The new National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS), launched in spring 2015, will for the first time enable scientists to take an annual stock take of Northern Ireland’s wild plants and their habitats, but to do this we need the public’s help.
We are looking for volunteers to carry out surveys of wildflowers and their habitats that will provide robust evidence of which widespread plants are increasing or declining, as well as indicating the changing state of our most valued habitats such as grassland, fenland and even road verges.
Plants are nature’s building blocks and this new monitoring scheme will sit alongside existing schemes for the UK’s birds and butterflies to help us understand more about how the countryside is changing.
This new and exciting survey is happening in the Ring of Gullion. The survey focuses on plant recording in specific habitats (NPMS habitats) and provides statistically robust data that will enable us to:
- Learn more about where our wild flowers are growing and how they are changing
- Measure the condition of the habitats in which our wildflowers grow
- Use plants as ‘indicators’ to advise UK and national governments of the state of the natural environment.
In addition we aim to provide you with annual feedback on the survey results.
The scheme is being delivered by a partnership between CEH (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), BSBI (Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland), JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee) and Plantlife.
In the Ring of Gullion and across Northern Ireland we are encouraging teams of different skill levels to work together on each randomly generated 1km grid square.
The Ring of Gullion AONB and Landscape Partnership Scheme have teamed up with CEDaR to provided training in this scheme to enable a range of volunteers to take part.
If you want to get your head around the habitats, master the mapping or become savvy at setting up survey plots then this NPMS Introductory Workshop is for you. The workshops will involve both an indoor and outdoor session and there will be plenty of opportunity to share experiences with your fellow volunteers. To find out more about the NPMS, click here.
See below for details, spaces are limited so booking is essential.
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