Surveying arable plants

The easiest way to log records of arable plants is using the Rare Arable Flowers app. This can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. The app contains an ID list for Important Arable Plants and allows the user to log records based on the phone’s or tablet’s grid reference as well as enter details such as the date when the plant was found, life stage and habitat. All records are sent to iRecord to be verified by an expert before being passed onto the National Biodiversity Network, Local Environmental Record Centres and National Recording Schemes.

There are three types of surveys that are undertaken for arable plants:

Inventory Survey

This is a presence survey, recording species that are found in each field. The Important Arable Plant Survey form can be used if only these species are being surveyed or, if a complete species list is being gathered for each field, there is an Arable Plant Inventory Survey spreadsheet that can be used.

Rapid Assessment

This is a positive and negative indicator species survey with other non-biological factors also being monitored. This is a repeat survey and there is guidance on how to design, undertake and analyse a rapid assessment survey for arable plants, and example recording forms for the three different types of broad soils:

Species-specific Survey

This single species survey is usually in the form of a population count, patch size or extent of a particular species.

Examples of how arable plants have been surveyed are also available: