We are just over halfway through the time available to take part in this year’s Big Meadow Search (BMS), with the rest of July and all of August remaining. If you haven’t considered doing a BMS yourself, perhaps you should! You do not need to be an expert botanist to take part. You don’t even have to find a meadow to search, we are interested in any area of reasonably diverse grassland. You can find a surprising number of plants of interest in churchyards, road verges, grass areas next to lay-bys, business parks, around car parks, edges of sports grounds and amenity grass areas. You don’t have to follow a strict protocol or use a quadrat, just stroll about and note down what you see. Don’t worry if you find plants you can’t identify, just record what you know and leave what you don’t know. But if you’d like help with identification; take some photos send them to us and we’ll see if we can help. We need a name for the site, a map grid reference, a rough estimate of the size of the area you searched, and how long your search took.
Since the BMS first started last year, things have moved on somewhat: it is now UK wide, it now has its own dedicated website (jointly funded by Carmarthenshire Meadows Group and West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre) with lots of information and advice: https://www.bigmeadowsearch.co.uk/ , so please take a look.
BMS also has a big presence on social media; if you use Facebook or Twitter; it now has its own Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/120615986668829 , and is on Twitter: @bigmeadowsearch. The social media accounts hold a huge amount of information on lots of plant species, hints on identification and their interactions with other groups such as fungi and invertebrates. If you have any queries you’d like us to answer, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org .
There has been much interest in BMS from other conservation groups and organisations, and Laura Moss from the Carmarthenshire Meadows Steering Group has been asked to do several talks and presentations about it. Laura is the main organiser for BMS, and has put a huge amount of work into its design and operation. She has recorded a presentation on BMS which is now available on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5FrRvBsttI
Please watch Laura’s talk (it lasts just over half an hour), and then you’ll see that doing your own Big Meadow Search will be interesting, satisfying, useful, worthwhile, and within your capabilities!