Due to COVID-19 restrictions, NPMS surveys remain partially suspended. Volunteers can continue to survey only if they are following all government guidance in their geographic region regarding outdoor activities and travel. Avoid public transport wherever possible. Please also note and abide by the relevant country level restrictions in place on meeting up with others and the use and sharing of equipment.
- England: Survey work is permissible where this can be carried out within country level guidance, whilst maintaining social distancing and appropriate health and safety procedures at all times (see points to consider below).
- Wales/Scotland: Survey work is permissible where this can be carried out within country level guidance, whilst maintaining social distancing and appropriate health and safety procedures at all times (see points to consider below). Please note, the guidance in both Wales and Scotland remains more restrictive in terms of travelling for leisure/exercise purposes, so you should only resume monitoring on sites which are within a short distance of home (broadly within 5 miles).
- Northern Ireland: Survey work in NI remains suspended at the current time
If you are considering resuming your volunteering activity as a surveyor with the National Plant Monitoring Scheme these are things you may need to think about:
- Check government guidance and remember that if you are shielding or if you are self-isolating due to you or a household member having COVID-19 symptoms you should not be leaving your house.
- Consider the distance you are travelling to your square and how you are travelling to your square. Can social distancing be maintained?
- Consider where your square is. Is it a nature reserve or other area that may be closed still or are there car parking restrictions?
- Do you need to seek permission from landowners to restart? This should be renewed, even if you have received permission previously.
- What about your health and safety whilst surveying? Do people know where you are? What would you do in case of emergency?
- Can you maintain social distancing whilst surveying?
- Have you considered general control measures to reduce risk –https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home/staying-safe-outside-your-home.
The health of our volunteers is very important to us, as are our relationships with the landowners who so generously allow us onto their land. Please be sensitive to the feelings of landowners and your impact on local communities at this time; give houses, farm buildings, vehicles and people a wide berth. Help foster good relationships with local communities for the future. Always ensure that you have appropriate and up to date landowner permission to visit.
No volunteer should feel under pressure to carry out fieldwork if they do not feel comfortable doing so, or if they are concerned about the impacts of carrying out survey work on relations with landowners or other members of the public.
Links to the latest advice and guidance from your appropriate country administration: