One-stop species shop


Prickly poppy (Papaver argemone) © KJ Walker, BSBI JNCC is committed to increasing the value of biodiversity data and one way to achieve this is by making information more accessible to those who need it. JNCC, along with partner organisations, has been working to make species data more easily available in a user- friendly format, through the creation of ‘species web pages’. These pages provide a useful reference source for those responsible for delivering conservation action on the ground.


Flowering plants and ferns are the latest group to have their own species web pages. The Biological Records Centre (BRC) and the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) have recently produced the Online Atlas of British and Irish Flora. This work, partially funded by JNCC, is part of the BRC’s work to support the many schemes and societies that record data on the UK’s wildlife.


The website is essentially a one-stop-shop for information on wild flowering plants and ferns, illustrated by reliably indentified photographs. Having such information together in an easily accessible format is a great asset to conservation practitioners, academics and others who want to find out more about plants, how their distribution is changing and why. 


Each species account contains updated distribution maps from the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Gateway and BSBI datasets, as well as the published distribution maps from the New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora (Preston, Pearson and Dines, 2002). In addition, there is a wealth of information on species ecology, population trends, habitat, life form and conservation status. Information showing the plant’s typical environmental conditions – Ellenberg scores for light, nitrogen, salt tolerance, reaction (acidity), as well as temperature and rainfall values – is also included.


The online plant atlas joins a growing list of species web pages with up-to-date status and trend information, including JNCC’s Seabird Accounts, BTO's Breeding Birds of the Wider Countryside, and the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme pages. In time more cross-species thematic interpretation pages will be developed, to build the bigger picture for those involved in policy work.  


Contact File


Anna Robinson

Biodiversity Information Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1733 866851


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