We’re working with farmers, the national park, pastures for life, and nature friendly farming network, to trial a new grazing technique in the Spey valley. Very briefly, by concentrating grazing stock and moving them every few days, the sward should ideally have a chance to recover well and mature, reaching flowering and seed setting before being grazed again, which will ideally improve meadow diversity and health. Our part is to facilitate volunteer surveying of these meadows for at least this and next years to monitor the changes that come because of the new technique. So, we’re training volunteer up in meadow species ID and grassland habitat assessment and then partnering them up with farms to perform habitat surveys over several sessions in the summer months. Our training day for this is booked for the 3rd of June, with surveys likely to commence into August.
Plantlife Scotland co-ordinate the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) in Scotland, and are looking for volunteers in Orkney. The NPMS is a new UK-wide plant monitoring scheme designed to build up data on habitat health. It is organised and funded by a partnership of the BSBI, Plantlife, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and the JNCC. Anyone interested in nature who can identify plants, or who is keen to learn, can take part. Volunteers adopt a kilometre square and survey small plots within this kilometre. Plantlife occasionally has opportunities for Flora Guardian volunteers but there are none currently in Orkney.
Experience required: Willingness to learn and take up the training before starting
Minimum age: 18