The Flora of North-east England

The North-East Common Plants Survey

Pond surveying

In general, we have quite good knowledge on the distributions of rare native plants. However, in recent years it has become obvious to many botanists that the distribution and abundance of common plants is changing in the countryside. It is not clear what all the reasons for this are, but the usual suspects are climate change, eutrophication and land-use change.

The North-east has no standard data that can quantify the abundance or distribution of common plants. This is the reason we need a common plants survey.

How do we want to do this?

The idea is to subsample about 3% of the land area of South Northumberland and Durham in 1 km ×1 km Ordnance Survey squares over three years. From these results we will be able to produce maps predicting the distribution of common plants more accurately than we can now, but also estimate their abundance. In addition, the data will contribute to the BSBI’s national survey and we fully expect to find interesting new species and localities in this survey.

What do we want you to do?

  1. Pick a square from the map.
  2. Record all the species that you can identify confidently .
  3. Include, planted or sown plants where they are an important feature of the landscape, but make a note that they are planted.
  4. Try to visit the full range of habitats within the grid square.
  5. When you have finished surveying the square, assign a DAFOR letter to each species you found. The DAFOR scale is D = Dominant; A = Abundant, F = Frequent, O = Occasional, R = Rare. Click here for more details of this system
  6. Return the records either by post or email to the relevant Recorder.

If you have other questions you can read our frequently asked questions page or contact us directly.

Also note that...

Help with Identification

Your Vice County Recorder can help with identification. Also, we are fortunate to have the BSBI beginner’s referees (John and Clare O’Reilly) in the region who are also happy to help check plants for the North-east Common Plants survey and you don’t have to be a complete beginner to use them. Preferably, specimens should be sent as soon as possible after collection in a plastic bag. However, dryed pressed specimens are also usually identifiable. The BSBI has a guide to collecting specimens on its website. The BSBI's specialist referees for the difficult groups are also available, details can be found in the BSBI's year book. If you like, you may also email photographs to Quentin Groom.

We hope to survey all the selected grid squares as evenly and completely as possible. Ideally, each square will be surveyed by different people at different times of year. However, we can only do our best, particularly where access and time is limited.

What do we want do with your data?

All records will be made available on this website as soon as possible after digitisation. Once we have all the data we plan to publish a report detailing the results preferably in a forum such as the Transactions of the Natural History Society of Northumberland.

As always, all the data will be made available to local and national record centres where it will be used for numerous studies that aid the conservation and management of our wild plants.

View the random grid squares on a map...


NY7941 NZ1758 NY8235 NY8536 NY8730 NY8041 NY9433 NY9937 NY9939 NY9646 NZ0318 NZ0825 NZ0826 NZ0827 NZ0924 NZ0039 NZ0632 NZ0834 NZ0048 NZ0143 NZ0247 NZ0050 NZ1416 NZ1915 NZ1229 NZ1826 NZ1137 NZ1534 NZ1538 NZ1838 NZ1932 NZ1142 NZ1248 NZ1644 NZ1450 NZ1552 NZ1362 NZ1464 NZ1961 NZ2027 NZ2121 NZ2924 NZ2435 NZ2830 NZ2148 NZ2448 NZ2843 NZ2252 NZ2254 NZ3213 NZ3219 NZ3329 NZ3524 NZ3129 NZ3334 NZ3735 NZ3143 NZ3544 NZ3745 NZ3948 NZ3949 NZ3359 NZ3858 NZ3264 NZ3365 NZ3461 NZ3560 NZ4022 NZ4029 NZ4320 NZ4628 NZ4824 NZ4827 NZ4236 NZ4531 NZ4738 NZ5027 NZ5131

Both Durham and South Northumberland

NY8244 NZ3566 NZ3668

South Northumberland

NT6401 NT6602 NT6905 NT7001 NT7205 NT7406 NT9303 NU2202 NU2403 NY5882 NY5982 NY5790 NY6849 NY6859 NY6951 NY6368 NY6862 NY6969 NY6479 NY6670 NY6678 NY6977 NY6281 NY6381 NY6483 NY6581 NY6588 NY6097 NY6293 NY7548 NY7350 NY7455 NY7853 NY7069 NY7169 NY7364 NY7760 NY7866 NY7070 NY7371 NY7373 NY7571 NY7776 NY7084 NY7685 NY7787 NY7889 NY7982 NY7097 NY7191 NY7290 NY7692 NY7892 NY8444 NY8848 NY8054 NY8451 NY8850 NY8963 NY8071 NY8975 NY8285 NY8885 NY8090 NY8395 NY8991 NY8994 NY9659 NY9754 NY9161 NY9165 NY9465 NY9577 NY9875 NY9689 NY9889 NY9697 NY9699 NZ0162 NZ0369 NZ0666 NZ0377 NZ0672 NZ0181 NZ0189 NZ0481 NZ0582 NZ0683 NZ0786 NZ0192 NZ0492 NZ0497 NZ0599 NZ0691 NZ1376 NZ1570 NZ1872 NZ1580 NZ1583 NZ1590 NZ1987 NZ1289 NZ2171 NZ2273 NZ2373 NZ2477 NZ2975 NZ2182 NZ2381 NZ2385 NZ2985 NZ2987 NZ2098 NZ2893 NZ3266 NZ3279 NZ3671

South and North Northumberland

NT9502 NZ1398
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