Farewell From The WILDside Project

WILDside Project Coordinator Ryan Clark summarises the project and what it has achieved.

This is my final update for you from the helm of the WILDside project. It has been a great pleasure to work within the records centre to support biological recording in the county and learn more about Northamptonshire’s wildlife. The project has been a real collaboration between the records centre, the Wildlife Trust, volunteer recorders and key partners - so thank you to everyone that has got involved. I would just like to reflect on some of the things that we have achieved together.

The WILDside Recording Community Facebook group has grown and is nearly at 200 members. This group is a great way for people interested in biological recording to contact one another and share sightings and their enthusiasm for the natural world. My thanks go to everyone that has contributed to this group. The group will continue to be led by the community and overseen by the records centre.

We have had 21 talks at the Northamptonshire Natural History Society, each one reflecting a different taxonomic group or aspect of biological recording. These have been very popular and engaged with the community. We cannot thank the NNHS enough for working together with us on this.

Our seasonal surveys have resulted in around 250 records and started people off recording; some of these people now record other species. In fact, during the course of this project, we have received records from over 150 new recorders.

Our events have been well attended and we have managed to put on around 40 workshops, 7 BioBlitzes and surveyed over 40 sites, the majority of which are local wildlife sites. We also had our first ever Northamptonshire Biological Recorders Conference. This was a hugely successful event and is something we are looking to repeat in the future.

NBRC Recorders Conference

John Showers, County Recorder for flies, delivering a talk at the Northamptonshire Biological Recorders Conference

We now have better resources to support recorders as we have the three counties recording handbook, do check this out on our website if you have not seen it already! This guides you through the process of submitting biological records to your local environmental records centre. We have also produced a guide to submitting your records through our website. We also have many books and ID guides, which you can use and borrow, see the separate section of this newsletter for more information.

Records are the bread and butter of the records centre and we cannot thank everyone enough who has submitted records to us, including those throughout the course of the project. Since the start of the project, WILDside has generated over 12,000 records of over 2500 species. This is vast underestimate as it often takes a while for records to come to us, and they come to us in a variety of ways. These have focused on key sites such as local wildlife sites and have filled in gaps on the map for which we had no records. We are in the process of updating this map and making it available online.

What is Next

WILDside has certainly helped to reinvigorate biological recording in the county and highlight its importance. Many of the things that the project started will continue after it finishes at the end of 2019. We hope to repeat the recorders conference in the future, as this was a great event. We also will be hosting more talks at the Northamptonshire Natural History Society. The records centre will continue to promote and support recording as much as possible. Please email nbrc@northantsbrc.org.uk if you have any ideas for ways in which we may be able to support biological recording in Northamptonshire.

Email the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre

Thank You

Finally, I must say one last huge thank you to everyone that has been involved with the WILDside project. It has been a pleasure to work with you all. Thank you also to the National Lottery Heritage Fund who provided the majority of the funding for this project.

Heritage Fund Logo