The BPS has an active education group, previously led by Alison Evans and now by Peter Blake. We contribute to the society’s objective of promoting all aspects of pteridology in several ways. We have been raising public awareness of ferns by having stands at high profile events such as flower shows, RHS open days, BSBI meetings, and ‘Big Nature Days’ at the Natural History Museum. Displays of unusual and attractive ferns have a great ‘wow’ factor, and people are usually fascinated to discover the intricacies of fern biology and cultivation. We have also developed a ‘road show’ called ‘Ferns and Fossils’, which we have run on three occasions now – at Manchester Museum, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the Yorkshire Museum. We display ferns that have a fossil record, and where possible, the relevant fern fossils too – and we also have a wide range of activities for all ages, from ferny crafts to microscopy, videos, and demonstrations of growing ferns from spores.We have organised pteridological input for Bioblitzes, and also held guided fern identification walks – at the National Trust properties Geilston Gardens and Nymans this Summer. We have also produced a series of leaflets that can be downloaded from the website – see ‘Information leaflets’ under the ‘Publications’ menu.
Please get in touch with us at Education@ebps.org.uk if you have ideas for ferny educational activities – we will try our best to help.