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Volunteers Wanted To Record Plants

7th March 2018

Photograph of Volunteers Wanted To Record Plants

How would you or one of your group members like to be part of a UK wide project to record how our native plant species are changing over time?

The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) is looking for volunteers to adopt a one km square in your area that you can visit twice a year. The scheme is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage and will help us gain a greater understanding of plant communities in Scotland. Perhaps you could adopt a square as an individual or as part of a group? Within your square we will ask you to visit up to 5 locations (plots) and record, from a list, the abundance of up to 30 plant species you may find there.

You don't need to be an expert in botany to join in. The scheme has three different levels of participation. The Wildflower level asks you to record the abundance of up to 15 species - which have been chosen due to the way in which they represent a habitat, for example deciduous woodland or heathland. The Inventory level asks more experienced botanists to record everything they see in their plots. Training materials and workshops are provided.

What do NPMS volunteers say about the scheme?

‘I am getting out more than I used to before'; ‘I have increased my understanding of my local patch'; ‘I have developed new skills'.

To find out if there is an available square near you, the NPMS website has an interactive map showing the available ‘blue' squares. See the map at

Information on how to get started and sign up can be found via the NPMS website.

Bugle found in Caithness
Photographer Ken Crossan for the Caithness Biodiversity Collection

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