Farmland Plant Identification Key
The Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have published a book to help farmers and advisors identify the positive indicators in each field. These species were selected because their presence tells us something about the location, the soil type, how wet it is and of course about past and current management. The range and cover of positive indicators is one of the best ways of quantifying the habitat value of a field, this allows a results based scheme to put a value on the ecosystem services provided.
There are other ways of doing this, for example using invertebrates as indicators but plants have huge advantages, most are relatively easy to identify, most are observable throughout the summer period making it assessments repeatable and allowing the process to stand up to scrutiny.
The book itself is well put together and a handy reference for advisors and farmers alike. We will showcase many of the species at training event for advisors which will kick off in the next few days at and at open days for farmers throughout the summer.
The guide can be downloaded from the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine site by following the link below.