Downloadable WFS Field Botanist's Record Book (Diary)

Changes to the online Diary

The various digital versions of the old diary (pre-2012) previously available via our web site have been discontinued. The new one (2018) is compatible with the printed diary issued in 2012 which included the name changes in New Flora of the British Isles Edition 3 (2010) by Clive Stace. Stace is our current reference text for Wild Flower Society diary keepers, so the new digital form of the diary created in 2018 was updated with New Flora of the British Isles Edition 3.

To use this facility you will need to have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer. The downloaded file should open Excel (or it might ask you to save it first) and display the new diary. You may have to click "enable editing" at the top of the spreadsheet in order to use it. The new diary has all 1,000 names of the plants in the printed diary on a single spreadsheet. It also has a blank column which will allow users to type the name of unlisted plants for rare species, apomicts like Hieracia, unusual introductions and aliens and so on. As usual there is space for the user to give "Where found" information and a column for the date.

In addition the extreme right hand side has two columns which allow the automatic adding up of totals as long as the user has entered a date in the date column.

Since this page was written, Professor Clive Stace produced edition 4 of New Flora of the British Isles in January 2019. In that new book there were many taxonomic changes which are now also incorporated in the latest version of the Field Botanist's Record Book as a downloadable spreadsheet.

Some members may still like to use the old diary (with Stace 3 changes only) for continuity purposes. This remains available as a download.


WFS Diary (Field Botanist's Record Book) Excel spreadsheet download with 2010 compatible with Stace 3 only Old Diary (2010)


WFS Diary (Field Botanist's Record Book) Excel spreadsheet download with 2019 compatible with Stace 4 New Diary (2019)


Diary Examples

This is how the top part of the diary should appear as a blank Excel spreadsheet:


Blank sheet

This is how it might look with fictitious entries added:


Spreadsheet with entries

This partially completed spreadsheet shows how a number 1 appears in one of the right hand columns if a date is correctly entered. These numbers are automatically added up and the total placed in a box at the top marked Total1 (for column 1: listed plants) and Total2 (for column 2, unlisted plants. The total number of plants entered by the user is then displayed in the top right hand corner.

You can use colour for entries if you want to and because it is an ordinary spreadsheet, then each column can be widened to accommodate a lengthier description if you wish. In these examples the county where the plant was found is shown as recommended by The Wild Flower Society. We use Vice Counties rather than the ever changing political counties so for example Southport and St. Helens are both part of Merseyside but in Vice County 59 which is South Lancashire. You can find a good map of the Vice counties on Roger Darlington's excellent "Wild Flower Finder" web site:

Vice County Maps

It is is as recommended that where possible a grid reference should be included in the description under "Where found". This is much easier these days if you consult such useful web sites as Ordnance Survey's Grid Reference Finder page:

Grid Reference Finder

However detailed grid references are not expected for very rare and endangered species.

Saving your diary after new entries have been made

After entering new data it would probably be safest to use "Save As" to save the partially completed sheet with a name such as WFS_dairy_2018_04_06_18. If you just use "Save" or Ctrl S, then your latest version with overwrite the one you had previously saved.

Finally the diary can be submitted to your local diary scrutiniser as an attachment to an email. There is no need to print it.

The date column is subject to validation protocol which will work in the most recent versions of Excel but may not in older versions. This is not essential - it just makes sure that the date you enter is an actual date and not a typing error such as 45th Feb 18. If you add a correct date in the date column, one of the right hand columns will change from a blank space to a 1. If you make an incorrect entry you will receive an error message and the incorrect entry won't appear on your sheet.


Error message

In the example, the date for Agrostis gigantea has been typed then entered as 45/04/17. This has prompted the error message to appear, usually near the middle of the sheet, suggesting you try again. It is a recent addition to Excel spreadsheets so might not work if you have an older version.

Updated 11th January 2018, 31st May 2020, 1st August 2020