2016: Pilot plant monitoring scheme & attempts were made to encourage new recorders

  • A collaborative project was launched with the BSBI – Spring Flowering Plants. We developed species profiles for 14 easily identifiable spring flowers along with a special on-line recording form. Aimed at encouraging beginners to start recording plants, it was very successful in mobilising additional data. 2,300 records were received of the 14 species promoted. Records were received from all 32 counties in Ireland and from a total of 376 different recorders.
  • We assisted with the decline calculations and application of the IUCN methodology for the Vascular Plant Red List
  • A pilot Plant Monitoring Scheme was trialled on semi-natural grasslands. The rationale in developing a scheme like this is that it provides the highest quality data for the lowest amount of recorder effort. The data is comparable and repeatable and can be used to detect trends in species and habitat quality over time. Importantly, because it focuses on one habitat at a time, it provides a structure within which the Data Centre can better support volunteers in gradually improving their plant identification skills. The pilot was very successful. 176 volunteers signed up to the scheme with a total of 74 grassland sites being surveyed. Of these, 65 were of sufficient quality for monitoring. Funding has not been found to continue the scheme in 2017.
  • More than 19,000 records were submitted on-line


2015: Attempts were made to fill recoding gaps

  • Efforts were focused on generating more records of both grasses and aquatic species. An identification guide to Irish grasses was published by the Data Centre.
  • More than 7,000 records were submitted on-line




Armeria maritima (L.Lysaght)2014: Recording gaps were identified

  • The vascular plant database held by the National Biodiversity Data Centre exceeded the 1 million species mark.
  • All plant data post 2000 held by the Data Centre was analysed and used it to identify recording gaps. On the basis of these gaps we have identified a Plant-recording-strategy-2014-2016_Data-Centre. This strategy outlines the areas, habitats, and species we will focus on for the period 2014-2016.
  • More than 15,000 records were submitted on-line.


Asplenium_trichomanes_llysaght2013: 471,440 vascular plant records were added to the database

  • More than 12,000 records were submitted on-line.
  • A flora of Cavan was added to Biodiversity Maps: 34,493 records. The National Botanic Gardens made all BSBI cards from Cavan (owned by Paddy Reilly) available for digitisation during 2012.
  • Through a project funded under the Conservation of Genetic Resources Grant Aid Scheme (Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine) 22,443 new vascular plant records were made, including 5,422 of Crop Wild Relative species.
  • All data has been extracted from the National Vegetation Database and converted into species records. These have been validated and added to Biodiversity Maps: 387,504 records.
  • Data has been collated and digitised from various discrete surveys  e.g., rare plant surveys, ecological surveys, academic studies: 15,000 records.


Trifolium_pratense_llysaght2012: Validation processes were developed

  • Large amounts of time were devoted to getting good validation processes in place so that collated data can be processed efficiently.
  • A block of BSBI record cards for County Donegal were digitised for the county recorder: ~12,000 records
  • Work continued on the digitisation of the Flora of Cavan
  • All Heritage Officers and Biodiversity Officers were contacted about surveys at local levels that have involved the collection of vascular plant data.  Where possible these data were captured as were any suitable sources of data from large academic projects (e.g. BIOFOREST).
  • Work was started to extract data from the National Vegetation Database and convert it into species records. This is a large volume of data that required extensive validation.
  • The online system for submitting plant data was developed. From June-December 2012 more than 11,000 records were submitted.

Gentina verna, Co. Clare(L. Lysaght)2011: Database was in establishment phase

By the end of 2011 there were a  total of 643,203 vascular plant records submitted to the Data Centre, and displayed through Biodiversity Maps.

We have focused on collating data that is available at the tetrad resolution or lower (see pie chart for a breakdown of records in 2011 by resolution).  Data comes from 4 primary sources:

  1. BSBI tetrad database: 374,842 records
  2. County floras contributed directly by BSBI county recorders: 205,117 records
  3. National databases and surveys: 7,571 records
  4. Significant personal data sets contributed to the Data Centre: 55,673 records



View full metadata on all vascular plant datasets