What is the National Plant Monitoring Scheme?

The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) aims to survey plant species across different habitats in the UK. The data collected from the survey allow us to look at the abundance and diversity of plants and help us to understand the health of different habitats.

The survey was designed and developed by the BSBI, UKCEH, Plantlife and the JNCC

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Why is it needed?

Plants are the foundation of our habitats and ecosystems. Unlike other species groups that have been monitored by citizens for many years, we have previously been lacking a good measure of changes in plant populations across the country. Understanding the effects of growing pressures on our wild plants, populations and habitats is a big task. But the growing and impressive dataset of the NPMS is starting to allow us to investigate these impacts. 

How does it work?

This is a scientific survey, so you will be randomly allocated a convenient 1km square to visit. The visit involves recording plant ‘indicator species’ in plots. Within your 1km square you will record around 5 plots in semi-natural habitats. Check out the squares available near you now! Or, if you are signed in to your NPMS account, visit the 'Request a square' page.

Who can take part?

Anyone interested in nature who can identify plants, or who is keen to learn. Different levels of participation ensure that all who are keen can participate: you do not have to be an experienced botanist. You will only need to identify between 25-30 'indicator species' per habitat. These are distinctive species specially selected to allow us to monitor changes in the countryside.

How do I take part?

Please first see the 'How to get involved' page for more detailed information on participating in the NPMS; you can also email support@npms.org.uk if you have a query which is not answered in the documentation. The NPMS flow diagram also provides a brief overview of the process. We also have a list of NPMS Mentors who can provide local support.

Project Partners

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