Urban Flora of Scotland

Be part of the Urban Flora of Scotland project

What grows on your street?

The BSS is collecting information about plants in urban areas of Scotland: what’s here, how common they are and where they are growing.
This information will be used to create a book on Scotland’s urban flora and the data will be used to study the distribution of plants and how it may be changing – for instance, are some species of plants moving further up the country in response to the changing climate? Or are there new species appearing that never used to be here? Which are the plants found most frequently in cities around the country, and how do they differ from the species found in rural places?
You can help us collect this information, by looking for plants in your street and local area and sending us your records. All records are useful!

What do we record?

We record all types of plants:
• Flowering plants
• Conifers
• Ferns & horsetails
• Mosses & liverworts
and also:
• Fungi
• Lichens
You can note down what you find on paper or on your phone, use a voice recorder or, if you like, download and print one of our recording sheets from here to write on. You can get an app for your phone that will tell you your grid reference.
You can find out more about the project and how to record on our website.

What information do we need?

  • What plant have you found? Have a look at our resources or use a wildflower guide to help you identify it.
  • How sure are you of the id? Certain, or it’s likely to be that species, or uncertain?
  • Where was it? The street, the postcode or the grid reference.
  • What sort of habitat is it growing in? The street, a park, in woodland?
  • How many? We don’t need an actual number for this, just an estimate

How do I submit records?

We use the iRecord website to collect information for the Urban Flora project.
Using iRecord:
1. Search for iRecord or type brc.ac.uk/irecord into your address bar.
2. Create an account.
3. Search under ‘Activities’ for ‘Urban Flora of Scotland – what grows on your street?’
4. Click ‘Enter records’ and follow the instructions on-screen.

Fill in as much as you can, but don’t worry if you do not know all the categories of information. You can also upload photos of your plants, to help confirm their identity (although you don’t have to).

A few points:

  • We only need records from urban areas with a population of over 1000 people.
  • We only want plants that have got there by themselves – if it looks like it was planted by people, don’t record it.
  • Please always follow social distancing guidelines when you are out plant-hunting.

Plants and the Law

If a plant can be named in the field take the field guide to it, not vice versa. If a specimen really is needed, remove the minimum quantity of material for identification, and also take a photo. While picking of small samples of plants is usually acceptable (but not in nature reserves and other special places), it is against the law to uproot plants without the landowner’s permission and some plants are protected by law and must not be picked. See https://bsbi.org/wp-content/uploads/dlm_uploads/Code-of-Conduct-v5-final.pdf for further detail.

You can download these instructions from here

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