#BUC 2022

Round 1 2022

Round 1 was on 16 February 2022. Eighteen teams entered: Universities of Aberdeen, Cambridge, Durham, Edge Hill, Edinburgh, NUI Galway, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan, Nottingham Sutton Bonington, Open, Plymouth, Reading, Warwick and York and also Eden Project Learning and RHS Wisley.

After 6 rounds of 10 multiple-choice questions the 8 teams with the highest scores went through to Round 2.

The questions were asked by Professor Emerita Honor Prentice, Lund University, Sweden and Dr Chris Thorogood, Deputy Director and Head of Science at the Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum.

To see a recording on YouTube, click on the image below:

Round 2

Round 2 was on 23 February 2022. The 8 teams answered rounds of free-answer questions, with the audience listening as they debated their answers.

The questions were asked by Dr Sandy Knapp, Natural History Museum, UK and President of the Linnean Society 2018 – 2022, Dr Lena Struwe, Director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University USA, and Dr Raj Whitlock, Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool, UK.

To see a recording of the contest, click on the picture below.

At the end of the contest, the team from the Botanical Society at University of Nottingham Sutton Bonington campus were the overall winners, with Manchester Metropolitan University close runner-up.

The contest was supported by the New Phytologist Foundation and the Field Studies Council as well as many people who volunteered their time and botanical knowledge.

How to enter

Teams of 4 UK or Ireland university students can enter, undergraduates or postgraduates, one team per institution.

The next deadline for teams to enter will be January 2023.

To express interest in #BUC2023, contact Dr Jonathan Mitchley j.mitchley@reading.ac.uk

What topics?

Topics include the flora and ecology of the British Isles, terminology, plant identification and diversity, food plants, plants in world cultures, general knowledge about plants, their interior workings and botanists – indeed all the interests of the enthusiastic botanist! The competition will be held over 2 days.


Started in 2016 by Jonathan Mitchley (Associate Professor of Field Botany, University of Reading), Professor John Warren (Emeritus Professor, IBERS, University of Aberystwyth) and Professor Paul Ashton (Department of Biology, Edge Hill University) to promote botany within the biological sciences.

Previous contests

in 2016 between 5 teams; at University of Reading in 2019 between 6 teams; at Ness Botanic Gardens of the University of Liverpool in 2020 between 7 teams – and in 2021 went on-line as a competition between 15 teams.