National Plant Monitoring Scheme

Jump to...


Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris).  Photo: Rich BurkmarThis project will support the work of the national organisations responsible for running the new National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS). The NPMS has been developed from Plantlife’s Wildflower Count scheme with the support of the Botanical Society of the Britain & Ireland (BSBI), the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

The NPMS was trialled in 2014 and rolled out formally in 2015. The FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity project is supporting the NPMS by working with Hayley New - NPMS Volunteer Coordinator for England and Wales - to facilitate some of the NPMS training programme at FSC field centres.  We have also made a series of video guides for volunteers who may be struggling to differentiate between some similar habitat types.

This collaboration will allow us to explore the idea of directly supporting a survey & monitoring protocol – one of the major focal areas identified during the research and consultation stage of Tomorrow's Biodiversity. Although vascular plants are not themselves under-recorded or under-resourced, they are poorly represented in terms of surveillance & monitoring at the headline indicator level.

The NPMS aims to address the gap in national vascular plant surveillance and Tomorrow's Biodiversity could make a contribution by helping to facilitate NPMS training and, potentially, in many other ways.

2015 Activities

During spring and early summer 2015 and 2016 a series of training courses were delivered to help volunteers get to grips with the NPMS methodology. supported this programme, which is led by Plantlife's Hayley New, by facilitating the use of various FSC centres to deliver some of these courses. The NPMS  ran 20 day courses to introduce the NPMS methodology, of which nine were hosted at FSC centres and supported by Tomorrow's Biodiversity. In addition there are several courses covering identification of difficult plant groups. 

The courses directly supported by Tomorrow's Biodiversity in 2015 were:

  • FSC Nettlecombe Court, Somerset, Wednesday 15th April
  • FSC Slapton Ley, Devon, Thursday 16th April
  • FSC Blencathra, Cumbria, Tuesday 5th May
  • FSC Malham Tarn, Yourkshire Dales, Wednesday 6th May
  • FSC Flatford Mill, Suffolk, Thursday 14th May
  • FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Snowdonia, Tuesday 2nd June
  • FSC Epping Forest, Essex, Tuesday 28th July
  • FSC Juniper Hall, Surrey, Wednesday 29th July
  • FSC Orielton, Pembrokeshire, Wednesday 12th August

Accounts of the very first NPMS training course, held at FSC Nettlecombe Court on 15th April: