Networking was one of the main reasons for forming PlantNetwork, and it has been developed and encouraged among members through the PlantNetwork Newsletter and at conferences and workshops. There is also a need for PlantNetwork to interact with other networks (not only botanic garden networks, but other plant-based networks), nationally and internationally. In Britain and Ireland, PlantNetwork has interests in common with other groups such as the Botanic Gardens Education Network, Systematics Association, and National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens, as well as with organisations concerned with, for example, museums, science and discovery centres, conservation, the public understanding of science and the media. Liaison also needs to be fostered with networks of botanic gardens in other countries, and with such groups as the European Botanic Gardens Consortium, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, and World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Links and discussions with some of these organisations have been set up already, but much remains to be done. There is a great deal to be gained from working together and clear communication is important in facilitating the sharing and exchange of information with all these groups.
PlantNetwork aims to promote the exchange of information and expertise:
- amongst its members
- and with regional, national and international networks and organisations, on topics of common interest.
- maintained a regular Newsletter, which has appeared 3 times a year for the past 10 years
- established a website with information on future and past meetings as well as proceedings from the last three conferences, the online Directory of Botanical Collections in Britain and Ireland, as well as information on the various PlantNetwork Projects, and to act as a reference and advice centre for members
- had useful discussions with the Dutch network of Gardens at the 2nd World Botanic Gardens Congress, in Barcelona in April 2004
To maintain these achievements, PlantNetwork will:
- disseminate and exchange information amongst its members, through meetings, publications and the website
- seek to establish a glossary of terms and acronyms used by some or all the member gardens (e.g. NCCPG, CoSHH, CPD, HBGBS etc.)
- encourage staff exchanges between gardens
- seek opportunities for undertaking collaborative projects
- organise joint meetings and training workshops with other organisations
- seek to set up links and exchange information on topics of common interest with other organisations in Britain and Ireland and internationally
- develop a resource centre for information, reference and advice for members.
All the policies are relevant in delivering the Networking policy.