Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Rose E Collom: a Botanist of the Arizona Wilderness

This guest blogpost is rather a departure from News & Views' usual style: it features an American, rather than a British or Irish, botanist and has some serious footnotes. But after I noticed Siobhan Leachman enthusing on Twitter about a female botanist I had never heard of, I simply had to ask her to tell us more. Siobhan very kindly agreed and the result is presented here.

Dudleya collomiae
Image: Mr Alan English CPA
Reproduced by kind permission
 of Mr English
"I first discovered Rose E Collom while transcribing field books at the Smithsonian Transcription Centre.1 I was transcribing two books written about 100 years ago by Joseph Nelson Rose, a botanist and curator at the Smithsonian. In these books he documented the identification of specimens, specimen sheets, plants, cuttings and seeds of cacti sent either to himself or the United States National Herbarium by collectors around the world. 

I was surprised at the number of women botanists and plant collectors mentioned by him given he was writing in the early 1900’s. One of the women frequently noted was Rose E. Collom.

Rose Collom nee Wilson was born in Georgia and had trained as a teacher2, attending Lindenwood College in 1886-87 and 1888-893. She became interested in Arizona flora when she moved to the State with her husband W. B. Collom in 1914. They lived in an isolated area in Gila County in the foothills of the Mazatzal Mountains where her husband worked a mine on the Collom property.

Plant Collecting

An article in the Arizona Producer quotes her as stating “I thought I would go crazy at first. My husband spent his days working the mine; beyond cooking his meals and mending his clothes there was nothing for me to do except sit … and gaze out over these hills”. Collom was unintimidated by the “coyotes yelping on the ridges or a mountain lion screaming up the canyon”. She began to take long walks and study the unique plants from the area.4

Mazatzal Mountains
Image: Mr Alan English CPA
Reproduced by kind permission of Mr English
She collected seeds, cuttings and specimens. She educated herself on Arizona plants by reading botany books and corresponding with botanists such as Joseph Rose, Thomas Henry Kearney & Robert Hibbs Peebles. In doing so she became an acknowledged expert on the plants of Arizona.5

Her plant collecting led her to discover several plants previously unknown to science that would eventually to be named after her. Among these are Dudleya collomiae6 (Gila County liveforever), Ranunculus collomiae and Galium collomiae.  Dr. John Thomas Howell of the California Academy of Sciences, when naming Galium collomiae wrote, “It is a pleasure and honor to name this distinctive addition to the Arizona flora in honor of Mrs. Rose Collom who has done so much critical field work in that state”.7

Her collected specimens are held in numerous Herbarium including the U.S. National Herbarium, the Lois Porter Earle Herbarium at the Desert Botanical Garden and the Arizona State University Herbarium.8 Other institutions that hold her specimens include the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Lindenwood University Herbarium and the Grand Canyon Museum Herbarium which holds the Rose Collom Collection.9

Collaboration with other notable Botanists

Rose Collom, botanist
Image: Grand Canyon National Park
Museum Collection #5284
Reproduced by kind permission
 of the Museum
As well as collecting specimens, Collom made careful observations and detailed descriptions of the habitats, bloom times, growing conditions and the uses of native plants.  She was one of the acknowledged collaborators with noted botanists Kearney & Peebles when they wrote the book “Flowering Plants and Ferns of Arizona”.  In the “Collaborators” section Kearney & Peebles wrote of Collom that “the writers are indebted for the privilege of using her manuscript notes on the habitat, time of flowering & economic use of Arizona plants”.10

“Flowering Plants and Ferns of Arizona” became the foundation upon which Kearney & Peebles based their later book “Arizona Flora”. Collom also contributed to “Arizona Flora” and its subsequent amendment. Arizona Flora remained the best and most comprehensive reference guide to Arizona plants for over 30 years.11

First Paid Botanist of the Grand Canyon National Park

Rose E Collom also became the Grand Canyon National Park’s first paid botanist from 1939 until 1954.12 In June of 1938 Collom collected in the Grand Canyon and in October exchanged letters with Mr E. McKee, the cofounder of the Grand Canyon Natural History Association (the forerunner to the Grand Canyon Association). He offered her a grant to enable her to collect specimens in the Grand Canyon area. In accepting this grant she became the first paid botanist of the Grand Canyon National Park.13

She conducted her botanical work at the Park, visiting to collect specimens or work in the herbarium, every year except 1948. The herbarium at the Grand Canyon National Park has 826 of her specimens.14

Garden Clubs and Botanical Societies

Mrs Collom was also active with the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs. She was the Horticultural Chairman of the Federation of Garden Clubs of Arizona15 and helped to encourage the use of native Arizona plants for landscaping in home gardens and highways.16

She believed that some plants from higher altitudes could adapt themselves to lower altitudes if they were planted and cared for at an intermediate level and had time to accommodate themselves to the changed conditions. She was encouraged in this theory of progressive adaptation by Dr J. J. Thornberry, a botanist at the University of Arizona and Dr F. J. Crider, Director of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. She put this theory into practice by collecting plants from higher altitude and then allowing them several seasons to adapt to intermediate conditions in her garden before replanting at a lower altitude.17

Mrs Collom was also a member of the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society, which in 1937, founded the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. She was a charter member of the Desert Botanical Garden18 and supplied numerous native Arizona plants to it.19  Her valuable personal herbarium collection along with her writings were donated to the Desert Botanical Garden in 1951.20

Conclusion

The influence of Rose Collom in the field of botany was posthumously recognised when she was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013.21 Her collection work continues to assist scientists today as her specimens are studied and cited in academic journals".22 

Many thanks to Siobhan for this fascinating account and for the excellent list of references below, which are worthy of New Journal of Botany (I can give no higher praise!). 

1 Smithsonian Institute, Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Centre, available at:  https://transcription.si.edu/ (accessed 20th January 2015)
2 Arizona Producer (1930), “Woman of the Wilderness”,  Arizona Producer, September 15, p. 4
3 Lindenwood College Bulletin, (1930), “Woman of the Wilderness”, Lindenwood College Bulletin, Vol. 104, No.6, p. 10
4 Arizona Producer (1930), “Woman of the Wilderness”,  Arizona Producer, September 15, p. 4
5 Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame (2013), Rose Collom (1870 – 1956) available at: https://www.azwhf.org/inductions/inducted-women/rose-collom-1870-1956/ (accessed 5th January 2015)
6 Gentry, Mary A. (1982), “Woman Botanists and Plant Collectors of Arizona”, Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society Newsletter, The Central Spine, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 2
7 Howell, J. T., (1949), “Three New Arizona Plants”, Leaflets of Western Botany, Vol. 5, No. 9, p. 151
8 Gentry, Mary A. (1982), “Woman Botanists and Plant Collectors of Arizona”, Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society Newsletter, The Central Spine, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 2
9 National Park Service, Grand Canyon Museum Collection, available at: http://www.nps.gov/grca/historyculture/muscol.htm (accessed 20th January 2015)
10 Kearney, T. H., Peebles, R. H. and Collaborators (1942), Flowering Plants and Ferns of Arizona, United States Department of Agriculture Misc. Publication No. 423, Washington DC. p. 3
11 University of Arizona Herbarium, Arizona Floras and Floristic Works, available at:  http://ag.arizona.edu/herbarium/resources/books/floristic_az (accessed 5th  January 2015)
12 Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame (2013), Rose Collom (1870 – 1956) available at : https://www.azwhf.org/inductions/inducted-women/rose-collom-1870-1956/ (accessed 5th January 2015)
13 Spendens, F. [pseudonym of Quartaroli, R. D.] (2013), “Grand Canyon’s Other Rose and First Botanist” Grand Canyon River Runner, Spring, No. 15, p. 12 -13
14 Spendens, F. [pseudonym of Quartaroli, R. D.] (2013), “Grand Canyon’s Other Rose and First Botanist” Grand Canyon River Runner, Spring, No. 15, p. 12 -13
15 Tucson Daily Citizen, March 16th 1944, p. 8
16 Gentry, Mary A. (1982), “Woman Botanists and Plant Collectors of Arizona”, Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society Newsletter, The Central Spine, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 2
17 Arizona Producer (1930), “Woman of the Wilderness”, Arizona Producer, September 15, p. 4
18 Hodgson W. and Salywon, A., (2014) “Desert Botanical Garden Herbarium (DES) Phoenix”, The Plant Press, Arizona Native Plant Society, Vol. 37, No. 1, p. 8.
19 Arizona Independent Republic, February 20th 1940, p. 6
20 Gentry, Mary A. (1982), “Woman Botanists and Plant Collectors of Arizona”, Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society Newsletter, The Central Spine, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 2
21 Spendens, F. [pseudonym of Quartaroli, R. D.] (2013), “Grand Canyon’s Other Rose and First Botanist” Grand Canyon River Runner, No. 15, p. 13
22 Ickert Bond, S. M., and D. J. Pinkava. "Vascular plant types in the Arizona State University Herbarium." Sida, Contrib. Bot 19.4 (2001): 1039-1059.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Robert Pocock Herbarium: Part Two

Last March, I told you about a fascinating project happening in Kent - the Robert Pocock Herbarium Project - and I bet lots of you have been following their progress since then via the link on the right, under Blogs by BSBI members. This weekend's post retraces a walk that Pocock took around 200 years ago, compares what is in flower now with the plants that Pocock saw and introduces us to the buffoon at Chalk Church!


Epilobium tetragonum collected by Pocock
Malcolm Jennings (mentioned in last March's post) has also been in touch to offer an update on the project. Malcolm says "The Heritage Lottery Funded 'Robert Pocock Herbarium Project' officially ended in February 2015. But there is still much to do! We found about 220 plant specimens collected by Robert Pocock between 1800 and 1830. The specimens are in good condition and have now been databased by the Natural History Museum. G. M. Arnold gave the Pocock herbarium to the NHM in 1884 and he wrote at the time that the herbarium must have contained several thousand specimens before the ravages of time. So perhaps 90% of the specimens were lost to decay before getting to the museum. Most of the specimens that survived are local to Gravesend and Kent. It is likely that this was true of the original collection – what a sad loss of biodiversity information. All of the specimens and label data can be viewed here: http://pocockherbarium.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page_12.html

"The provenance of some of the plants is questionable – several appear to have been collected by him after his death in 1830! Most of these “anomalies” can be explained by curator error when they were received at the NHM in 1884. More on this at http://pocockherbarium.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-provenance-of-plants-in-robert.html

"We are now busy compiling all of the data from the collection labels, identifying his favourite collecting sites and his periods of botanical activity. Since we have parts of his journal for the same period we are also linking his specimen collecting to his daily life. We know, for example, that on 14th July 1823 he walked to Southfleet for “tea” with the Rev. Rashleigh and his two daughters. He tell us that Julia, the youngest daughter, is a good botanist. In our search of the herbarium we found this specimen of Epilobium tetragonum (see image above right), collected about ½ mile from the rectory so it is nice to think that perhaps after tea they all went botanising together – perhaps Julia picked the plant and gave it to Pocock for his collection."

Cover of the DVD.
Malcolm says "We have created a project DVD that contains all of the scanned images of the specimens found, biographical details of Robert Pocock, images of the collecting sites (contemporary and recent), photographs of the project and much more. Much of this is on the website – more to follow soon. The DVD is going to local libraries and schools" Malcolm has also very kindly sent me a copy, so you can expect another post about Pocock once I've watched it! And a quick check in my copy of Kent & Allen's British & Irish Herbaria shows that 240 sheets went to the BM so there are still 20 sheets unaccounted for. Must ask Malcolm about this...

Malcolm concludes: "Parts of Pocock’s journal and short biographical notes were published in 1883 - G. M. Arnold “Robert Pocock, The Gravesend Historian, Naturalist, Antiquarian, Botanist and Printer”(see image on previous post). This is the only edition and it is rarely available for purchase and held by very few libraries.  Brilliant news that the book is now being reprinted by Cambridge University Press. Coincidence?
Don't forget that you can follow the story on Facebook here:
as well as on this blog: http://pocockherbarium.blogspot.co.uk/  

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Return of the Powdery Mildew Survey.

Last year, Waheed Arshad and Oli Ellingham from the University of Reading asked us to help them with their research on Powdery Mildews, and many of you rose to the challenge and sent your specimens to them for analysis. Waheed has now moved on to pastures new (York, where he's looking at Arabidopsis this year), but Oli is looking at Powdery Mildews again this season and hopes that we can help him again. I asked him to remind us what he will be doing and how we can make a contribution. 


Oli said "The 2014 Powdery Mildew Survey produced a total of 51 of the UK's 144 different powdery mildew species. The turn of spring 2015 will see the launch of the 2015 Powdery Mildew Survey

"As part of my research as a University of Reading PhD student, I aim to develop a quick and efficient framework for identification of powdery mildew species. This could also be applied to other troublesome pathogens. I am therefore asking YOU to send in your powdery mildews for identification. Starting with identification of host plant, analysis of the powdery mildews appearance, and DNA sequencing, the project aims to ascertain the identity of powdery mildew species; a practice challenging even for the experts. With approximately 800 different powdery mildew species found worldwide, the possibility of invasive species entering the UK is very real.

"Samples will add to a database of the UK species, offering material on which to test new and established identification methods.

"Will yours be one of the 144 species previously recorded within the UK, or one of thousands of host plants previously recorded? Will it be one to have recently expanded its host range? A new species to the UK? Or a previously unrecorded species?!"

Oli tells me that News & Views readers really rose to the challenge last year, sending their material to him, so let's hope that we can be equally helpful this year. If you have mildewed leaves, or you would like to know more about the project, please contact Oli at this address: O.H.Ellingham@pgr.reading.ac.uk As these images from Oli show, no leaf is too scuzzy to send - in fact, the scuzzier the better ;-)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Somerset gears up for Atlas 2020

Now that spring is in the air, a young botanist's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of... Atlas 2020! Knowing that we only have six seasons left in which to record for BSBI's third atlas concentrates the mind wonderfully, and local botany groups are planning their recording programmes for the coming season.  

Pete Stroh inspiring the troops
Image: L. McDonnell
Liz McDonnell has been in touch from Somerset where, she tells us, "Somerset Rare Plants Group (SRPG) was pleased that Pete Stroh accepted our invitation to come down to talk about Atlas 2020 and how SRPG can contribute to it.  We also invited our neighbouring VC Recorders from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Wilts (sadly Sharon Pilkington from Wilts couldn't make it).  As SRPG has VC recorders from Somerset (VC5 & 6) and West Gloucester (VC34) amongst its members, we had most of the South West England recorders at this presentation. Pete gave an extremely good talk on the background, the likely format of the new atlas, the many types of guidance that are being produced and the methodology for maximum coverage.  

Pete and Roger Smith (VCR for South Devon)
deep in discussion
Image: L. McDonnell
"Afterwards, Helena Crouch (SRPG) spoke about the progress of Somerset Rare Plants Register and there was a lively discussion about how members can contribute to both projects by adopting priority species (or groups of species) and /or a hectad or smaller area to record in during the year. Helena and Paul Green had worked hard to produce a map showing recorded species per monad in Somerset (VC5 & 6) and this was a great incentive for members to record in hitherto unknown parts of the county and un/under-recorded areas in the forthcoming field season.  This will be very useful for planning the summer season of field meetings. 

"This was a wonderful opportunity to meet recorders from other areas to chat about Atlas 2020, recording in general and exchange ideas that could be useful to all.  We acknowledged that the border areas between our Vice Counties often got neglected and suggestions were made for more cooperation and perhaps joint border field meetings".

Friday, 13 March 2015

Botanical snippets for March

Apologies that a nasty virus has prevented my posting recently but here's a round-up of a few things that have been going on in the botanical world - if you know of anything I've missed, please leave a comment below!

There's a great new resource from BSBI's Training & Education Committee. See the new 'So you want to know your plants' pdf here.

Galium murale at Rosslare
Image: P. Green
An excellent article about Kew in this week's Indy (by the peerless Mike McCarthy) - read it here.

News of several Bioblitzes planned for this summer: Cambridge University Botanic Garden are holding a 24 hour Bioblitz starting at 5pm on Friday 12th June. Idle Valley Nature Reserve in Notts (VC56) are starting their Bioblitz at 6pm on Friday 24th July. More information on their websites. Please let organisers know if you are able to offer a guided walk or other activity at one of these Bioblitzes.

A very helpful resource from Stephen Head and Ken Thompson here. It's a pdf entitled 'What is the relative value for wildlife of native and non-native plants in our gardens?' Beautifully written, as you'd expect from Ken who is a BSBI member as well as a journalist.

Paul Green seems to find a new species in Co. Wexford almost every week! Follow his finds here on the Wildflowers of Wexford blog. Lots of other interesting posts in our list (on right) of blogs by BSBI members. 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Botanical Book at Bedtime: Part Four

Fraoch Bheinn: about to start the descent
Image: P. Llewellyn
Last Sunday, we left Peter and his intrepid team of plant-hunters on a high mountain peak, ecstatic at finding their incredibly rare quarry: Diapensia lapponica

But they still have to get safely back down the mountain before the sun sets. And there may be the odd plant to notice on the way...

So, if you are all sitting comfortably, Peter will begin the final instalment in our Botanical Book at Bedtime: 

Treasure hunting in the Wester Ross uplands
Part 4: The Descent

Alchemilla alpina (Alpine Lady's Mantle)
Image: P. Llewellyn
"It was too much to hope that our descent would be a joyful wander down the way we'd come up. Our leader decided that we would descend by a route better suited to hang-gliders and we went directly down the mountain at a steep angle. As those of you will know, this is the time when you are really glad of your stick. Two would have been even better. Descending a mountain doesn't get you out of breath like climbing but it can ruin your knees and it's very easy to slip.

On the descent the soil seemed to change because plants such as Alchemilla alpina (Alpine Lady’s Mantle), Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted Orchid) and Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath-spotted Orchid) were dotted around even though there’d been no sign of these plants during the ascent.

Dactylorhiza fuchsii 
(Common Spotted Orchid)
Image: P. Llewellyn
The sun shone all the way down and we even started to worry a little about sun burn. Eventually we reached the track by the river where we were able to splash ice cold water on our feet and faces. A two mile stroll back to the car park led to a very happy group saying their goodbyes.

Unencumbered by fickle youth, our successful expedition of oldies had been on a trip seven and a half miles long (measured only on the flat), we'd taken about eight hours and that included at least 2,800 feet up and down again. However the day had just one other special surprise for us.

The sky was now completely clear of clouds with no trace of cloud or mist even on the highest peaks. 

Dactylorhiza maculata
 (Heath-spotted Orchid)
Image: P. Llewellyn
As we travelled back towards Fort William we were treated to the sight of Ben Nevis basking in the rosy glow of early evening sunlight. A few snow filled pockets and all the splendour of its crags and huge cliffs presented a sight not too often seen.

A few of us were then privileged to be invited for a drink at the nearby house of one of our party. We looked down a neatly cut croquet lawn edged by specimen trees, rhododendrons and azaleas in full flower. In the background was the full grandeur of the Nevis Grey Corries backed by a blue cloudless sky and to the right, Ben Nevis itself.

We'd seen one of the rarest plants in the country at its absolute best and now looked out on a view the splendour of which even a London estate agent couldn't exaggerate.

Fraoch Bheinn: looking back up the mountain
Image: P. Llewellyn
I sipped my cold beer and reflected on a successful day seeking a rare alpine with good friends in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland and thought that however materially rich you might be, you simply couldn't buy a day like the one we'd enjoyed." 

Many thanks to Peter for telling us his story and to all of you for following the four instalments in our first Botanical Book at Bedtime. I hope you agree that they have brightened up our Sunday nights while we botanists are all waiting for springtime and looking forward to the wild flowers that we hope to see this year. I'll leave you with the image Peter took of the fabulous Diapensia lapponica and hope that you all reach the botanical heights this year! 

Diapensia lapponica at Fraoch Bheinn
Image: P. Llewellyn
   

BSBI and partners launch new National Plant Monitoring Scheme

Pete, Felicity, Kevin & WFC volunteer trial NPMS methods
Image: M. Pocock
It's been a long time in the planning, but this morning the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) was launched. This exciting new scheme is the result of a partnership between BSBI, Plantlife, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and JNCC.

Regular News & Views readers will already have heard how BSBI's Head of Science Kevin Walker, Scientific Officer Pete Stroh and Projects Officer Bob Ellis were out last summer trialling various survey methods for volunteers to use on the new scheme. They did this alongside colleagues such as Oli Pescott (Research Assistant Botanist at CEH and a very active BSBI member!), the excellent Felicity from Plantlife and volunteers from Plantlife's Wildflowers Count. 


WFC volunteer, Bob Ellis & Oli Pescott trial NPMS methods
Image: M. Pocock
Ever since, the NPMS Team has been working away like crazy in the background getting everything ready for today's big launch. The new NPMS website is now live and you can find out more about why we have launched the scheme, why we need your help and how you can get involved. You can also check out a few of the resources that we have provided for you. 

There is more info in the press release and a nice article in the latest issue of Country Living magazine. You can find out about the presentation Oli gave on the NPMS at BSBI's Annual Exhibition Meeting here and download Oli's Powerpoint from this page.

You can also follow the latest NPMS action on Twitter. I hope that you already follow the BSBI account @BSBIbotany - either via Twitter or by keeping an eye on the Twitter feed on the right of this page - and I'll be keeping you updated on NPMS developments. You can also follow the new Twitter account for the scheme @theNPMS 

Volunteers needed for annual stock-take of UK's wild flowers

The new National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS), launching in spring 2015, will for the first time enable scientists to take an annual stock take of the UK’s wild plants and their habitats, but to do this we need the public’s help. We are looking for volunteers to carry out surveys of wildflowers and their habitats that will provide robust evidence of which widespread plants are increasing or declining, as well as indicating the changing state of our most valued habitats such as grassland, fenland and even road verges. Plants are nature’s building blocks and this new monitoring scheme will sit alongside existing schemes for the UK’s birds and butterflies to help us understand more about how the countryside is changing.

Chris Cheffings, from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee says “Currently, information on plant species’ abundance and change is very limited, and it is difficult to gauge the condition of habitats outside protected sites. JNCC is delighted to be able to support the NPMS, which will fill this significant gap in UK biodiversity surveillance.  The annual results collected by volunteers will help to identify trends in hundreds of species, allowing us to assess plant community changes.”

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, ranging from hedgerows and meadows to salt marsh and scree slopes.

Hayley New, from Plantlife says “The NPMS is hugely enjoyable and over 400 volunteers have helped us set up the new scheme. It’s easy to do and everyone will receive free training and guidance plus support from the partnership for volunteers who have queries, as well as web support and illustrated guidance notes – so volunteers will have the perfect survey tool kit to get them started!”

Dr Kevin Walker, Head of Science, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) says:
“It’s really great to finally have a national scheme that everyone can take part in. Whether you simply love wildflowers or are a budding botanist, input from volunteers will provide sound evidence on how our wild plants and habitats are changing. It’s a fantastic achievement and should mean that wild plants are at the forefront of discussions on how our environment is changing and what we should be doing about it.”

How does the NPMS work?
  • 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 and road verges and survey these locations too.
  • The squares have been randomly chosen, but with a focus on squares containing habitats of interest.
Oliver Pescott, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology says “The results from this new scheme should allow us to quantify the smaller changes that are occurring within our most valuable habitats. In the past, volunteer-collected data have been able to demonstrate the results of large-scale habitat loss over the last century, now we would like to reveal even more detail about the changes within the remaining areas of these habitats in our landscape.”

For more information on the NPMS and how to take part please visit www.npms.org.uk