Volunteers are needed to help with annual "stock take".
Many wild flowers thrive in the chalk downlands, forest and river valleys of the North Wessex Downs AONB including early gentian, birsdfoot trefoil pyramidal orchids and hairy violets.
The new National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) launched this week, will enable scientists to take an annual stock take of the UK’s wild plants and their habitats, but to do this they need the public’s help.
Volunteers are needed to carry out surveys of wildflowers and their habitats that will provide robust evidence of which widespread plants are increasing or declining.
The search is now on to find 2000 volunteers to take part in the NPMS who will play a vital role in gathering information. Together the volunteers will monitor wild plants in 28 important habitats
Volunteers will be able to choose from three options depending on their level of expertise: recording from a short or an extended list of target species in each habitat or recording all species they find in their plots.
Volunteers will be given a 1 km square with a grid showing up to 25 locations.
Surveyors will be asked to visit three of those locations and carry out surveys in square plots and then identify two linear features such as hedgerows, rivers androad verges and survey these locations too.
The squares have been randomly chosen, but with a focus on squares containing habitats of interest.
For more information on the NPMS and how to take part please visit www.npms.org.uk