2024 Plant ID Training Day at Croft Castle

On Monday 10th June meadow owners from across Herefordshire attended a Plant Identification training day at Croft Castle.  The day was led by Vice County Botanical Recorder and Herefordshire Meadows Trustee Stuart Hedley, who introduced the group to the Rapid Plant Monitoring Method, a simple technique for monitoring changes in grassland over time.

The session was aimed at equipping meadow managers with the skills to carry out baseline surveys of their own land pre-restoration, and then track its improvement over the years post-restoration as species diversity and richness grows.  The surveys and monitoring serve a vital role in supporting and guiding future work, and are a rewarding way for landowners to quantify the fruit of their labours.

The training took place on Front Meadow at Croft Castle, which was enhanced in 2023 as part of Buglife’s ‘Get the Marches Buzzing Project’ using a mix of seed harvested from elsewhere on the National Trust Site and also some commercial seed.  So as well as learning new skills the attendees provided a helping hand in the ongoing monitoring at the site.

Many thanks to Jason and Chris and the National Trust team hosting us and giving us permission to carry out the training at such a stunning site.

Useful resources can be found on the survey and monitoring page of our website, such as a video guide to the rapid plant assessment method, our new and improved downloadable survey sheet for 2024 , and Stuart Hedley’s very helpful ‘problem pairs’ ID sheets.

Two recommended field guides are:

  • Collins Wildflower Guide 2nd edition, Streeter et al.
  • The Wildflower Key, Frances Rose

And the Field Studies Council also sells grassland plants and grasses guides.








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