News from the British Bryological Society

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Looking forward to 2022

Newer members (and maybe some older ones!) may not be aware that January is when new members of Council take up their positions. This year we say goodbye to our president for the past 2 years, Agneta Burton, and welcome Liz Kungu, who has this message for members:

I want to thank Agneta for all her hard work in guiding the BBS over the last two very strange years, when so much of the Society’s work has had to be postponed or placed online, but as can be seen from all the information on this page, behind the scenes the work of the Society continued unabated. A very successful autumn meeting and AGM held in north Wales in September 2021 is surely a sign of the improving times to come.

Looking forward to the coming year, there is still some uncertainty as to how many of the field meetings will be able to take place, as the planned visit to Hungary has already been postponed again, due to uncertainty about international travel with the new Covid variant.

However, we do expect that the much-anticipated week field meeting on Jura, originally planned for 2020, will eventually take place in 2022.

The greater flexibility and smaller numbers participating in local meetings has meant that many of these could restart as soon as Covid restrictions allowed and these have been continuing throughout 2021. There are now 22 local recording groups scattered across Britain and Ireland and I highly recommend joining your local group if you are interested in learning about bryophytes. Personally, I find that a good dose of bryotherapy (a term coined by a fellow bryologist) in these difficult times can be very beneficial. These meetings provide the opportunity to meet up outside with friendly, like-minded bryologists, learn from each other and add to our knowledge of bryophyte distribution, you never know what you will discover. If there isn’t a group in your area, how about starting one yourself.

Liz Kungu, January 2021

Second edition of the Field Guide

The Publications Committee is looking into the production of a second edition of Mosses and liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a field guide, originally published by the BBS in 2010. We are asking anyone who has spotted errors in the current edition to please contact us at with details. You can read more here.

Introduction to Bryophytes

If you’ve ever been fascinated by the colourful and multi-textured array of mosses on a stone wall, stony ground or woodland floor, and wondered what they all are, then this section is for you. The Learning area of the website will introduce you to bryophytes and get you started identifying some of the common species around where you live.

Start here

Explore your area

…without even leaving the house. Many knowledgeable and experienced BBS members have contributed to the vice-county pages, describing what can be found in their local areas and giving hints and tips on places to visit. Read all about your vice-county before you head out.

Launch the Vice-county explorer

The BBS Field Guide

This book is the only up-to-date, user-friendly guide to identifying British and Irish bryophytes in the field, with colour photos and drawings showing what species look like; notes on how to identify and to distinguish between similar species; and distribution maps and habitat notes, which will help you to decide whether you have correctly identified a plant.

Buy your copy here

Bryophyte of the month

Scapania nimbosa

Taylor ex Lehm.

Scapania nimbosa (Cloud Earwort) is a relatively rare liverwort of cool, wet climates and a typical member of the northern hepatic mat of north-west Scotland.  It is instantly recognisable in the field by the long, spinose teeth.

This specimen was spotted by Gordon Rothero on Corra Bheinn during the recent BBS meeting on Jura. It was growing as scattered shoots amongst other liverwort species. You can see more photos on the Species page at

Learn More

Our upcoming events

There are plans afoot to replace the postponed Spring 2022 meeting in Hungary, with a short-notice meeting in Cornwall. Please click the link below for details.

See all our upcoming events

Annual General Meeting 2022: Teesside University

10 September 2022 - 11 September 2022

Register your interest now with the local meeting organiser, Ambroise Baker (

Read more about this event and register

Yorkshire Naturalists Union: Ogden Clough and Ovenden Moor

8 October 2022 (10:00 - 16:00)

Read more about this event and register