Please find below all of the essential guidance to get you started with the NPMS. Remember that you will need to have registered and been assigned a 1 km square to take part! See 'How to get involved' for more information.

We have an FAQs document to cover additional questions that volunteers may have; this will be updated periodically. Our instructional YouTube videos deal with the use of the NPMS website along with providing a wide range of guidance from survey methodology to habitat and species ID. has also worked with Plantlife and ecologist Nick Law to produce a series of video guides to habitats classified by the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS). These films are designed to help NPMS volunteers decide which habitat type their survey plots are in. We have deliberately focussed on those habitats which can be difficult to distinguish from each other, such as dry heath and dry acid grassland. You can find the videos on the Tomorrow's Biodiversity website here: NPMS Habitat guides

Try the new NPMS Checklist Generator produced by the Tomorrow's Biodiversity team - handy for your return visits.

In addition to the guidance below, you can also read the article on the scheme that featured in British Wildlife magazine. Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing for allowing us to reproduce the article in full here. Please see the magazine's website to become a regular subscriber.

For more technical articles and information, see our Conservation and research page.