Wildflower Plant Survey

Citizen Science #5: Wildflower Count


Now entering its fourth year, the annual Plantlife wildflowers count survey is carried out by volunteers across the country. The data they collect will become part of a hugely valuable long term data set helping to monitor the trends of our wild plants over the years to come.

Even the nerdy among you will have to admit that wildflowers don’t quite have the same charisma as the big megafauna, and I won’t resort to extolling the importance of them in our ecosystems (even though they are really really important: e.g. bees!).

The simple fact is that counting flowers sounds whimsical, but essentially boring. That is until you give it a go and start telling your Cow Parsley from your Hemlock; Great Willowherb from your Indian Balsam; discover the mouthful that is the Common Birds’-foot-trefoil or the elegant Lords-and-Ladies.

Here’s how to get involved…

Things You Can Do:

  • Wildflowers Path – Walk a 1km path noting flowers along the way.
  • Wildflowers Plots – Survey a plot near your area.
  • Be a super-surveyor – For veteran plant counters!

More details on the Plantlife website…

Things You Get:

  • Guidance notes and survey sheets – Everything you need to know to get started – even if you’ve haven’t surveyed a thing in your entire life!
  • A snazzy Wildflower ID guide – with 99 common species that you might find on your survey (entirely free!)
  • There’s lots more resources online.

How To Get Started:

  • Register online! – Everything you need to do a survey sent to your door. Plantlife will pick out a suitable area near your home and send you a small map. It’s amazing what hidden wild areas you can discover just a short walk from your house.
  • When you’re done, you can enter your results online (and sit back with that warm glow of satisfaction).

Plantlife Updates…


  • Say GO to the mow! July 30, 2014
    Dr Trevor DinesPlantlife Botanical SpecialistI’m standing in a meadow in Sussex on the hottest day of the year. The July sun is doing a good job of bleaching the scene but, even this late in the season, the straw-brown field is punctuated with colour; deep purple betony (Stachys officinalis) with its short, fat flower spikes […]
  • Commonwealth Flowers Exhibition opens in Glasgow July 24, 2014
    Seona AndersonEuropean Projects CoordinatorOur Commonwealth Flowers Exhibition, featuring patchwork squares celebrating national and culturally important plants from across the Commonwealth, is up and running at the Hidden Gardens in Glasgow just in time for the Games. In fact, we managed to coincide (by accident) with the Queen’s Baton Relay as we were setting up:Many of […]
  • Coronation Meadows: One year on July 23, 2014
    Dr Trevor DinesPlantlife Botanical SpecialistOver a year has passed since our patron, HRH The Prince of Wales hosted the launch of his ambitious Coronation Meadows project. Much has happened since then and in many ways the real work has now begun. The Prince’s vision to identify a flagship Coronation Meadow in each county and then […]


Other Useful Resources…

Resource Index

Aspiring conservationist? Interested in expeditions and adventure? Browse some resources that might be useful…

Lists and Tips

Useful nuggets of information in no particular order…

Fieldwork Interviews:

Articles from field scientists describing the reality of working in remote and challenging conditions around the world, with tips for aspiring conservationists…

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