Spring wild plant survey 2012

Before we do anything on our land, I want to make sure we know where we are starting from. We will be conducting lots of surveys and feeding our results into any national/international surveys when we can. One such survey is the Wildflower Count organised by Plantlife. It’s actually more of a plant survey rather than just flowers, which is brilliant.

The Plantlife team were totally cool about me doing the “count” on our land (rather than a randomly assigned square somewhere close to our home) and sent me a surveyor pack. With the square decided it was just a matter of setting a date and brushing up on my plant identification skills. I wanted to involve the local community and new friends in the count, so invited people on our Forest Garden facebook page.

Temperate woodland in Spring

We started the survey in the wood near the river

The where’s the path? website is a great tool for mapping the 1km wildflower walk. Our path took us from the very bottom of the land near the river (in the wood) through grassland to the very top; in all a climb of 100 metres! I decided we should walk it in this direction to give everyone a chance to marvel at the beautiful wildflowers while catching their breath! The diversity of landscape also means that we will be conducting the survey a few times to catch the changing of the seasons.

April the 15th arrived and we couldn’t have wished for a better day. It was sunny with a only a small threat of rain – which didn’t arrive. The plant hunting crew were raring to go and, armed with our Reader’s Digest Nature lovers Library of native wild flowers and trees and shrubs of Britain books (pretty much everyone brought one along – it seems it is the preferred book!), we set off.

In total we identified 62 different plants ranging from the very familiar Primrose to a few none of us could identify including the Moschatel and Common twyblade orchid – the fantastic people on i-spot helped identify those (and confirm a few more). Hint: if you are doing to do a survey – take your camera! Most of the plants were in the woodland. I wonder how much that will change over the next surveys … speaking of which, we intend to do the next on on the 10th of June. Follow us on facebook or contact us if you’d like us to remind you closer to the time.

Thank you to everyone that made the day so lovely, hope to see you next time.

Here are just a few of the photos from the day …