Plantlife – volunteers wanted

Plantlife are looking for volunteers for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme, which is a new habitat-based plant monitoring scheme designed by BSBI, CEH, Plantlife and JNCC. The aim is to collect data to provide an annual indication of changes in plant abundance and diversity.

Why is it needed?

Thanks to volunteers, we have a very good understanding of changes in the populations of birds, butterflies and bats. Plants are the foundation of habitats and ecosystems, but currently we do not have a good measure of changes in plant populations across the country.

How will it work?

This is a scientific survey, so you would be randomly allocated a convenient 1km square to visit. The visit involves recording plant ‘indicator species’ in plots. Within your 1km square you will record around 5 plots in semi-natural habitats. Check out the squares available near you now! Or, if you are signed in to your NPMS account, visit the ‘Request a square’ page.

Who can take part?

Anyone interested in nature who can identify plants, or who is keen to learn. 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 allow us to monitor changes in the countryside.

How to take part

Please first see the ‘How to get involved’ page for more detailed information on participating in the NPMS; you can also email support@npms.org.uk if you have a query which is not answered in the documentation. The NPMS flow diagram also provides a brief overview of the process. We also have a list of NPMS Mentors who can provide local support.

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