Plant Recording Systems: Demeter

The management of the Demeter software has been taken over by David Goodchild who has been granted an exclusive licence by Plant Heritage to develop and promote the software.  It will continue to be free to National Collection Holders who will also get support but it will also be available for sale to other gardeners interested in plant conservation.  National Collections Coordinators can also have a free copy if they’d like to be able to advise their NCHs.

For newer NCHs who may not be aware of Demeter, it was developed following a suggestion from Professor Gren Lucas who was Vice Chairman of the NCCPG.  He thought it was extremely important for NCHs to be able to capture their knowledge as well as conserving their plants.

It was developed after a detailed survey of the requirements of a wide range of NCHs and built by Aldex Software Ltd, who are specialists in the construction of software based on Microsoft’s database products, using funds raised by Gren Lucas and a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  The RHS agreed to supply 100,000 plant names from their world famous plant names database and Aldex developed a structure which made it easy to add new names in the correct taxonomic format.  Demeter users can also link photos and documents and record descriptions of each plant and its progress.  It can be used at a basic level just to record the plant’s name, its source, date of acquisition and location in the garden and then more detail can be added as required.  During its life, new features have been added to Demeter at the request of NCHs and the underlying structure has been updated so that it works on all current versions of Microsoft Windows™.

Version 4 has recently been released with the plant names updated from the 2014 RHS Plant Names database.

A new website is being developed and will have lots of information about the features in Demeter plus help and support for new and experienced users.  It will also explain how to buy copies.  There’ll be more detail here when it’s up and running.

Contact David at david@potentilla.org.uk if you’d like to discuss it with him.

Advertisements