The Botanical Section, established in 1957, continues the work begun by the Society in the nineteenth century of studying and recording the distribution of plants in the area. The tradition of regular field excursions continues to increase scientific knowledge and is an opportunity for members to learn identification skills and recording methods.
The plant data is added to national plant distribution projects and databases. The section works closely with the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland which has collected plant records since 1836. Their national plant database holds over 35 million records. For example the data recorded by Alan Robson, a former section President, and that of other section members was included in the New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora, published in 2000. The distribution and abundance data gathered allows comparison with the past and the information is vital in developing new conservation plans for the future.