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Welcome to the British Bryological Society

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 or renew your membership 
Find out about future meetings of the society 
Local meetings in your area 
Browse articles from our popular bulletin 
Online access for members to all issues including the Transactions  
Get started with the BBS Field Guide  
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Plantlife Atlantic Woodland Guides

Plantlife have produced some useful guides in PDF format, for their Atlantic Woodland conservation projects in the South West of England and the Lake District.

These include some beginners identification guides for bryophytes and lichens in this habitat.

There are also guides for Woodland Managers.

All are available to download on the Plantlife project page here, or on the Plantlife website.





Upcoming Events



Spring Meeting 2020: Saturday April 4th Thursday April 9th 2020, North Wales

Summer Meeting 2020 Week 1: Saturday June 20th Saturday June 27th 2020, Isle of of Jura

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

If you would like to contribute to future years' programmes, please get in touch with Lucia Ruffino. Lucia has also put together some guidelines for meeting organisers, which you may wish to look at to get some idea of what is involved. You can view and download these here.



  • **NEW** Field Bryology November 2019. The latest Issue of Field Bryology has now been sent out. If you have not received your copy, please contact the Membership Secretary.

  • John Lowell has updated his utility for displaying vice-county distribution data to reflect the recent Census Catalogue update. Available here.

  • Updated Census Catalogue now available The Census Catalogue has now been updated to include all data up to the end of 2018. It is available from the Resources >> Downloads page as a Word document and in spreadsheet format.

  • Spring 2020 meeting details and registration More details on the Spring 2020 meeting in North Wales is available here. Please note that if you are planning to attend all or part of the meeting, you should complete the registration form as soon as possible to facilitate the organisation of the meeting.

  • Website for Cheshire / South Lancs. John Lowell has set up a website for Cheshire and South Lancs with distribution maps and identification tips for local species. You can view this website here.

  • Meeting guidelines feedback requested The Meetings Secretary, Lucia Ruffino, has drafted some guidelines for organising meetings, which can be downloaded as a Word dcument here. This document is a work-in-progress and Lucia would appreciate any comments or questions you may have. Email her at

  • T&F Journal alerts Those of you who use the Taylor & Francis website to access Journal of Bryology online may be interested in a new option to register for email alerts whenever a new article is published online. You will need to create an online account (free), then click on the New content alerts button on the main JoB page and follow the instructions. If you have any problems with this, please contact T&F, not the BBS.

  • Phil Stanley’s latest version of the BBS Cumulative Index, version 15.2 dated 18 May 2019 is now available at
    It now includes citations from Journal of Bryology volume 41 Part 1, 2019.
    As usual he would be pleased to hear any comments you might have.

  • Free Lichen and Bryophyte Identification Guides! See here for an update on the Plantlife LOST Project in Cumbria, and to download your free guides.


Assessment of the conservation status of Vaucheria species in England

Request for specimens

The conservation of freshwater algae (apart from charophytes and a few particular species or genera) has been neglected throughout much of the world. In recent years, some work has been done to try to rectify this in England through projects funded by the Natural England Species Recovery Programme, looking at the conservation of Gongrosira scourfieldii (John et al. 2019) and compiling a Red List of species in the genera Nostoc and Rivularia (Lansdown and Pentecost 2019). The former was successful, enabling discovery of new, stable populations but the latter mainly highlighted the lack of information on these two genera.

In an attempt to find ways to inform conservation of freshwater algae in England, a different approach is being tested, looking at the distribution and conservation status of species in the genus Vaucheria Candolle, 1801.  

Bryologists often see algae mixed in with our target species. Now is your chance to find out a little more about them and contribute to scientific understanding of terrestrial forms of freshwater algae.

Richard Lansdown is leading this project and has asked for specimens to be sent directly to him. Full details are given in the attached flyer. Any questions should also be directed to Richard by email at



New Atlas of British and Irish Bryophytes

A reminder to all bryophyte lovers that the Atlas of British and Irish Bryophytes is available for sale from this link.

This flagship publication of the BBS not only holds the most up-to-date set of distribution maps for all British and Irish bryophytes but also a wealth of information about each species’ ecology, altitudinal range, associated species and world-wide distribution.

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.

BBS Field Guide to the Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland

This book, produced by the BBS, is the only up-to-date, user-friendly guide to identifying British and Irish bryophytes in the field.  It contains hundreds of colour photographs and black and white drawings showing what species look like, together with notes on how to identify and distinguish similar species, and habitat notes and distribution maps showing where they occur.

An essential field companion for any serious bryologist.

To order click  here .


Future Meetings

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 record 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 2019 or 2020, please get in touch with Lucia Ruffino at or on Twitter.


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