issues relating to pteridophytes when requested. 

I am very grateful to the many members who have helped contribute records this year and it 
is pleasing to document the discovery of new species and hybrids to the British Flora made 
as a result of members' actions. I would like to thank Frank McGavigan and the others who 
have helped redesign and road-test new recording cards and it is hoped that versions of 
these can soon be made generally available on request. Anthony Pigott and I have been in 
contact with the Botanical Society of the British Isles with regards to how we might 
mutually benefit with regards to recording matters. They have a nationwide network of 
recorders feeding into national recording schemes that ultimately give out publicly 

accessible data as well as providing de 

We will outline in publications later this year how we as a Society can contribute to these 

important activities and the potential benefits to members of doing so. It .s hoped that 

recording will become more widely embraced within the Society and better integrated into our 

field meetings. Your expertise and knowledge is important and should not be overlooked. 


The Fern Gazette, edited by Mary Gibby and Andrew Leonard and the M 

Alison Paul, are both in good hands (see their individual reports for further 

Special Publications are selling well with the Fern Atlas (2005, «, 

(2005) leading the way. Fern Books, published in 2006. sold ^J^^« 

has helped boost sales recently. This is an incredible run of publications 


Volume 18 Part 2 is practically complete and just awaiting feedback on proofs. Ihere is 
plenty of copy for Part 3. 

grips with newer versions of Microsoft Word has been a steep learning curve. 

The committee discussed the subject of including some ^^"ts'bXdh 

was raised at the AGM in Edinburgh, and a quotation for ^our Printing ^ ^^ 

was agreed that colour could be used at the Editor s discretio . 

of this for the current issue, primarily for logistical reasons. 


After two spells as Editor, James Merryweather has finally retired. He has brought the 
publication a long way with the introduction of colour, the large paper format and slick 
editing techniques. We thank him for all his hard work. His is going to be a tough act to 
follow. Fern knowledge and editing skills are an unlikely combination. Fortunately Alec 
Greening has these skills and has agreed to handle that side of things, so he and I will work 
together for the next two issues. After that we will review the situation. 
It is hoped to bring publication forward to 
copy in future will be January 31st. Copy r 
it is more likely to be held over. 
WEBSITE EDITOR - Anthony Pigott 

The website continues to develop, both with the usual updates of BPS information, such as 
meetings programmes, spore lists and publications and new features such as news of changes 
in conservation priority of fern species and on-line publication of the AGM minutes. The home 
page has continued to evolve, especially to enable visitors to quickly access new information. 
The website has now completed its transformation to the new more contemporary style with 
the last of the 1997 vintage layouts disappearing. There has been a complete revision of the 
pages that describe the organisation, services and activities of the BPS. The old navigation 
structure has been replaced with a new one that is hopefully easier to use and will enable 
natural expansion of website content for some time to come. 

Technical problems, out of our control, at the beginning of the year have had lasting knock- 
on effects delaying progress. The website editor has more recently lost 5 
of time due to family illness, which has further held up development, 
has run the website almost single-han< 
We are now actively looking at how 

i where the editor s 

; coming year includes the prospect of much n 

start to putting the journal back numbers on-line and a guide to where to see 
ferns in the wild. As always, offers of contributions and other help are extremely welcome. 
PROJECT OFFICER - Anthony Pigott 

A project is an activity with a defined objective, timescale and participants. It is a one-off 
activity to achieve a specific goal rather than one of the more usual regular activities of the 
Society. We now have three main projects underway: 

Recording & Mapping. This project will implement a number of items all aimed at 
increasing the participation of the BPS in the recording and analysis of pteridophyte 
distribution in Britain and Ireland. This will include encouraging members to make records 
and working with the BSBI to facilitate the input of new data and access to existing records. 
On-Line Journals. The BPS has decided to make back numbers of its journals available 
on-line. There is a tremendous wealth of pteridophyte knowledge in those pages which is 
currently difficult to access and search. This project will look at the technical and 
administrative issues involved, leading to effective implementation. 

Website Development. We see the website as being of increasing importance to the BPS and 

the way it communicates with its members and the public. This project will identify and implement 

ways to get more people involved and to make the website easier to expand and develop. 



The Spore Exchange is a popular part of the Society's activities. In 2007, 1 13 requests were 
rom UK members and 32 from overseas, 
:ure of our exchange. The overseas requests were from 
3, Canada 1, Denmark 2, Estonia 1. Finland 1. France 1. 
1, Luxembourg 1, Mauritius 1, Netherlands 2, Spain 1, 

I am always extremely grateful for donations, but I still receive a small number of donations 
that prove to contain either no spores at all or so few spores that I cannot list that taxon 
This is made worse by the knowledge that the donor would have spent a considerable time 
collecting what they believed to be an adequate donation of spores. I hope that donors will 
not be offended if I let them know of any problems with thetr donations. It there are any 
queries about donating spores, please feel free to e-mail me at and I 
will do my best to help. May I also make a heartfelt plea that species names etc. arc n ntten 
very clearly in capital letters - it can take a considerable amount of time to look up all the 
possible permutations on the internet! 
It remains only to say thank you to the loyal band of donors, without whom we would not 


Participation in the scheme has been declining. 

Mailing 2006 was not a good time to distribute 

distribute donor forms with the Bulletin mailing, ims win «.».. «~ 

assess what they have available and for the Plant Exchange List to be distributed in the 

early summer, giving a more favourable season for growing and distributing plants. 

The 'Wants' side of the scheme will be reintroduced as a means of increasing interest. It 

will be possible to indicate wants on the donor form for inclusion in the Plant Exchange List 

distributed to participating members. 


This has been a very busy year for BPS, with sa,es of over Og^-M 

due to the bequest of the fern book Etaqr from the late Trevor Walker ^j££™^ 

led to a vety busy Booksales stand a, the AGM in Edinburgh am very gmtofu 

Golding who has taken books for me to other «-J^^^SlS » BPS 

led to many more sales. New books have also become a very v 

Booksales as ,. becomes ever more difficult to obtam fair-pnced econd-han ^ ks ™ 

increased cos. of postage has also become almost prohibitive, nakmf 

though, and my responses have no, alwa> , ta as to ^ ^ 

ts mostly dne to my move to a new research tnstttoto m J ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ 

my new job. which has made it very difficult tor me 10 , , , M 

Hopefully this has not resulted ,n ,00 long delays ,n response ,0 requests. 1 hope tot 
able to spend more time on BPS Booksales in the coming year. 

Unusually, 2007 was no, as successful as ****-*££%£ "mfjm 
glean m/particular reasons for this. We ^^ZLt^^vluSA. Canada. 
UK and Italy), compared with nearly 30 in 2006 which came ^ 

Australia, France, Belgium and Eire). So, ^^'^^^tings in Wales 
year. We sold merchandise at the AGM ir tin u ^ ^ ^ ^.^ 

(August), the Peaks (September), Lincoln (Septet™ 1 

meeting (November). For the national meetings, we gave attendees the option to pre-order 

items. Colleagues in the north, as before, sold merchandise at the Southport show (August), 

and at the AGMs of the Yorkshire Regional Group and the North-West Regional Group. 

Overall, sales amounted to just over £600, about half of the £1,300 for 2006. Further details 

can be found in the Merchandise section of the Treasurer's accounts. 

The current merchandise list (September 2007), which was distributed with the autumn 

mailing, boasts some 17 ranges and a total of nearly 40 individual products. The list 

continues to be available through the BPS website, and we send out copies when we fulfil 

orders. This year we hope to add photographs of items to the website. If anyone has any 

ideas for ferny items they would really like to see and that they think other members would 

also like to buy, please do let us know. 


I have nothing to report this year. My file of cases has remained empty throughout 2007. 

The only queries that I have received is for speakers to give talks to societies on ferns and 

fern growing. This is largely due to my name remaining on spi 

having retired from giving talks two years ago. The Committee i 

register of members who are able and prepared to give talks to gardening societies. 

ARCHIVIST - Matt Busby 

During 2007, items from the Archive have been supplied to the journal British Wildlife and 

to various members of the Society. Work on cataloguing the Society's slide collection has 

been completed. It numbers some 1,400 slides. Consideration is being given to digitising 

some of the most valued slides. 


As in previous years, this subcommittee has remained inactive due to lack of business. The 

subcommittee consists of Dr Alan Leslie, Martin Rickard, and me as convener. 

Honorary Membership - Christopher N. Page 

Christopher Nigel Page (born 1942) has had a lifelong interest in ferns and horsetails, u Inch 
began by collecting fossils of them in the Forest of Dean. He went to Durham University to 
study geology but once there met Dr Trevor Walker and subsequently transferred to 
Botany, graduating with First Class Honours in 1964. He went on to investigate evolution in 
~~ jvor Walker. 

Almost immediately, Chris took up a post-doctoral Fellowship at the University o\' 
Queensland in Australia during which time he travelled widely, carrying out fieldwork in 
Africa and Australasia. Following a brief interval as a Demonstrator at Oxford, lie was 
appointed in 1971 to the staff at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). He initiated a 
programme of research, working on pteridophytes and gymnosperms for the next 25 years 
and travelling extensively through Asia and the Pacific. 

Chris joined the BPS in 1965, having already published a paper in The Fern Gazette in 
1963. He was on the Committee from 1970-1985 and a Vice-President from 1985-1990. He 
edited The Fern Gazette for ten years from 1974. During the 1970s and 1980s, lie was ver) 
active on BPS field meetings and also recruited a lot of new members through his Field 
Studies Council courses at Slapton (Devon) and Kindrogan (Perthshire). He has published 
many articles in the Pteridologist, particularly on fern photography. He was co-organiser of 
the highly successful international fern conference The Biology of Pteridophytes held m 
1983 at RBGE, initiated by Adrian Dyer and sponsored by the BPS. the Linnean Soc.ety 
and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Chris was co-editor of the subsequently published 
Proceedings {Biology of Pteridophytes. Eds A.F. Dyer & C.N. Page. Proc. Roy. Soc. Ed.n.. 
Series B, Vol. 86.) 

He is likely to be best known to BPS members as the author of two influential books: 
The Ferns of Britain and Ireland (CUP, 1982; 2nd Edition 1997) and^ Natural History 
of British Ferns (Collins New Naturalist, 1988). The first of these has been m 
sales for 25 years and CUP are planning a celebration for Chn 

hybrids, their morphol 

British species and their 
and natural and man-made 
—t preferences and their associated species. H,s w,ne tnterests and experience enable 
him to place the British flora in the context of its evoiutionary h.s.ory and geology^ 

^r=:t,nir^c^r'^^ c 

; napei 

The diversity of ferns: an ecological 
\nne Experimental Biology of Ferns, Academic Press, 1979). 
....... Chris continues to advise and wrhe^out *«* ha. ; s^hed a new 

fern garden m Cornwall. His man ^^^^TZcJy means to that 
c ent Fc t dy of fern ecology. He sees tern taxonomy 

Honorary Membership - John T. Micrel 

supports symposia on 

John has studied ferns at 
New York Botanical Gai 
herbarium since 1969 

- Mi's ' 

worldwide and of course his 
books. He has contributed 
greatly to our knowledge of the 
ferns of North and Central 
America. With the late Joe Beitel 
he wrote the Pteridophyte flora 
of Oaxaca, and more recently, 
still in Mexico, he and Alan 
Smith produced the hugely 
impressive Pteridophytes of 
Mexico. John organised several 

Sachs as the very 
I Oaxaca journal. He organised two fern workshops in Trinidad and put together 
a very useful guide to the ferns of that island. Years later this book served as an 
indispensable identification guide for the BPS excursion in 2004. For my part I always use 
his How to know the ferns and fern allies when trying to identify a North American fern. 

There is really no excuse for any one interested in ferns not knowing the name of M 
He has done much for fern gardeners too. His The home gardener 's book of ferns and 
recently Ferns for American gardens have opened new horizons for fern growers be 
the USA and in Europe. In addition, from 1973 until 1995 he edited the American 
Society's Fiddlehead Forum, frequently with the help of his wife Carol. 
I once asked him how many books had he written He gue 
have only scratched the surface here. 


"about 20", so you can see, i 
immaculate and full of a very 

1 Carol's garden in New York State is a delight. Il 

lection of often very unusual ferns, all beautifully grown. Moving into his house you 
escape the fern influence. If you have a chance to look around when not being treated 
imous Mickel hospitality, you will see fern memorabilia everywhere. Virtually 
ig is adorned by a fern motif! Towels, carpets, serviettes, crockery, glass, seats, 
etc. Last but not least, John's car number plate probably sums him up: 'FERNMAN'! 
Martin Rickard 

Honorary Membership - Alan R. Smith 

Dr Alan R. Smith has long been considered one of the most competent and experienced 
pteridologists working with the Neotropical fern flora. Since 1969 he has been Curator 
and Research Botanist at the Herbarium of the University of California, in Berkeley, 
USA. He was born in Sacramento (CA) in 1943, obtained his BS Degree in Botany in 
1965 from the Kansas State University, and earned his PhD in 1969 at the Iowa State 
University, as a student of Dr John T. Mickel (currently retired from NYBG). After 
falling in love with ferns in Costa Rica while participating in a course in tropical 
pteridology, Alan worked on the pteridophytes of many Neotropical countries, 
collaborating in floristic research on the ferns of Mexico, Central America. Venezuela, 
Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and the Guianas, or providing generic treatments in several 
important families (such as Thelypteridaceae, Grammitidaceae and Polypodiaceac). In 
1993, he was co-editor and advisor for the volume on pteridophytes for the Flora of 
North America North of Mexico. He was co-author with John Mickel o\' the 'ferntastie' 
work Pteridophytes of Mexico (2004), more than 1,000 pages taking into account recent 
results on the systematics and phylogeny of ferns. 

Recently, he has been involved in phylogenetic research on relationships of the basal terns 
and on the aforementioned families, in collaboration with many other pteridologists 
(Robbin Moran, Kathleen Pryer, Paul Wolf, Tom Ranker, Chris Haufler. Harald Schneider, 
Jean- Yves Dubuisson, Ray Cranfill, Dave Des Marais, Eric Schuettpelz. Andy Murdock. 
and others). This work led to the recent (2006) publication of an important paper in Taxon, 
on 'A classification for extant ferns', and more recently (Taxon. 2006) on a revision of a 
group of Neotropical Polypodium relatives. 

He has described and participated in the description of six new fern genera, and has 
authored or co-authored about 560 combinations involving new species, subspecies, 
varieties and hybrids. Seven taxa have been dedicated to him and bear his name. 
In addition, Alan Smith has been President of the American Fern Society and Editor of the 
American Fern Journal. 

1 Neotropical ferns but also of ferns 
n ready to help pteridologists with 
bers of the BPS who have been in 
touch with him can bear witness to this. His kindness, his breadth < 
rapid response to e-mails with clear and precise answers are much a 
progress on fern s; 


We were sorry to learn of the death of the following members (date joined BPS in brackets): 

Dr Donald Carmichael of Devon (1997) 

Dr Robert Finch of Cambridge (1968) 

Mr Alf Hoare of Hertfordshire (1969). An obituary will be published in the 2008 Bulletin. 

Mr Wallace Fyfe of Isle of Bute (1998). An obituary will be published in the 2008 Bulletin. 



Meetings Secretary: 

M.H. Rickard, N.J. Hards, J.M. Ide, R.J. Cooke, P.H. Ripley 
Thurs. 14 - Thurs. 28 Feb. Overseas Field Meeting - Costa Rica 

Leader: Klaus Mehltreter 

Sat. 5 April AGM & Spring Indoor Meeting - Presentations on fern 

distribution and ecology of La Reunion, Texas & Costa Rica - 

Natural History Museum, London 

Leader: Pat Acock 

Fri. 1 8 - Fri. 25 April Overseas Field Meeting - Madeira 

Leader: Pat & Grace Acock 

Sat. 14 - Sun. 15 June Weekend Field Meeting - South Wales 

Leader: Pat Acock 

Sat. 26 - Sun. 27 July Weekend Field Meeting - SW of Dumfries, Scotland 

Leader: Frank McGavigan 

Thurs. 21 - Sun. 24 Aug. *Southport Flower Show: BPS Stand 

Further Info.: Michael Hay ward 
Sat. 20 - Sun. 2 1 Sept. Weekend Field Meeting - Swanage, Dorset 

Leaders: Ted Pratt 

Sat. 1 Nov. Note Autumn Indoor Meeting - Focus On Spleenworts - 

Change of Da te Natural History Museum, London 

Leader: Pat Acock 

* Event supported by, but not organised by, the BPS. 

For further details of these and other meetings of interest to members, including information 
on accommodation, please see the separate Meetings Programme sheet. This can be sent to 
overseas members on request and is also available on the BPS website. 

Regional Meetings 

Please note. Regional group meetings are open to all members, so if you are travelling 
through or holidaying in one of the following areas area you would be very welcome to join 
in. ror details of meetings please see the BPS website or contact the regional organisers by 
e-mail, or by post enclosing a stamped addressed envelope. 
Yorkshire Bruce Brown, 4 Bank Parade, Otley, West Yorks. LS2 1 3DY 

South-East England Paul Ripley, 2 Station Villas, Station Road, Appledore, Ashford, Kent 

TN26 2DF; e-mail: 
East Anglia Tim Pyner, 1 82 Southchurch Boulevard, Southend-on-Sea, Essex 

SS2 4UX; e-mail: 
North-West England Peter Campion, Lake View, Castle Hill, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, 

Cumbria CA12 4RG; e-mail: 
Cornwall Matt Stribley, 8 St George's Road, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3JE 


Frank McGavigan, 12 Glenbank Avenue, Lenzie, Glasgow G66 5AA 



DISCLAIMER: Views expressed by contributors to The British Ptehdological 
Society Bulletin are not necessarily those of the British Pteridological Society. 


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