President’s Letter

Fred Rumsey, President of the BPS
Fred Rumsey, President of the BPS
Dear Members,

It was with some trepidation but considerable pride that I took on the presidency in what was an historic and significant year for the Society; 125 years old and I’m pleased to report still obviously going strong. At such times one can’t but help consider the past and some daunting shoes that I am now trying to fill. One also remembers the friendship and expertise of members sadly no longer with us. I often think the Society is rather like a big family; other groups I’m involved with also demonstrate shared passions and interests but there is a particular friendliness that distinguishes the ferny community.
As befits a big birthday year we have seen a range of celebrations, not least our return to the Chelsea flower show, for the first time since our centenary. This saw an excellent display make a far greater public impression than its award would suggest. At other shows the usual golden haul was maintained. I am extremely grateful to all who contributed to the shows, events and exhibits this year.
Once again our excellent meetings programme delivered a varied array of trips, both home and away. The 125th anniversary meeting in the Lakes, linked with the launch of the new stumpery at Sizergh Castle and attended by many of our American friends from the Hardy Fern Foundation, was for many a highpoint, but returns to other past Society haunts such as the Mendips also gave me great pleasure. More exciting trips are planned for the year ahead and I hope to see many of you on them.
We are very fortunate that so many people voluntarily give so much time to the society delivering its events, publications and resources. We still operate with no paid staff and yet have consistently punched above our weight, not least in our production of three separate journals but we face challenges ahead. Firstly increasing postal costs need to be considered. We also continue to search for a new editor for the Fern Gazette, urgently need more willing hands to help Alec with the Pteridologist and chase copy for all of our publications -budding authors take note! Other committee posts remain vacant. I would encourage everyone to think how they might be able to help and to get involved in what can be extremely rewarding work.
I feel I have inherited the mantle at a challenging time, but also an exciting one, as we reach more and more people online and look to attract the next generation of pteridologists and fern enthusiasts. Our next meeting, appropriately titled “Looking to the future” is rapidly approaching and I hope to see many of you there.
I wish everyone, whatever their particular interests, a year of good growing, recording, collecting and ferny friendship.

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