Plant tracker is a App that has been created by a joint venture from the Environment Agency, Bristol University and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Their aim is to combat the spread of the UK’s problematic invasive, non-native plant species.
The App allows members of the public to report: Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam, Orange Balsam, Water Fern, New Zealand Pigmyweed, Parrots Feather, Giant Hogweed, Floating Pennywort, Creeping water-primrose, Piri-Piri Burr, American Skunk-cabbage, Rhododendron, Monkey Flower and Curley Water weed.
On the home page to the App, it allows you to report a New habitat of a species, or click the info tab and find out more information of a species, helping you to identify it.
The image gallery gives you a good range of photographs to help you clearly identify the species and also you can view other species that could be confused with it.
Once you are sure that you have correctly identified the species, it is time to report it. To do this simply go back to the home page and hit the New button, and this will take you to the New Sighting Page.
Here you are required to take a close up photo of the plant. This allows the Nature Locator team to confirm that the sighting is the correct species before adding it to their database. Tap the location tab and your smart phone automatically enters your location using its GPS system. Alternatively you can manually enter your location, if for example you are reporting at a later date. The Amount tab reports the size of the habitat from; Low, 5m2. Notes can then be added follow by optionally adding your email address, in case further information is required.
Once your sighting has been verified by the Nature Locator Team (usually within 24hrs) it will be posted on their map on their website http://planttracker.naturelocator.org
The App can be downloaded free on both ITunes and Android platforms.