Nature programmes on TV generally focus on animals, birds and insects. We are all aware about how many of these creatures are in danger in the wild but there is much less focus on our plantlife.
Most of us have heard stories of the fields of wildflowers that could once be found in the countryside but few of us have seen them. The use of herbicides and intensive farming has had a massive impact on our wildflower population. It seems easier for plants to slip away and become extinct and yet plants are so incredibly important.
The charity Plantlife is trying to change this in many ways including plant surveys called ‘Wildflower Counts’ that anyone can do. I signed up last Autumn and this Spring Plantlife sent out a survey pack. They designate you an area close to your home (you can change this if you want) and you can do a number of different types of survey from a 1km linear walk, a small grid or if you feel more confident you can become a super surveyor. You are provided with a small booklet of flowers for identification and you can survey the area as many times as you want between Spring and Autumn.
Wellyman and I did a 1km path on Easter Monday. The weather was lovely and we walked a small road that was no longer in use, recording the species we saw. It was a really enjoyable way to spend an afternoon and hopefully the information we and others give Plantlife will go some way to helping to record and protect our wildflowers. Its too late to do a survey this year but you can sign up for next year at Plantlife.