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Welcome to the BBS Website


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.


Join the BBS now or renew your subscription online with Paypal  
Find out about future meetings of the society 
Local meetings in your area 
Find out about bryology in your county  
Previous and some new articles from our popular publication 
Online access for members to all issues including the Transactions  
Order the Field Guide (see below) and find out more about it  
Apply for grants and financial assistance 


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2018 AGM Llanrwst, North Wales, 6-7 October 2018

The 2018 BBS AGM will be held in North Wales the weekend of 6th and 7th October 2018.  The venue for the Saturday AGM is Glasdir, a conference centre in the market town or Llanrwst, approximately 5 miles from Betws-y-coed. There will be an excursion on Sunday 7th October, details to be provided closer to the time.

The address of the venue is as follows:


Plas yn Dre



LL26 0DF

This is a tourist area which has many different types of accommodation available. Although the AGM is outside the main tourist season, it would be advisable to book accommodation in advance.

If you wish to take part or would like further information please contact Lucia Ruffino by email at




Forthcoming BBS field mettings and workshops

We have a fantastic 2018 programme of field meetings and workshops! This includes week-long field meetings in the Yorkshire Dales, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Arran, as well as a workshop dedicated to the genus Didymodon presented by world-leading experts.

Yorkshire Dales, April 2018

Isle of Man, joint meeting with the BSBI, July 2018

Isle of Arran VC 100, July 2018

Didymodon Workshop, October 2018

Please also consult our local meeting page for more information about one-day field meetings in your area.

If you would like to contribute to the 2019 programme, please get in touch with Lucia Ruffino at


BBS Records from SSSI grid cells

This app simply counts the number of taxa recorded in SSSI grid square-VC combinations, where a SSSI grid square is either a monad (1 x 1 km) or tetrad (2 x 2 km) with any non-zero overlap with the named SSSI. The SSSI boundaries are taken from the relevant national agency websites. It is intended that it will be updated periodically, and it is hoped that Ireland will be added in the near future too. Note that hectad records, only identified as SSSI records by a locality name, are not encompassed by this app.

Users should also note that, due to the liberal interpretation of ‘SSSI grid square’ used here, some records counted within this app may not have been made within SSSI boundaries; also, even where they have been, it is not necessarily the case that a large amount of recording indicates that a site has been thoroughly surveyed - expert interpretation of actual taxon records (NBN Atlas) should complement this tool.

Link to 'records from SSSI grid cells' app


Spring field meetings 2018, 2019 and 2020

Would you like bryologists from all over Britain and Ireland to come and help you record your county or local area?

If the answer is yes, then you could host a BBS Spring or summer Meeting! Spring and Summer meetings are usually 5 -7 days long and all you need to do is find sites that need recording. A bunch of friendly bryologists will then come and records in the chosen locations and you can watch the record cards coming in... Meetings are also a great opportunity for beginners to learn from expert bryologists in the field.

If you think you could host a Spring or Summer meeting in 2018, 2019 or 2020, please get in touch with Lucia Ruffino at or on Twitter


Field Guide available

We are pleased to report that the BBS Field Guide to the Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland is available as usual.  Widely acknowledged as the finest available, no serious field bryologist should be without a copy.

To order click here.


Census Catalogue Data updated

The updated text and data files relating to bryophyte distribution according to vice-counties have been updated by Oli Pescott to include all records up to the ens of 2015. They are available on the downloads page.



Web page displaying vice-county distribution data

John Lowell has written some web-based code for displaying the BBS vice-county bryophyte distribution data (up to and including 2015 records) on maps. This is a very quick and simple visual way of displaying the data of any species and can be found at


2015 recording cards now available

The recording cards have been updated by Oli Pescott and Chris Preston, and there are also electronic data enty versions. For more information, please consult the Recording Cards Page. There is now a v2 of the backs of the cards which includes a minor correction to the BRC numbers



Wildlife of the Marches

Two of the editors of the BBS’s Field Guide have collaborated on producing a new book ‘Wildlife in the Marches’, which contextualises bryology in the wider scope of natural history. The book can be ordered online from Amazon, or by post from Marches Publications, 12A Castleview Terrace, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 2NG.  Please make your cheque for £34.50 (which includes £6 P&P) payable to ‘Mark Lawley’

Further details are available here and on Ian Atherton's website 






The Mosses and Liverworts of Mid-West Wales - by Jeff Bates

An eminently readable description of the rich flora of mosses and liverworts found grow ing within a large part of West Wales accessible from Aberystwyth. Detailed accounts of the habitats of 643 species and varieties are included together with coloured maps showing their presence in 5 × 5 km squares. Parts of five vice-counties are covered encompassing such iconic sites as Cadair Idris, the Dyfi Valley, Ynyslas Dunes, Borth< Bog, Cwm Rheidol, Pumlumon, Cwm Ystwyth, Tregaron Bog, the Elan Valley, Drygarn Fawr, the upper Wye Valley and the long coastline between Fairbourne and Llangrannog Head. Introductory chapters provide a background to the effects of geology, climate and Man on the region’s bryophytes, and also discuss phytogeography, important sites for conservation and the history of exploration of the Flora. Although not intended as an
identification guide, tips on identification are included within most of the accounts. The book is illustrated with colour photographs of important localities and a selection of close-up shots of both typical and rare species. With foreword by M.C.F. Proctor.

More details here.




New Atlas of British and Irish Bryophytes

A stupendous achievement by the authors as well as a tribute to the work of the BBS, it is difficult to know why anyone would not be anxious to secure a copy.

Further details are available on their website







Ash Dieback Survey

BBS members are encouraged to become involved with this project, co-ordinated by CEH and supported by our new joint recording secretary, Oli Pescott. Further details and links can be found here. There is a dedicated website for the project run by CEH which includes such novelties as an interactive map for registering interest in particular monads.


Online BBS Field Guide Pages

Including individual species accounts , keys and introductory pages can now be accessed here


New Cumulative Index of Publications 13.3

The latest version, 13.3, (17 October 2017) of the Cumulative Index is available for downloading from The index covers all of the printed publications of the Society and the version includes entries up to the Journal of Bryology, up to vol. 39 Part 3 published in September 2017 and Field Bryology 117 (May 2017). The format is a searchable pdf file of some 58,000 entries. 

NEW: This version of the website also includes two new features

1.    A list of all the references, ALLREFS, (nearly 80 thousand) cited in the Transactions of BBS (1947-1971) and Journal of Bryology (1972-2017). This list has been produced for those needing an aide memoire to find a specific reference when one’s memory has failed to remember the details, and Google is of little help.

2.    PDFs of some difficult to find early Census Catalogues and similar publications from 1877 to 1965. Also a PDF of a short account of the history of the Moss Exchange Club (MEC) and British Bryological Society (BBS) from 1896 to 1944 by Miss Eleonora Armitage, the only lady member of the original membership in 1896.

The web site also has details of the MEC, lists of Past Officers, details of BBS publications and Census catalogues, etc, etc.



BBS Bryophyte Recording Handbook

This landmark publication is essential and fascinating reading for all who record bryophytes and who wish to enable the best use of their records. It includes sections on identification and the BBS recording scheme, as well as the use of paper and electronic recording systems, how to submit your records, and how they can be accessed on the National Biodiversity Network.

Paper copies have been distributed to current members, but a pdf copy can be downloaded here.




If you have any comments on the the site, please contact the Website Editor, Ambroise Baker

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