Plants are essential to everyone's lives. Welcome to Plantlife.
Plantlife’s annual Wildflowers Count is about to become bigger and better.
We’ve joined up with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and The Botanical Society of the Britain and Ireland (BSBI) to bring you a new annual plant survey. This will provide more robust data to feed directly into Government monitoring.
2014 is a transition year ahead of the fully-fledged roll out next year. We’ll keep you up to date with changes as they happen.
How will the new scheme work?
For now volunteers will continue to use our familiar list of 99 species. Later this year we’ll send a new list with an increased number of 400 species to everyone who is registered for Wildflowers Count. Species are sorted into habitats, and even though we have increased the species list, at any one time and in any one habitat you will only be looking for between 20 and 30 species.
There are 4 levels to the new survey. The idea is that volunteers can choose the one that best suits their current knowledge and potentially, over time, they can progress up through the levels.
1) Wildflowers Path
This is a straightforward and enjoyable 1km walk that you devise yourself within your allocated 1km square. Simply record what you see from our list of common wild flowers. There will eventually be a list of 200 species which we are asking people to record. But remember species are sorted by habitat so you will never be recording all 200.
If you are new to botanical surveys, this walk is a great way to gain confidence. Then you can think about moving on to...
2) Wildflowers Plots
Within the 1km square allocated to you, we will ask you to survey a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5, plots in different habitats. Again we will be asking you to look out for 200 species.
If you find this easy then try the next level...
3) Indicator Plots
This looks at between 3 and 5 plots as above, but asks you to record species from the full 400 list.
Finding this too easy? The final challenge will be...
4) Inventory Plots
Here we are asking you to identify all the plant species in your plots, including some that might not be on your list of 400.
As always full instructions will be provided along with:
- A map of your allocated square.
- A survey form (*these are available NOW to download, see below)
- Full guidance notes (*these are available NOW to download, see below)
- An ID guide to the 99 species surveyed in the original Wildflowers Count — note this list will be supplemented by the additional habitat related species during the year.
There will be an online data entry system, or survey forms can be sent by post .
How do I get started?
You can register for the 2014 survey by clicking the link below, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a message on our telephone hotline 01722 342755.
We will then send you a survey pack. Once you're done you can either post us the results or enter them online.
Plantlife respects your privacy and will not give or sell your personal data to any third party. To read our privacy and security statement click here.
If you're signed up to survey, the following resources might be useful - click on each to download:
- Guidance notes
- Survey form
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Health and Safety guidance
- Access rights and responsibilities
- Landowner permission letter
- Scottish Natural Heritage outdoor access leaflet
- Ordnance Survey guidance
- Wildflowers Count e-bulletin - January 2013
- Wildflowers Count e-bulletin - November 2013
There will also be WFC event days during the year, where you can learn about wildflowers and the survey, and meet other people wanting to take part. A diary of these events and many other events will be found on our Activities page.