Where the WILD things are

A WILDside project update from the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre

Over the last 6 months the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre has been working hard on its WILDside project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The main aims of this project are to:

  • Strengthen the voluntary recording network
  • Recruit and train new recorders
  • Help existing recorders to broaden and deepen their recording and identification skills

This project runs until December 2018, but we have been really busy already! To achieve these aims we have been running a variety of free training workshops and field sessions, these include sessions on private Local Wildlife Sites where access wouldn’t usually be possible. These sessions supplement the excellent range already provided by the Wildlife Trust. We will be planning lots more of these workshops over the winter to take place next year.

We have also organised a variety of talks which take place at the Northamptonshire Natural History Society each month. These usually provide an introduction to the ecology and identification of a taxonomic group. In the next few months we have talks on freshwater habitats, and lichens, lined up. There will be lots more talks after these ones too!

The WILDside resources cupboard, full of books and equipment

The WILDside resources cupboard. Credit: Ryan Clark

We have also been building up a library of books, resources and equipment which can be used by recorders in the county. We wouldn’t have been able to purchase these resources, which are used for workshops and will be available to be borrowed, without the HLF funding.

We are also using this project to encourage online recording. You can enter records for Northamptonshire on our website and I plan to run training on using the website over the winter. We will also be signposting people via our website to existing online resources and creating a series of surveys for specific species to look out for.

Our Facebook Group now has over 90 members and is becoming a nice little community of people interested in recording Northamptonshire’s wildlife. There you can get help with identification along with keeping up to date with events and what other people in the county are seeing! You can also keep up to date with the project by emailing me and asking to be added to the mailing list.

We have also been providing a number of drop in sessions, both at the Wildlife Trust’s Northamptonshire office at Lings, and at the Northamptonshire Natural History Society Building. We will be running more of these sessions over the next year, enabling you to get help with identification, surveying or recording wildlife.

This project is really exciting and will leave a lasting legacy of more records and better supported recorders in the county. To keep up to date with the project, why not join our Facebook Group, where you will find details of upcoming events and can get help with identification. If you have any questions, please drop me an email at WILDside@northantsbrc.org.uk