Atlas 2020

The first atlas of the British and Irish flora, published in 1962, pioneered the use of ‘dot-maps’ aligned to the OS grid. A repeat Atlas was published in 2002 based on fieldwork carried out from 1987-1999. BSBI is now producing a third atlas, Atlas 2020, which will be published after fieldwork has been completed in 2019.

New Atlas of the British & Irish Flora
Atlas of the British Flora

Atlas 2020 will provide
  • Maps for both native and introduced taxa
  • Interactive maps able to display frequency and distribution at a variety of scales
  • Analyses of changes, summarising the state of the British and Irish flora in 2020.
  • Atlas 2020 will be based upon records gathered between the years 2000 and 2019 inclusive.
  • Hectad distribution maps will be published for all vascular plant species, be they native or naturalised aliens. This is everything from trees to grasses, wildflowers to invasive alien species.
  • The basic recording unit for Atlas 2020 is the 2km x 2km square (tetrad), or even the 1km x 1km square (nomad).
  • To adequately sample each hectad across the county, it is recommended that about 20% of the tetrads in a hectad be recorded. Done thoroughly this ought to turn up 70 - 80% of species recorded prior to 2000. 
The BSBI operates a Distribution Database (DDb) as a central store for all our records of plants and charophytes. It contains some 35 million biological records (April 2016) and is growing by approximately one million records every year. It is updated frequently from our network of Mapmate recorders and from other sources such as herbarium digitisation projects.

The system of counties and vice-counties was devised in the 1870s to create 113 units of roughly equal size covering the whole of Britain (the process was later repeated in Ireland). The boundaries of the vice counties do not change with political re-organisation so have remained the same ever since.

Vice County 63 SW Yorkshire is currently split between two recorders. The recorder for South Yorkshire is Louise Hill (, while the West Yorkshire recorder is Kate McDowell. (

An interactive VC map can be seen here. Use the back button to return this page.

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