Re: BRC Conference - 7 May 2011

Explaining Range Changes: from County to Continent

A workshop to be held at CEH Wallingford, 7th May 2011
Convener:  Helen Roy (CEH Wallingford, hele@ceh.ac.uk)

Great Britain has the most intensively studied biota of any region in the world due to a long tradition of biological recording by highly skilled volunteers.  Activity spans a wide range of species groups, and is primarily co-ordinated by more than 80 national schemes and societies.  Since the publication of the first distribution atlas in 1962, data from biological recording has provided vital insights into understanding how Britain’s biodiversity is changing.  There is a growing recognition that volunteer-led biological recording has a vital role in monitoring the current and future state of the environment.

The aim of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for voluntary recording schemes to share experiences, celebrate their successes and to identify future requirements for support.  A series of presentations will highlight current recording activity for a range of species groups and highlight constraints experienced by voluntary recorders and co-ordinators.  The overall aim of the meeting is to identify priorities for future support for volunteer recording networks.  A series of demonstrations over an extended lunch break will also highlight recent technological advances to support biological recording.


10.30 – 11.00 Arrival and coffee

11.00 Morning session – Chair (Helen Roy)

Speakers (to be confirmed): David Roy (BRC), Kevin Walker (Botanical Society of the British Isles), Tristan Bantock (Shield Bugs and Allied Species Recording Scheme) & Alan Stewart (Auchenorrhyncha Recording Scheme)

12.30 – 14.30 Lunch and technical demonstrations (NBN Record Cleaner, NBN Gateway Mapping Tool, Indicia).  Details are given overleaf.

14.30 Afternoon session – Chair (tbc)

Speakers (to be confirmed): Richard Fox (Butterfly Conservation, Moths Count), Janet Simkin (British Lichen Society), Chris Preston (BRC)

16.00 – 16.30 Tea and depart

To register interest in attending, please email Charlotte Coombes  (chaomb@ceh.ac.uk) 

Technical Demonstrations

NBN Record Cleaner (Stuart Ball) - demonstrating the latest version of the software. A beta version has been available for some time and allows users to validate and verify biological data. The tool has a mapping facility for spatial verification so users may check that data appears within the correct geographic area. There are also a set of verification ‘rules’ which will allow automated verification of records of certain taxon groups. Rules, to be published soon, are currently being written by BTO, Marine Biological Association, Botanical Society of the British Isles, Butterfly Conservation and the Hoverfly Recording Scheme. This facility will be strengthened as more national schemes and experts publish rule sets.

NBN Mapping Tool (Graham French) - the NBN will be releasing an enhanced interactive map allowing new ways of exploring records on the NBN Gateway. Demonstration of this new mapping system will highlight the new functionality and provide an opportunity to give suggestions for its future development.

Indicia (John van Breda) - a demonstration of setting up an online-recording website using Indicia will be given, including examples of data entry facilities, mapping, verification and reporting.