NPMSSupport's blog

Wildflower Spotting and the NPMS

Check out this wonderfully written blog post from one of our fantastic NPMS volunteers. Michelle has been part of the scheme since even before it's official launch, having volunteered on Plantlife surveys prior to this.

Introducing our new Ecological Modeller, Oli Wilson

Oli Wilson is our new ecological modeller here at the NPMS. This exiting new role for the scheme will involve analysing the huge amount of data that is collected by our fantastically dedicated volunteers. Oli has great plans for exploring what the data can tell us. Read below to find out more about him and what he will be bringing to the scheme!

Can you tell us about yourself – what were you doing before you came to the NPMS?

An introduction to Sarah Shuttleworth: NPMS Volunteer manager for 2021

A big welcome to the NPMS Team for Sarah Shuttleworth! Sarah is joining the NPMS team this month and for the duration of 2021. She will be taking on the role of Volunteer Manager, based with Plantlife, while current volunteer manager Rachel Murphy bids us a temporary farewell to head off on maternity leave.

An introduction interview with Sarah:

Spring has sprung! How are our wild flora responding to environmental change?

Spring officially begins today – and boy don’t we need it more than ever?  Today also traditionally marks the start of the UK’s wild plant survey season and from April, a chance to return to our NPMS squares and monitor them through the summer months. This is the perfect time to head out, if you are able and it is safe to do so, and immerse oneself in the outdoors – what a tonic nature can be at times like these. The NPMS is also celebrating its first five years of data gathered by our citizen scientists.

Interview with NPMS mentor Lorna Somerville

Lorna Somerville is currently a National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) mentor in Northern Ireland. Lorna started working for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in 2005 and worked on the Northern Ireland Countryside Survey 2007 and later, in 2015, she started overseeing the NPMS. Shortly after Lorna became an NPMS mentor, and described it as a ‘natural progression’ because she was overseeing the scheme.

Welcome Abigail Maiden: Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs - overseeing NPMS in Northern Ireland

At the start of autumn 2019, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) appointed a new scientific officer who will oversee the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in Northern Ireland; Abigail Maiden.


Can you tell us about yourself – what were you doing before you came to the DAERA?

Interview with Volunteer Manager Dr Rachel Murphy

Summer is here and wildflowers have bloomed and for hundreds of plant-lovers across the UK,  it has been other busy season conducting surveys for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS). This habitat-based plant monitoring scheme which aims to collect data to help us understand more about how our wild flower populations are changing year on year.

Limber up and eyes down! It’s wildflower survey season…but what are the nation’s wildflowers telling us?

Spring is bursting all over, bolstered by the warmest February on record. Heralding longer days outside (perfect for surveying), blossom on trees and the return of colour and scent to our woodlands and verges.

On the first day of spring, initial findings from woodlands surveyed over four years as part of the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) show that the highly invasive, non-native Himalayan Balsam is reported more frequently than native wild flowers such as bugle, ramsons and woodruff.

National Plant Monitoring Scheme training days in Scotland by Jill Williams

We're back in the office after our 2017 series of training days in Scotland for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS), held in Dumfriesshire, Perthshire and the Cairngorms.

Here is a flavour of what was involved at the training days this year...

The morning session at each training day includes the background to the NPMS survey and what is involved in taking part. In small groups we look at example survey maps, to see how to find out what habitats are present, and how to choose where to locate small plots in which to record the NPMS wild flowers.