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N: AGM on Zoom

April 13 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Notice of the 121th Annual General Meeting, to be held on 13th April 2024.

This will be held by Zoom, starting at 10:30 am.

To receive a link to join the meeting, you must register first. To do this, please either contact the General Secretary (secretary@eBPS.org.uk) or follow this link. https://bit.ly/BPS2024AGM

It would be very helpful if you could do this in good time for the meeting – ideally at least 24 hours in advance. It would be lovely to see as many of you as possible there!

Full details and reports will be circulated with the latest copy of the Bulletin, but the outline for the meeting is given below.


Welcome by the President.

  1. Apologies for absence.
  2. Minutes of the 120th Annual General Meeting of the British Pteridological Society held at Harlow Carr Garden, Yorkshire on 22nd April 2023.
  3. Matters arising.
  4. Officers’ Reports – Hon. Gen. Secretary and Treasurer.
  5. Questions on other Officers’ Reports – Membership Secretary, Meetings Secretary, Conservation Officer, Publications Secretary. Senior Editors (Fern Gazette, Pteridologist, Bulletin), Website Co-ordinator, Education Officer.
  6. Questions on Committee Appointees’ Reports – Recorder, Spore Exchange Organisers, Plant Exchange Organisers, Booksales Organiser, Back Numbers of Journals Organiser and Special Publications Sales, Merchandise Organisers, Horticultural Information Adviser, Archivist, Cultivar Registration Subcommittee.
  7. Re-election/election of Officers; re-election/election of Committee.

President. Mr Rob J. Cooke was elected in 2022 for a three-year tenure.

President Elect. Elected for 1 year. Dr Peter Blake is standing.

Vice-Presidents. Maximum of 6. Elected for 3 years. None standing for election at this meeting.

Officers. Elected for 1 year. List of those standing below.

General Secretary                          Mr David G. Hill

Committee Secretary                      Dr Sue Dockerill

Treasurer                                       Dr Peter Blake

Membership Secretary                   Mr Peter Madders

Meetings Secretary                        Mr M. H. Rickard

Conservation Officer                      Dr Fred Rumsey

Publications Secretary                    Mr Matthew Reeve

Fern Gazette Editor                        Prof. Mary Gibby

Pteridologist Editor                        Mr Alec E. Greening

Bulletin Editor                               Miss Alison M. Paul

Website Co-ordinator                     Dr Bridget E. Laue

Publicity and Communications Officer     Mr Matthew Reeve

Education Officer                          Mrs Gillian Smith

Elected Committee Members. Maximum of 10.  Elected for 1 year.

The following Committee members are standing for re-election; Miss I. Cantillon, Mr Bryan Smith, Mr Laurence N. Sutton, Ms. Alice Taylor and Mr Andrew Tolman.

Mr Julian P. Reed is standing for election to the Committee.

  1. Appointment of Independent Examiner.

Mr Barrie Buels is willing to continue as Independent Examiner.

  1. Awards: Outstanding Contribution Award for Alec Greening, Jimmy Dyce Award.
  2. Adoption of revised constitution. Revised version circulated with the Bulletin. Summary of changes below.

Over the last year the Committee have been looking at our constitution, with a view to modernising parts of it.  To this end a revised constitution is presented here.  These changes have the support of 20 members, as required by our constitution.  For them to be adopted they will need to be supported by two thirds of the members attending the AGM.

The key changes proposed are: –

  1.  The inclusion of education as one of our Objects in Section 1
  2.  A reduction in the size of our Committee, and hence the number of Trustees. Currently we have over 20 Trustees.  By law it is the Trustees who are legally responsible for the running of the society, and these days the good governance of registered charities has an increasing profile.  There is no set number of Trustees a charity should have, but the recommendation of the Charity Governance Code is that ‘at least 5 but no more than 12 trustees is typically considered good practice’.  The main decision-making body of the BPS is the Committee, and hence the Committee Members need to be Trustees.

Section 3.2 therefore proposes reducing the Committee size to 12 members (13 when we also have a President-Elect), consisting of the key officers, and 4 other non-office holders.  Other roles, such as the Conservation Officer can still exist, but they would not be formal Committee Members.  We are also proposing to remove the Vice-Presidents as Committee members.  We are blessed with very knowledgeable and experienced V/Ps and we have been keen not to lose their expertise. Therefore we would retain V/Ps and they would still be able to attend Committee, but in an advisory and non-voting capacity.

  1. 3.  Included are provisions to allow the BPS to communicate electronically in Sections 15 and 16.

There are some other minor changes, but those above are the significant ones.

If these changes are approved at the AGM, we will then need to submit them to the Charity Commission.  We would then implement the changes from the 2025 AGM, to coincide with the start of the tenure of the new President.


If you have any nominations for any of the posts being elected or have any items you want to raise under AOB, please let me know at the following e-mail.

Sue Dockerill, Committee Secretary

Mail: committeesecretary@ebps.org.uk

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April 13
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
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