The following links to various websites have been collated over the years by members of the Botanical Cornwall Group. If you have a useful website that you use in your botanical work or recording please or if any of the below links are broken please report them to the co-ordinator.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

Many counties or vice-counties have pages with their own useful links on the BSBI website – including Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Cornish Biodiversity Network (CBN) –  From the website – “The Cornish Biodiversity Network is a new and much improved recording system for Cornwall which we hope will cater for the needs of all recorders and all those that need access to Cornwall’s biological records.

The CBN is designed to be the leading on-line resource for wild plants and animal data, providing easily accessible information on the wildlife of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, on land and offshore, and assisting with all activities concerned with their study.

The CBN is a central online repository for Cornwall’s biological records, which for many, particularly terrestrial, groups holds the most up to data information available. This database stores over 3.6 million individual sightings of wildlife, covering 27,000 different plants and animals and grows at an average rate of 200,000 records per year, making Cornwall the one of the most productive regions in Britain for recording wildlife, and the most comprehensively and intensively surveyed.

The CBN is managed and run by the biological recording community for the benefit of that community, led by a Steering Group. It is properly constituted and is in the process of setting up a Community Interest Company. The CBN is driven by the need to improve what we, as recorders, do, how we do it and the services we provide. It has been set up to invest the lions’ share of the income it will generate into the biological recording community itself.”

APHOTOFLORA of the Devon and Cornwall Peninsula – An Educational Photographic Resource and Botanical Stock Image Library dedicated to the Flora, Wildflowers, Trees, Shrubs and Habitats of South-West England, including the Devon and Cornwall Peninsula by David Fenwick.

CISFBR – Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders – An independent group of biologists, both plant and animal specialists. We aim to represent the views of the recorders, amateur and professional and work closely with, and hopefully add substantially to, but not duplicate, the work already carried out in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by existing wildlife groups and organisations.

Cornwall Butterfly Conservation – The Cornwall branch of Butterfly Conservation is dedicated to saving wild butterflies, moths and their habitats. Cornwall Butterfly Conservation is working to establish the present status of butterflies in Cornwall so we can tell which species are increasing or in decline. Visit the website to further your knowledge of the 40 or so butterfly species that enhance beautiful Cornwall.

Cornish Hedge Group – The Cornish Hedge Group was formed out of the Cornwall Biodiversity Initiative to bring together all those bodies and individuals with an interest in Cornish Hedges. The Group is co-ordinated by Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG).  It meets about twice a year to discuss current issues.  It has published or contributed to a number of papers, publications and technical advice. Also see Cornish Hedges

Cornwall Wildlife Trust – The leading local charity working to protect and enhance Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places. We are passionate about all aspects of nature conservation and work only in Cornwall.We want to help everyone enjoy nature…forever, so get exploring and be inspired!

Elms in Cornwall – Since the mid 1970’s Cornwall, like the rest of England, has seen a dramatic and catastrophic change in it’s landscape due to elm disease. Lost are the rows of tall hedgerow trees which protected crops, buildings and stock from the ravages of the Cornish weather. Gone is the local material for the Cornish Gigs. Or is it? This site aims to describe the importance of elms and their distribution in Cornwall, explain the nature of elm disease, and give some hope for elms in Cornwall for the future. It will also attempt to answer some of the frequently asked questions about elms and elm disease.

ERCCIS – Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – Hosted by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, ERCCIS provides a resource, acting as a central database that collects, manages and disseminates information about both the biological and geological state of the county.

Flora of Plymouth – T. R. Archer Briggs classic 1880 Flora includes south-east Cornwall records. Download as a PDF (29MB)

Launceston Parish Wildlife – The Parish-Wildlife approach was introduced by the Launceston Branch of Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) to involve the local members in practical projects.It was developed in 2000-2001 with the help of a Millennium Award and has evolved with 5 local parishes in North Cornwall (Altarnun, St Clether, Lezant, North Hill, North Petherwin ), where local people are learning how to recognise different kinds of wildlife and then record what they see in their own area. The Group has developed with support and advice from Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS), the former North Cornwall District Council, the Environment Agency and other local conservation organisations such as West Country Rivers Trust and South West Forest. It also benefits from a network of local experts who spread the responsibility of leading events and teaching identification skills. Members develop their identification and recording skills through the support of these experts who lead field trips and other events. A database has been developed to provide data processing and reporting schemes, managed by individual parishes. Anyone who has an interest in their environment can take part, regardless of any initial identification or recording skills – training is adapted to the individual needs. As well as bringing people together, learning about local wildlife and developing their skills, the parish groups act as first hand observers of any changes which may be taking place in the environment.

Royal Cornwall Museum  – biological collections – The botanical collection contains a number of diverse herbaria (collections of pressed plants). One of the key collections is that compiled by F Hamilton Davey to support the first edition of his “Flora of Cornwall” which was published by Davey in 1910. A copy of the book resides in the RIC’s Courtney Library. Additional herbaria include collections compiled by R V Tellam (British flora), F Rilstone (Cornish mosses, liverworts and fungi etc.), and R W Smitham (Cornish mosses).(UNFORTUNATELY Natural History enquiries and identifications will be suspended until end September 2013.)  –

CINNG – Community Invasive Non-Native Group, CINNG is a Local Action Group based in Cornwall and working throughout South West England. CINNG raises awareness of the adverse impacts of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) on the natural environment and the ecosystem goods and services it provides. We work with community volunteers and relevant organizations (e.g. utility companies, national charities and government agencies) to conserve, protect and improve the natural environment by reducing the impact of INNS.

CINNG often work with other organisations including South West Lakes Trust, South West Water, CABI, National Trust, Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group and Cornwall Butterfly Conservation. This collaboration allows actions to have a greater impact and sharing of expert knowledge.

Useful info for field recorders in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

Met Office – check the weather forecast before recording or attending a meeting. See if it will rain today here

Tide Tables for Cornwall and other parts of the British Isles. Recording on the coast? Don’t get caught out by the tide!

British societies

Botanical Society of the British Isles –  The BSBI is for everyone who is interested in the flora of Britain and Ireland. Welcoming both professional and amateur members it remains the biggest and most active organisation devoted to the study of botany in the British Isles. The BSBI produces national Atlases and county Floras of the distribution of plants; publishes the New Journal of Botany; and holds conferences and field meetings. Members are kept informed by a newsletter three times a year and are invited to make use of our system of county recorders and national referees who can help with the identification of plants. An education programme supported by the society aims brings high quality botanical training within the reach of all, from A Level students to professional development and postgraduate courses and qualifications. Scientific research on British botany is supported through grants awarded by the Science & Research Committee and through the work of the Plant Unit. The BSBI Archive with masses of scanned documents, journals, newsletters and other society material is here.

The British Bryological Society – exists to promote the study of mosses and liverworts. With a full programme of field meetings, a paper reading meeting, recording and research projects, an international academic journal and a lively membership magazine there is something for everyone interested in learning about bryophytes. Field meetings in Cornwall organised by the current BBS recorder for Cornwall Matt Stribley are on the BBS website. The Bryophytes of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are mapped and described on the CISFBR website. The accounts are written by the former bryophyte recorder for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, David Holyoak, and are a brilliant resource for bryologists working in the area. Illustrated with David’s photographs, it is the best online resource of a British county bryoflora.

British Ecological Society –  The vision of the British Ecological Society is to advance ecology and make it count. Ecology is the scientific study of the distribution, abundance and dynamics of organisms, their interactions with other organisms and with their physical environment.  At a time when finite natural resources are being used at increasing rates, it has never been more important for human society to understand its impact on ecological systems and their importance in maintaining human health. The BES’s many activities include the publication of a range of scientific literature, including five internationally renowned journals, the organisation and sponsorship of a wide variety of meetings, the funding of numerous grant schemes, education work and policy work.  The Society also runs supporting initiatives such as the gratis book scheme which aims to make ecology publications available to those who couldn’t otherwise obtain them. The Society was established in 1913 and has approximately 4,000 members worldwide, and membership is open to all with an interest in ecology.  There is a small membership fee, with discounts for students and those from low income countries. The Society is funded through income from subscriptions, publications and its investment portfolio. It is an independent organisation that receives little outside funding.

British Lichen Society– welcomes all who are interested in lichens, whether you are a complete beginner or someone with a life-time’s experience of lichenology. Throughout the world, but with a special emphasis on the British Isles, our aims are: to promote and advance the teaching and study of lichens; to encourage and actively support the conservation of lichens and their habitats; to raise public awareness of the beauty of lichens and of their importance as indicators of the health of our environment. We work towards these aims through field meetings, workshops and recording projects. Our Bulletin is packed with information about lichens, lichenologists and events, and we also publish a highly regarded scientific journal, The Lichenologist.

British Mycological Societyis a registered British Charity open to all who are interested in promoting and learning about the exciting world of fungi. It has member sections devoted to particular aspects of the fungal world including cutting edge research into many aspects of fungal science, the conservation and recording of fungi and the provision of educational resources for use at all ages and experience. If you are working with, fascinated by or wish to learn about fungi the Society can help.

British Pteridological Society– The focal point for fern enthusiasts throughout the British Isles. It provides a wide range of information about ferns, through its web site and by publishing regular journals, leaflets and books, and organising formal talks, informal discussions and outdoor meetings. The international membership includes those interested in gardening, natural history and botany, both amateur and professional. It is a friendly society run on a voluntary basis. The Objects of the Society are to promote all aspects of Pteridology by encouraging the appreciation, conservation, cultivation and scientific study of ferns, horsetails, clubmosses and quillworts through publications, meetings, the provision of grants and other appropriate means.

The Wild Flower Society – The Wild Flower Society is the only national society created specifically for amateur botanists and wild flower lovers in the UK.  We are a friendly group who like to meet up throughout the summer months to see and photograph British wild plants in their natural habitats. The Society has been running for over a century and proudly boasts a number of very eminent botanists and academics amongst our ranks with at least fourteen members having plants named after them! But there are also many enthusiastic flower-lovers who just come along to learn more about field botany and generally enjoy being outdoors with like-minded individuals.


Natural England

The National Trust

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

The Wildlife Trusts

Other parts of the British Isles

Many counties or vice-counties have pages with their own useful links on the BSBI website – including Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Others are –

The Devonshire Association – details of the Botany section here

Hants Plants (Hampshire)

Oxfordshire Flora Group

Shropshire Botanical Society

Somerset Rare Plants Group

Atlases and maps

Online Atlas of the British and Irish flora – On this website we aim to bring together standard sources of information on the distribution and ecology of the wild flowering plants and ferns of Britain and Ireland, and to build up a portfolio of reliably identified photographs.

Where’s the Path? – invaluable mapping website which shows OS maps and aerials and ability to get accurate grid references to use for botanical recording.

Old-maps – Old-Maps is the UK’s most comprehensive historical map archive comprising site centred historical maps covering England, Wales and Scotland. Old-maps sprovide a complete step by step picture of land use changes that have taken place from the mid-19th Century onwards, from OS County Series, OS Town Plans and post-war National Grid mapping to unique Russian Maps of UK target locations from the cold-war era. Very useful for researching botanical sites to see how they may have changed over time.

Bing Maps – the aerial facility on the search engine has the most up to date aerials online (until someone tells me otherwise!). Aerial images are from Spring 2011 (Google Maps satellite images for Cornwall are from 2004)


Annals of Botany – Archive of all online content 1887 – 2013

Journal of Plant Ecology – 4 years’ worth of content, free for you to read! All articles published between 2008 and 2011 are available free online.

Museums and herbaria

Natural History Museum – Our vision is to advance our knowledge of the natural world, inspiring better care of our planet. Our mission is to maintain and develop our collections, and use them to promote the discovery, understanding, responsible use and enjoyment of the natural world.

Herbaria@home  – over 121393 herbarium specimens have been documented from various British Herbaria up to February 2013 – hundreds more are being added each week. Images can be edited or downloaded and are proving invaluable in confirming old records for Cornwall. Get involved in the project now! – offers information on collectors / botanists who were active mainly in the Nineteenth century – though some included here fall outside that time frame.  Associated with the herbaria@home project.


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Education and Universities

Field Studies Council


Ancient Tree Forum

Woodland Trust


Index Fungorum

Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota

The Fungal Records Database of Britain and Ireland

Geology and soils

The British Geological Survey has a zoomable and fully annotated Geological Map of Britain

Biological recording

National Biodiversity Network

National Federation for Biological Recording

Other groups


The Wildflower Page

British Wild Flowers

European botany

The BSBI website has many useful botanical links to countries

Others are –

Anthos – distribution maps for Spain

Flora Iberica – Iberian Peninsula and Balearic islands

Flora Vascular – Iberian Peninsula and Balearic islands

Worldwide botany

The BSBI website has many useful botanical links to countries

Others are –

American Journal of Botany

World Plants –  Professor Michael Pascoe (a transplanted Cornishman!) describes his website as “an ever growing database of plants and plant related information that has been garnered through experience in the garden and landscape and through my travels around the world. All of the plants on this website I have viewed ‘up close and personal.’ This is not a collection of images collected from the Internet and re-posted but a resource of real experience.” It is a very informative website and has a huge list of LINKS  to other botanical orientated websites and pages.

efloras  – Links to worldwide floras online

Botanical books

The Wadebridge Bookshop – Cornwall’s leading independent bookshop

BSBI Archive – Many of the BSBI journals are available to download

Summerfield Books (official suppliers for BSBI publication)

Internet Archive – downloadable botanical books, journals and masses of other stuff!

Natural History Book Service

Taxonomy and nomenclature

International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants

The International Plant Names Index

WFO Plant List