Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Grassland Monitoring

Over the past couple of weeks I have been out with volunteer Charlotte Huntley plotting routes in four grassland areas for grassland monitoring training days.
This involved creating a route for the volunteers to follow that was representative of the grassland, deciding where they should stop to record information, and taking photographs to help orientate the volunteers.

Doing a species count to measure diversity
 Many of the wild flowers that grow on the Edge will only flourish in low fertility conditions, so it is important to monitor whether our management of the grasslands is successful, and to indicate where action might need to be taken. These are rare habitats and need to be looked after, monitoring of these meadows will also increase the conservation score for our property.

Carrying out the monitoring within the quadrat square
The training days involved giving some background information on the grasslands as well as explaining the methodology and doing a practice run on an actual area of grassland. Criteria we were monitoring included whether there were any negative indicators (such as nettles and docks), quantifying diversity by doing a species count, measuring the average sward height, and calculating the proportion of any bare ground.

Having a go at identifying some of the plant species
he methodology has been devised so that interested volunteers can simply go out themselves and follow the instructions to survey the grassland.

Common Spotted Orchid


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