Grassland: Selecting indicators of success for grassland enhancement (TIN050)

Annex 1

Higher Level Stewardship Part B Farm Environment Plan (FEP) Features Manual (Second edition October 2008) section 4.4.2 How to assess if a plant species is rare, occasional or frequent

In many of our habitat feature definitions there are references to particular indicator plant species being rare, occasional or frequent.

The way to assess this is to walk around the habitat and stop at regular intervals or random points along the way. For most habitats stopping ten times will be enough but for very large blocks of similar vegetation, you may need 20 stops.

Each time you stop, look at the vegetation within a square metre in front of you and take a note of what plant species are there. If you already know roughly what type of habitat you are in, you only need to record the relevant indicator species for that habitat, rather than noting every single species.

  • A species is rare if it occurs in one or two stops out of ten.
  • It is occasional if it occurs in three or four stops out of ten.
  • Frequent species occur in five or more stops out of ten.
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