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Latest News from CEDaR

Wednesday 29 March

Finding a National Plant Monitoring Square to call my own by Sinead Mulvaney


I was late trying to find a NPMS square to call my own.  I logged onto the website and found the ‘Squares near me’ option.  As I looked at the map most of the squares near me were already allocated.  But a blue square stood out in the map as one lonely unallocated square surrounded by a sea of allocated ones.  Then I realised why, it was also surrounded by a sea!  An island on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland - Island Taggart on the west side of the lough, owned and managed by National Trust. 

Thankfully I have my trusty sea kayak and my partner agreed to take on the square too so I wouldn’t be alone.  National Trust were more than accommodating, allowing us free access over the island.  So with no issues we launched our kayaks on a glorious summers day in June and paddled up the lough.  With barely a ripple on the water, the sun on our backs and seals accompanying us, this was definitely the way to spend and afternoon.

For a small island I was worried about finding enough habitats, but I needn’t have worried.  From strandline and saltmarsh to hedgerows and species-rich grassland the island was a joy.  I am looking forward to many return visits to my square in the sea.

Sinead Mulvaney

If you would like further information about this survey, or would like to adopt your own square to survey, have a look at the NPMS website.