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What is the NPMS?

Built on partnership and government funded research, the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) is a nationwide project, supported by hundreds of dedicated citizen scientists, heading out annually to conduct botanical surveys at their allocated sites.

These long-term botanical surveys in random 1 km squares continue to provide a growing dataset across the UK, enabling us to study the abundance and diversity of plants through time, within 30 different habitats.

For example, data from four of the scheme’s best surveyed broad habitats have already been used to create a new UK biodiversity indicator. We have also been busy working on our large dataset investigating the impacts of climate change and other environmental pressures on our habitats.

How can you take part?

NPMS volunteers, from beginners to experienced botanists, are asked to survey 5 small plots within their allocated 1km survey square twice a year, with the first surveys kicking off in April. They can do this at one of 3 different survey levels depending on their experience and confidence.

The beginner level surveys for example ask volunteers to record around just 10-15 common and easily identifiable species at each plot. Volunteers have full access to their own data and the whole NPMS data set, along with a raft of guidance and free training materials and opportunities.


Find lots more information about the scheme and how to get started on the NPMS website here.

The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) is organized and funded by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, Plantlife and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. The NPMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.

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