The Illustrated Field Botanist's Record Book

What is the Field Botanist's Record Book?

This is the name we give to what used to be called the "Wild Flower Society Diary". There are fifty pages each with twenty plants on each page in the real paper version of the Field Botanist's Record Book. In this online screen version two pages are condensed into one. The one thousand commonest plants details of which which we record in the printed record book have been condensed here forty to a page. Instead of fifty pages of twenty plants there are twenty five pages of forty plants. Each page has names and small photographs.

In 2012 we updated the Field Botanist's Record Book in line with new names for plants published in New Flora of the British Isles Edition 3 by Clive Stace which is our reference text. New record books have been printed so there are now two versions of the illustrated diary. The original one keeps the order found in the old record book and which many of our members will still be using and the new one is line with the 2012 version of the record book. The new 2012 version of the botanists' record book has more photographs than the old which will not be updated any further.

How to use the Illustrated Field Botanist's Record Book

After you have clicked on the page you want you will be presented with a page of very small photos of plants (thumbnails). Click on any one of these thumbnails to expand the photograph. The photograph can be moved to another position on on your screen if you wish and you can have more than one expanded photo on screen at once. Click on the large photo to reduce it again. If you click on the first photograph on the page you can go to the next one by using side arrows on your keyboard. Where there is information about the place and date the photograph was taken that will appear with the expanded photograph.

In addition to the thumbnails and large photographs, clicking on the botanical name under the column labelled Distribution Map, will reveal a distribution of this plant in the British Isles (courtesy of Alex Lockton at BSBI). Use the back button to return to the Illustrated Diary page.

How quickly soon will the large photograph appear?

The speed at which the large photographs appear on your monitor will depend on the speed of your internet connection and the speed of your computer. The faster the better. It will work very poorly on a dial-up connection because of the time it takes to send a large photograph to your computer.


These pages use a special code called scripts which must be enabled in your Browser for this to work. Although most people use Internet Explorer because it comes free with the computer and operating system, it is actually quicker, easier and safer to use free browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera. If you must use Internet Explorer then please use version 9.

Screen Resolution

These days modern screens can have resolutions of 1280 x 1024 pixels although 1024 x 768 is not uncommon. The older resolution of 800 x 600 is far less common but used by people who need larger text. Fortunately the resolution doesn't affect the image production with this script as much as it might and the expanded images occupy a similar proportion of the screen whatever you use. They do look much better at higher resolutions though because they appear larger. The originals are approximately 700 px x 700 px (most of them) while the thumbnail photos which you click are 72 px x 72 px.

Not every plant has a photo, why is this?

Most of the photographs have been donated to The Wild Flower Society from the library used for and some have come from other WFS members. If you are prepared to donate a missing photo of a plant to the WFS that would be greatly appreciated. Digital images are preferred not only because they are ready for editing but because the quality of scanned images is just never as good. The photos must be copyright free as we regularly get requests for the use of photos on the site.

Updated on July 19th 2012