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Bankside Plants

What plants grow along ditches in the Leiden region? What does this say about vegetation quality? Could it be better? Naturalis and Leiden University's Center for Environmental Sciences are looking for your help to answer these questions.

In 2018, local residents and researchers surveyed the vegetation quality of 246 shorelines. From May 15 and until September 15, 2019, anyone who likes it can again become a "bank expert" and survey the waterfront. This way, you contribute to real research and experience the ditches and banks in a different way.

Why do researchers ask for your help?

In both the polder landscape and built-up areas, banks offer good opportunities for "wild nature" and are important nesting and hiding places for various plant and animal species. The design and management of the banks determine the species diversity. Through nature-friendly management, the City of Leiden and surrounding municipalities try to improve the biodiversity of the banks. It is important to map out which banks are doing well and which banks could benefit from better management. Because it takes several years before the results of adapted management become visible, data on plant species of the banks for the next 5 to 10 years are needed. So there is a lot of data to collect and for this your help is badly needed.

How can you help?

You don't have to be a specialist to help. You note the presence of 24 plant species that say something about the vegetation quality along a bank. You can quickly learn to recognize these indicator plants using photos and videos on the website. There are also workshops where you can practice along a bank with an experienced researcher. If you also want to become a riparian expert and/or attend a workshop, sign up via oeverplanten@gmail.com.


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