POW Feathers
The BPS is honoured to have as its Patron HRH The Prince of Wales

Registered Charity No. 1092399

What You Can Do for the Society

An invitation to members and potential members of the BPS


We believe that our Society offers a variety of benefits to fern enthusiasts and does much to add to the knowledge of ferns - just exploring this web site will uncover the range of activities, meetings and publications on offer. However, accepting the adage that “the more you put in to an organisation, the more you get out”, why not, to parody a famous American President “ask not what the Society can do for you, ask instead what you can do for the Society”.

Here are some ideas:

Join our Committee as a Committee Member. We normally hold three committee meetings per year, often in London, but sometimes in other locations such as Edinburgh or Manchester. The meetings are friendly but business-like, and provide members with the opportunity to learn more of what we do. Of course, members are expected to contribute and may well be asked to take forward a particular piece of work. Our constitution allows for 10 elected committee members – we have a full committee at the moment, but the present members will be reaching the end of their 5 year term from 2010 onwards.

Help with Publicity and Marketing. A number of people (officers and appointees) also take on specific committee roles, such as membership, meetings, publications and so on. Although these defined roles cover the activities necessary to run a Society such as ours, in 2008 we identified two areas that were “falling between the cracks”. These were education, and publicity & marketing. Accordingly we created two more officer posts. I am delighted to report that the Education Officer post has been filled, but we still seek a Publicity and Marketing Officer. Do you have some experience or interest in this area? If so, and would like to learn more, please contact me for some activity ideas.

Spread the Word. Even if you do not feel inclined to take on the above post, why not talk to friends, colleagues and family about ferns, and try to get them to join the Society?

Run a Society Stand at a Flower Show. Many of our members and potential members are fern growers, and running a stand at a flower show is an ideal opportunity for you and your fellow helpers to share your enthusiasms and expertise with other gardeners – and of course to recruit new members! The Society now has a core of people with practical experience of running flower show stands, and they would be more than willing to offer help and advice.

Lead a Meeting. Meetings are one of our “core” offerings to members – field meetings, garden visits, or indoor meetings with particular themes. But of course they all need organising. So, if you know of some particularly ferny sites or gardens in your area, why not contact your Regional Group Organiser with an offer of a visit? To help, guidelines have been produced for the benefit of field meetings organisers.

Make New Members Feel Welcome. Be friendly to new members and make them feel welcome. They can often feel isolated amongst all these experts.

Offer to Write Up a Meeting. Early each year the Bulletin is published featuring accounts of all our meetings, these being valuable records of our activities. Of course, they all need writing! Therefore, if a meeting organiser asks for a volunteer to write up the meeting, why not offer?

Write an Article for the Pteridologist. A little while ago, a membership survey demonstrated that the Pteridologist is highly regarded by members. It is indeed a quality magazine, but relies totally on both solicited and unsolicited contributions. The sorts of articles published can be determined by looking at the last issue, so if you have some topic of ferny interest, why not write about it?

Contribute to the Web Forum. Although our journals are a fine medium for communicating ideas, by their very nature and publication schedules they cannot be considered “current”, and do not have letters columns. This has prompted the implementation of the BPS Fern Forum enabling members and others to ask questions, supply answers, and generally exchange ideas on a real time basis. Please visit the forum, see the range of topics being discussed, and contribute if and when you have something useful and interesting to say.

Contribute to the Web Site Content. The success of the web site depepends upon the availability of good content. If you would like to contribute to the web site, please contact the Editor to discuss your ideas.

Contribute to a Project. From time to time the Society initiates one off projects to which members are invited to contribute. One such currently is the photographic project.

Donate Plants or Spores. For the benefit of our membership, we run the exchange schemes for plants and spores, but of course their success depends on members’ donations. Do you have some spare plants, or could you collect and donate some spores?

Buy Something! If you joined recently, and like the Society’s journals, you may wish to buy some back issues. In addition, the Society offers an interesting range of merchandise. Splash out and make a purchase or two – it all helps the Society’s coffers and enables it do do its work.
Graham Ackers, July 2009.


Information supplied by: Graham Ackers.


Meetings, journals, Special Publications, Projects, Grants...


Organisation & Services

Meetings, journals, Special Publications, Projects, Grants...


Web Site

What You Can Do For The Web Site
Inspired by "What You Can Do for the Society", this is a list of things people could do to help with the BPS Web Site. There are lots of tasks, large and small, some needing few computing skills, some needing a bit more.



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This page was last updated on 8/4/11