Have you seen the wildflower areas popping up across the city? Some of these areas have been sown with wildflower seeds, others are areas of grassland that we are leaving uncut so that we can see what flowers and grasses appear. The meadows project aims to increase the biodiversity of the grassed areas in the city. Allowing grassy areas to grow longer is beneficial for a range of wildlife including pollinators, birds and small mammals.
Why are volunteers needed? SHOW
For some of the “meadow” sites, we have a record of the species of flowers and grasses which are present. For other sites, we have no data and we need help to record what’s there.
What is involved? SHOW
You will need to commit to a three-hour training session and approximately one hour surveying time in June and/or September. All necessary training and equipment will be provided.
Who can volunteer? SHOW
It is beneficial if you have some experience with plant identification. However, we realise that with so many sites to cover, it would be tricky to get trained botanists to do all the surveys! So, we have secured the help of a local expert who will provide some training for us. For insurance purposes, this opportunity is open to people over the age of 18 and people will need to be able to get to their assigned survey site.
When will the surveys take place? SHOW
We hope to survey each site twice to capture plants that flower at different times of the year. The first survey will be during the week commencing 27 June 2022 and the second survey during the week commencing 5 September 2022.
When is the training? SHOW
Wildflower training sessions are being offered by one of the city’s botanical experts on 24 May 2022 at Peartree Green Local Nature Reserve. Training sessions will be on either a morning, afternoon or an evening. You will need to attend one training session. Identification of the most likely encountered flowering plants will be covered in the training, along with how to record your data.
Where will the surveys take place? SHOW
Wildflower survey sites are located across the city and the idea (depending on numbers of volunteers we get) will be to assign a site (or sites) nearest to each volunteer. The sizes of the sites vary greatly and we will cover what sites we can this summer and then develop a rolling survey programme going forward. The hope is to get an idea of what wildflowers we have in each “meadow” and build on the survey data year on year. How quickly we cover the sites depends on how many volunteers we get.
What happens If I can only commit to a survey in June or September (not both)? SHOW
It is desirable, but not essential, that you carry out a survey in June and September. However, it is not essential. To survey, you will need to attend one of the training sessions in May.
It is important that we survey the same sites twice to get the best indication of the plants growing there, so please let us know if you are only able to commit to one survey so we can make alternative arrangements for that site.
How do I get involved?
If you are interested in getting involved, keen to utilise, develop or improve on your plant identification skills, and are available for the dates above, please email your interest to us. We will send you a short questionnaire to complete to help us identify possible volunteers for sites. We will then be in contact with further information about the training.