Somerset Coverage Maps

The coverage maps are actually Excel spreadsheets showing, respectively, the number of records and the number of different taxa recorded in each monad (kilometre square) between the year 2000 and the date they were created.

The maps were last created on 14th January 2024 based on data available in MapMate up to that date.

Record Counts

Click the image to download the whole map.

The image here shows part of the spreadsheet covering the extreme west of Somerset around Simonsbath, Exmoor.

This shows the recording effort per monad since the year 2000. Some areas have been visited on multiple occasions, such as SS7242 which contains Pinkery Pond, for which there were 600 records when this example was produced a few years ago.

Taxon Counts

Click the image to download the whole map.

This map shows the number of different vascular plant taxa recorded. This is a better guide to the botanical richness of the monad, provided there has been sufficient recording effort. It can be seen that at the time the 600 records in SS7242 relate to 151 different taxa.

Last Year’s Recording Effort

Click the image to download the whole map.

This map shows the recording effort in the last complete calendar year only.


The method was kindly provided by Brian Pitkin of Surrey Botanical Society. The Surrey analysis is available in the Records section of the society’s website, Any errors in the data or presentation are of course my own.

The method relies on a list of 1km squares (also known as monads e.g. ST5036) originally sourced from the Biological Records Centre VC Grid Squares Request page. This data was also provided by Brian Pitkin as a map-like spreadsheet, showing the percentage of each square contained within VC 5 and VC 6. Note that the extent of each vice-county extends to low water mark, which accounts for the large coastal expanse of squares below the high water mark, particularly around the mouth of the Parrett. In addition, the Herbaria United OS Grid Reference to Vice-County converter was found to be very useful in checking grid references against the VC boundaries.

The original method relied on the use of Access97 (the underlying database software used by MapMate). As this is no longer widely available, and the Access97 files are not accessible from newer versions of Access, the decision was taken to export all the record, site and taxon data from MapMate and then process it in Access 2016. This involved creating MapMate User Queries to extract the records, sites and taxa and then saving them as text files. These were used as source data to create tables in Access2016.

From that point, SQL queries, based  on those provided by Brian Pitkin, were used to generate the required data. The counts were copied into the spreadsheet, also originally provided by Brian.

The record and taxon counts were exported from Access and copied into an Excel spreadsheet. Conditional Formatting has been used to colour each square according to its value. Again, this was designed by Brian Pitkin, although I have changed the colours and added some more categories, so we now have the following colours: