Volunteer Species Monitor Instructions
Thank you for your interest in becoming a site monitor. This is a hugely important task, as you will form part of our ears and eyes, keeping a watch over some the UK's most threatened species. Through this network we can pick up on subtle changes in the distribution and abundance of our species. Many volunteers also take an active role in looking after their site, whether that involves pruning back Bramble each year, or talking to the landowner about how best to look after it. Thank you, and hopefully we can save the world one species at a time!
Registering as a Species Recovery Trust Volunteer…
Find out more about your species and how to survey it...
The Species factsheets and survey guides (and the Species Handbooks which are gradually replacing them) will give you basic information about the species for which you have volunteered. Most species require one site visit a year (although more can be useful, and some species have a short flowering or flight period so will require a few visits to get the time of year right!).
You can find out when to survey using our survey timescale
Find out about your site...
The species registers collate all the records for every known site that this species exists in. This will give you information about the site(s), including grid references, land owner, access. They are not as up to date as the Geospike site, and it it worth cross-referencing with this (see below)
Please treat these as confidential and do not pass on to any third party. We do our best to keep these up to date but this is virtually impossible in all cases!
A map of all the sites can be found here
Marsh Clubmoss and Field Gentian NEW FOREST ONLY
Asplenium septentrionale Forked Spleenwort
Carex depauperata Starved Wood-sedge
Cheilothela chloropus Rabbit Moss
Cicindela sylvatica Heath Tigerbeetle
Decticus verrucivorus Wartbiter Cricket
Dianthus armeria Deptford Pink
Erotides cosnardi Cosnard's Net-winged Beetle
Gentianella campestris Field Gentian
Lobelia urens Heath Lobelia
Lycopodiella inundata Marsh Clubmoss
Melampyrum arvense Field Cow-wheat
Phyteuma spicatum Spiked Rampion
Polygala amarella Dwarf Milkwort
Triplax lacordii Southern Oyster Mushroom Beetle
How to find your site...
Most sites will require a GPS to find them, either using a handheld device, or one of the increasingly good range of apps which allow you to use your phone for this purpose.
All of our sites can be viewed on the Geospike Website and App. Geospike is a really useful tool for finding out more about your site, seeing recent photos and seeing what has been found there before. If you are relatively tech-savvy you can then use Geospike on your phone and get real-time directions to the site on a smartphone.
GEOSPIKE INSTRUCTIONS AND WEB TUTORIAL HERE
An important note on the sites: As far as we know none of the sites pose any particular danger, however there are some we haven't visited and can't vouch for, therefore if you find yourself somewhere which you consider to be dangerous, you must immediately stop the survey and inform us of it. The vast majority of sites are on open access land, and those which are not we will do our best to negotiate access over the next few weeks. If you find yourself straying on to private land having not had clearance it means we’ve gone wrong, and you must not continue with the survey. If you are happy and willing to track down the local farmer/landowner and have a chat that would be brilliant, but please do not knowingly trespass!
Monitoring and reporting back to us…
Download your monitoring form and return it to us at along with any photos so that we can update the records.
If you are using Geospike, and the site is largely unchanged from previous records then you can just add your count and the date to the Comments box, either on your phone or online.
We'd love it if all if you easily located huge populations of your respective plant and animal – but sadly the world of endangered species isn’t like this (and in fact if we’d chosen a species that was like this we would have gone wrong somewhere!). A lot of you will hunt in vain at a site to find it has already gone extinct. However, these records are almost the most important aspect of our work, particularly if you can look for signs as to why it may have vanished and how that could be rectified. So please don't lose heart – zero records are what drives endangered species conservation!