Feedback questionnaire & August update

Feedback questionnaire

As we are coming towards the end of the survey season we thought it would be a great opportunity to ask for your feedback on your experiences with the NPMS so far. The link below will take you to a 5 minute questionnaire where you can let us know how you are getting on with the survey and give feedback on the resources, training and support that has been available this year as well as make suggestions for next year.


New Volunteer Roles:

The survey will also give you the opportunity to put your name forward for our exciting new roles:

NPMS Volunteer Mentor – we are looking to build a network of mentors who are willing to provide support to less confident NPMS volunteers, with anything from species ID to data entry. This could be via email or face to face in small groups. Please click here for more details.

NPMS Volunteer Trainer – we are looking for volunteers who would like to run local NPMS workshops to help us deliver more training opportunities. We will provide you with a package of materials and training to enable you to run workshops on the methodology or data entry processes. Please click here for more details.

Please see the links for the full role descriptions and if you are interested in taking on one of the roles then please let us know via the feedback survey above.


Online data entry:

The data has already been flowing in via the NPMS website and thank you to everyone who has submitted their data. For those of you who haven’t got started or are feeling a little unsure, don’t panic as there is still plenty of time and why not check out our NPMS YouTube channel for handy video guides. I am also here to answer your questions and will be running four data entry workshops – details of which to follow shortly.


NPMS Stories:

With over 1000 volunteers taking part in the NPMS this year we are sure there will be some interesting stories to be told. The NPMS team would love to hear from you if your survey involved interesting plants, interesting places or interesting people or maybe all three! Send us a paragraph, with a photo if you have one, describing your experiences and the best ones will feature on the NPMS blog and may even make it into the Plantlife magazine.

Please spare 5 minutes to give us your thoughts on the NPMS via the survey we are looking forward to hearing from you and working with you as the NPMS grows, if you haven’t been out surveying yet please do still give us your feedback so far and let us know if you will be surveying next year. The survey will close on the 14th September 2015. As always, if you have a query about any aspect of the scheme, please do get in touch and I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.

Image source:


Pinpointing plots

1. Much/ most of the area I am surveying is a featureless grassy/ rushy plain. I do not have GPS, and there is certainly no wifi nearby! Barely a phone signal. I have had to pace out points because of distances from any features. I am not happy with that. It looks as if I have to get a GPS machine. Anyone with expertise on these who can make suggestions?

2. The quadrat plan given must be at least 20 years old! All the suggested vegetation areas are severely degraded or changed apart from a marsh/ bog over an old mine which is too dangerous to traverse!. The fences on maps are mostly down. The land is unmanaged because there is a planning blight over it for strip coal mining!  Anyone else with these problems and having to make up their own habitats to survey?

3. The plain is home to sheep and a semi-wild herd of cattle with followers. I have learnt to move quickly!! Otherwise a beautiful view!

Re: Pinpointing plots

Hi Ken,

1. Do you have a smart phone? If so I recommend downloading a GPS app such as Viewranger which will work without phone signal and give you a grid reference for the plots. Otherwise some of my colleagues recommended any model in the Garmin Etrex range.

2. It is not a problem to self-select your own plots if the ones we have suggested no longer all within NPMS habitats or are unsafe to access. Page 10 of the survey guidance notes explains this.

3. Again please only survey areas which are safe to do so!

Best wishes


Grid References



I have a smartphone with GPS and I have been able to plot the co-ordinates of the SW corners and plot ends quite accurately.

However, when I try to submit these co-ordinates on line, the plot centres that are generated don't seem to tie up correctly.

I have manually submitted the plot centres by interpolating my co-ordinates where possible but I feel my accuracy has been compromised.

How accurate do the centre co-ordinates need to be, are my readings adequate?

Grid References

Hi Ed,

Yes your readings will be fine, there will always be a degree of inaccuracy. We suggest using photos, sketch maps etc. alongside a GPS to help with relocating plots in the field as accurately as possible. 

Best wishes



Just want to say that the option to upload photos to our records is excellent!  My monad on a saltmarsh involved a complete set of plants I'd never seen before and so far which aren't in flower so it's great to be able to upload my photos so that an expert can check my attempts at identifying them.  I also like the 'extra species' option - I could list sea lettuce there.

The Identiplant course I completed last year was excellent, too.  Being able to key out species beats playing 'snap' with a wildflower guide any day!  It's a great hobby.  

I've also found that entering my gps co-ordinates didn't correspond with the map so I've tried to pinpoint my areas on the map instead, and supplement it with descriptions of each well-defined habitat area and photographs.  I hope this is ok.  I'll have another go when I revisit next month.

Best wishes




Hi Georgina,

I'm really pleased you have found that function useful. That's not a problem about your GPS coordinates for now, give me a call if you have problems  getting them when you revisit.

Best wishes