The Society is gearing up for its role in the Love Lincolnshire Plants Project which is a partnership between the Natural History Museum in London, the Sir Joseph Banks Society, Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union and the University of Lincoln to inspire a new generation of botanists – helping to foster our understanding of plants and the environment for the future and to safeguard Lincolnshire’s botanical heritage. The Society’s Sir Joseph Banks Centre in Horncastle will play a key part in mounting and storing the dried specimens for the new herbarium to be created as part of the project.
As part of the Lottery-funded project, the Natural History Museum in London has received an old collection of some 9,000 plant specimens collected by the Lincolnshire Naturalists Union and will work to secure it safely while using state of the art imaging technology to make plants available to view online. The plant specimens will be integrated into the ‘National Collection’ which features almost one million herbarium specimens.
The project is inspired by the historic work of Sir Joseph Banks, the 18th century Lincolnshire-based botanist who sailed with Captain Cook to Australia and who was the founder of Kew Gardens.
The new herbarium of dried plants based at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre will be available for viewing there once the project has been completed.
Volunteers are needed to help collect the plants who will work under the guidance of the lead partner, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. Collections have already started and there will be training available for collection, drying and mounting of the specimens. This citizen-science project will not only train volunteers in plant identification, it will also revive traditional archiving skills, ensuring that volunteers are trained in all aspects of the herbarium and related skills such as botanical illustration, scanning and photography.