You know how keen I am on plants – I wouldn’t want to walk on anything else.
And so, it may come as some surprise that I am quite excited about starting to do some plant monitoring. There – I’ve said it.
I promised the nice people at Plantlife last autumn that I would give their Widlflowers Count a go, as the ‘Wildflowers Path’ option didn’t look completely beyond my rather rudimentary plant identification skills.
This week, a nicely produced bundle of information and instructions arrived and I have been reading them with interest and enthusiasm.
Coming in at the most basic level, I have to go for a walk and record which of a list of fairly common plants I see. And then do it all again in a couple of months’ time.
I was pleased to see that the 1km square that I have been allocated is one that I know. That helps a bit. It’s a square that is a little to the north of my local patch of Stanwick Lakes in the Nene Valley. I know where to park and I know what route to take.
Apparently I have arrived in a transition year when the scheme is changing – but I don’t really need to know that to do my bit. I will be participating in what is, or will be, the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (which sounds very important – and probably is!). Plantlife has teamed up with the JNCC, BSBI and CEH to make this scheme. Good for all of them!
Don’t worry – I will be accompanied by someone much better at plants than I! But, at first glance, the information I have received looks really helpful. We’ll see. I’ll let you know how I get on.
You could sign up for this year too if you are quick!