A plant monitoring scheme in the UK, the first of its kind, is calling on volunteers across the country to visit a kilometre square local to them twice a year and record the plants they find.
Plants are the foundation of habitats and ecosystems, but currently there is not a good measure of changes in plant populations across the country.
The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) attempts to address the issue by collecting data to provide an annual indication of changes in plant abundance and diversity.
The NPMS is based around 1 kilometre squares of the British and Irish national grids.
The data will be used by conservationists to explore how plants in different habitats are responding to changes in the environment.
In recent years, the NPMS has enabled conservationists to have a better understanding of changes in the populations of birds, butterflies and bats.
Anyone interested in nature who can identify plants, or who is keen to learn can volunteer to help collect data for the NPMS. Different levels of participation ensure that all who are keen can participate.
Volunteers will need to identify between 25-30 “indicator species” per habitat. These are distinctive species specially selected to allow the NPMS to monitor changes in the countryside.
If you are interested in taking part in the scheme, visit the NPMS website.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea