Since 2015, hundreds of skilled volunteers have recorded plants in over 3000 survey plots of semi-natural habitat. The National Plant Monitoring Scheme funded and run by JNCC, BSBI, CEH and Plantlife has now relaunched following a media drive in spring, which aimed to sign up more volunteers and increase coverage.
Why is it needed?
The aim of the scheme is to collect data to provide an annual indication of changes in plant abundance and diversity. Whilst we have a very good understanding of changes in the populations of birds, butterflies and bats, thanks to the work of volunteers, we do not currently have a good measure of changes in plant populations across the country.
How will it work?
This is a scientific survey, so volunteers will be randomly allocated a convenient 1km square to visit. The visit involves recording plant ‘indicator species’ in plots. Within each 1km square volunteers will record around 5 plots in semi-natural habitats. You can see which square are available near you now!
Who can take part?
Anyone interested in nature who can identify plants, or who is keen to learn, can take part. Different levels of participation ensure that all who are keen can participate: you do not have to be an experienced botanist. You will only need to identify between 25-30 ‘indicator species’ per habitat. These are distinctive species specially selected to help monitor changes in the countryside.
You can find information on taking part on the National Plant Monitoring Scheme website.
Data from the previous National Plant Monitoring Scheme surveys can be found on the NBN Atlas