Botanists Old and Newer Needed For The Lizard Vegetation Survey June 2013

Apr 30, 2013 by

Botanists Old and Newer Needed For The Lizard Vegetation Survey June 2013

 

UPDATE 14 May 2013: I have just had an email from Steve Townsend (Reserve Manager, Lizard National Nature Reserve) from Natural England to say –

“We have been overwhelmed with applicants [for the monitoring vegetation on the Lizard project].  Thanks to everyone very much for their interest and we will get back to everyone asap, but we are not going to be able to include everyone this year!”
If you have expressed an interest in helping this year but have been unsuccessful, sorry for any disappointment. However you may like to know of the BCG walk from Lizard Point to Kynance Cove on Saturday 25th May – see details here

Ian Bennallick (Botanical Cornwall Group co-ordinator)

……………….

This June Natural England will be embarking on a week of intensive vegetation monitoring on the Lizard National Nature Reserve.  The survey project is part of a nationwide Long Term Monitoring Network which aims to understand the key influences and indicators of long term biodiversity change from the impacts of air pollution, climate change and land management.

 

The programme is also seeking to consolidate and enhance surveying skills in staff, volunteers and partner organisations.  So this June we are seeking 30 -40 botanists of mixed abilities (it is probably not the best starting place for absolute beginners) to survey the 50 2m square quadrats around the reserve.  The quadrats are ranged across the five internationally important habitats: maritime grassland, maritime heath, short heath, tall heath and mixed heath.  Some quadrats are known botanical hotspots and some are random – we hope to capture more trends this way.  You can find out more about the LTMN here;

 

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/research/register/ltmn.aspx

 

The Lizard is a very special site with a mix of lowland heath and coastal maritime grassland habitats. Many of the species on the site are Red Data Book listed, national rarities or local specialities. Therefore we welcome experienced botanists and especially those with a good local knowledge of this area. We would be particularly keen to hear from you if you have bryophyte identification skills. Participants will receive training at various skill levels, which is then consolidated with up to three days fieldwork, all supported by experts.

 

·         Intermediate/improvers: We will be providing refresher training covering ID of the main species groups. This is an excellent opportunity for intermediates to tackle more difficult groups and refresh areas they are rusty on.

·         Expert: we are really keen for experts in relevant species groups to take part.  It will increase the quality and speed of the surveys, and allow other experts to focus more on training and support.  If they want to deliver training, even better and that is of course also a development opportunity.

  •  All: Surveys are run with participation from local stakeholders including local recording societies, Wildlife Trusts etc.  It’s an opportunity to make new contacts.  It’s also a great chance to get to know a National Nature Reserve really well.

 

If you fancy getting involved in a few days of sun-drenched (not guaranteed), unique botanising (guaranteed) you will need to be quick as places are filling up fast.  And you will need to be able to commit to at least 2 days.  In order to take part we ask that everyone  attend the training day on Tuesday 18th June, and come along to at least one of the survey days of the 19th, 20th, 21st.  We do need a firm commitment beforehand so as to ensure that we can organise survey teams with complementing skills.  In return for your skills and time we hope you may learn a little or a lot, have an enjoyable time, contribute to our science base, and quite possibly get a free lunch!

 

We hope to include an introductory ramble on Monday evening and a nightjar barbeque midweek depending on the weather.

 

If you would like to know more, register your interest, or ask a question then please contact steve.townsend@naturalengland.org.uk or 01326 240808.  If you are registering an interest in taking part please include the dates you would like to participate, and an assessment of your plant ID skills (expert, competent or beginner).

 

The closing date for registration is 17th May.

Lizard Vegetation on the coast

Lizard Vegetation on the coast

 

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