Help needed to record plant species

As those attending the Spring Meeting on 23 March will remember, Richard Pryce (with Kath Pryce the County Recorders) asked for us to send in records. I said that I would remind everyone of this request (and tell those who couldn’t make it to the meeting) on a blog post – so here comes post number 2 of the day. We hope that members can help fill in some of the gaps in the records.

Richard and Kath are trying to encourage anyone interested in submitting plant records to make a list of all the plants that they can identify – it doesn’t matter how common the plants are, as many common species lack records. You will remember that this was illustrated by the maps Richard showed. 

What is essential when sending in records is that the location is also given.  The basic recording units are 2km x 2km squares (tetrads) of the National Grid as shown on the maps.  However, Kath and Richard would much prefer more precise locations eg a list of plants from the recorder’s land or, better still, lists from individual fields, woodlands or hedgerows (or other habitats). Don’t feel you must confine your records to your own land. 

If you do come across something more unusual, obviously make a note of it and its location, but also take the opportunity to note other plants growing in the vicinity: an uncommon species with a list of associate species is good, not just because it increases the number of plant records for that location, but it also gives an indication of the ecological conditions in which the uncommon species thrives. Also, even if your home tetrad already has a fair number of records, your contributions will still be very valuable as it is very unlikely that the previous records refer precisely to your land or the location from which you have made a list.  If quoting a National Grid reference is too much of a chore, a flag on a screen-shot of a Google aerial photo or a cross on a scanned paper map would be very welcome.  Dates that the records were made would also be useful together with the name(s) of the recorder(s) and location.  If it is easier to send paper lists by post or give the records to us at the next CMG meeting, then that would also be fine.

If you have problems in identifying any species, a good (in focus!) photo emailed to Kath and Richard may do the trick!  A visit to the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland’s (BSBI) website may also help (https://bsbi.org/identification). All records will contribute both to the Carmarthenshire Flora that Kath and Richard are preparing and to the national BSBI Atlas 2020 project (https://bsbi.org/atlas-2020).   Zoomable, tetrad distribution maps showing the existing records of all species are available at https://bsbi.org/maps.  You might also like to visit the BSBI Carmarthenshire page at https://bsbi.org/carmarthenshire

All records received will also be forwarded to the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre (https://www.wwbic.org.uk/). If you have any queries or want further information, please email Kath and Richard – pryceeco@aol.com.  They will endeavour to answer all queries promptly and acknowledge receipt of all lists received.  With many thanks in anticipation of your contributions!  

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