Take part in wildflower project to help monitor climate change

  • Date

    Mon 3 Apr 23

Person taking phot of yellow flower on their phone

We are delighted to again be teaming up with the Essex Wildlife Trust for their citizen science Essex BioBlitz project from now until the end of September 2023.

Essex residents are being asked to photograph plants in bloom, with the aim of capturing data on how climate change is impacting our local environment.

Collecting data on flowering plants when they’re in bloom is a key indicator to determine how timings are changing in the environment, and how species are having to adapt.

Everyone across Essex is welcome to take part and no scientific background is required.

To take part, simply download the free app iNaturalist and take photos of flowering plants each week, uploading these to the app.

Dr David Clark, from Essex’s School of Life Sciences, said: “During Essex BioBlitz 2022, the public helped us collect almost 18,000 observations of wild plants in flower throughout Essex – a fantastic achievement. It was also a record-breaking year due to the extreme temperatures and drought we witnessed in Essex and the wider UK, highlighting the role of climate change in our local environment and making the need to study its effects on our wildlife ever more urgent.

“This year we hope you will join us to make this year’s Essex BioBlitz the biggest so far, as we aim to collect more than 20,000 observations of flowering plants to help us understand how global warming is changing the timing and duration of flowering of our local plants.”

Bailey Tait, Campaigns Officer at Essex Wildlife Trust, added: “We were overwhelmed with the interest in this citizen science campaign last year and had hundreds of participants sending wildflower sightings from across the county. People reported that it boosted their health and motivated them to spend more time outdoors. We are hoping that this year, even more citizen scientists will help us. The more people who are able to take part, the more valuable data we will be able to learn from.”

Find out more about the Essex Bioblitz project on the Essex Wildlife Trust's website.