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Source to Resource: Making Biological Records Count

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Alloa Academy

Bowhouse Road

Alloa

FK10 1DN

United Kingdom

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Over 7.5 million volunteer hours go into monitoring the UK’s nature every year. Data generated through recording schemes, ad-hoc sightings and fieldwork allows researchers, land managers and conservationists to better understand the state of the natural world around us and identify how best to restore, conserve and save landscapes and species.

This free one day conference aims to discuss the journey that biological records make from the recorder to the verifier and onward. We hope this event will connect members of the biological recording community from across Scotland and create opportunity for networking and discussion, with updates from key figures and projects in the area.

The day is free of charge, open to all, and is particularly relevant to recorders, verifiers, Vice County recorders and those interested in or working in the fields of biological recording, citizen science and environmental conservation.

You can expect engaging talks and a mix of indoor and outdoor break-out sessions for you to attend as well as plenty of time to network and browse displays representing a variety of recording schemes operating in Scotland.

09:30 Registration & Refreshments.

10:00 Start of morning session. Talks followed by parallel break-out sessions.

Keynote talk from Dr Mark Eaton, Principal Conservation Scientist RSPB Centre for Conservation Science 'Assessing the state of nature:past, present and future'

Dr Scott Shanks, Conservation Officer (Scotland) Buglife 'Biological Recording: The key to conservation'

Natalie Harmsworth, Ecologist, The Wildlife Information Centre 'Record Verification: A key step in the data flow pathway'

Parallel break-out sessions (select one to attend):

  • Mammal Tracks & Signs with John Haddow, Auritus Wildlife Consultancy,
  • Seaweeds in the Edinburgh shoreline with Aroa Sampedro-Frenandez, TCV,
  • An overview of the diversity of Scottish solitary bees and hoverflies with Suzanne Burgess, Buglife Scotland,
  • Guided birding to RSPB Black Devon Wetlands with Allison Leonard and Ami Kirkbright, RSPB Scotland.

12:30 Stalls, networking and lunch (please bring your own lunch, tea and coffee will be available free of charge).

14:00 Start of afternoon session. Parallel break-out sessions followed by talks.

Break-out sessions (select one to attend):

  • Using iRecord to simplify recording and verification of wildlife records with Scott Shanks, Buglife Scotland,
  • Introduction to Bryophytes with Julie Smith VC87 and Gordon Rothero,
  • What lurks beneath at Black Devon with Kirsty Grant and Ally Lemon, Buglife Scotland,
  • How to record: for beginners with Graeme Wilson, The Wildlife Information Centre.

Ross McIlwrath, TCV Natural Talent Trainee - Peatlands and Micro Moths, Butterfly Conservation Scotland 'Micro Moths: An Under-Recording Problem'

TBC Ellen Wilson, RSPB & Chair, Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum 'SBIF Review Update'

15:30 TBC close.

  • FAQs

Are there minimum age requirements to enter the event?

All ages are welcome but we ask that under 18's are accompanied by an adult.

What will the break-out sessions cover?

AM/1 Mammal Tracks & Signs with John Haddow, Auritus Wildlife Consultancy.

  • This session will look at evidence, particularly tracks and signs, of mammals most likely to be found in the inner Forth area.

AM/2 Seaweeds in the Edinburgh shoreline with Aroa Sampedro-Frenandez, TCV.

  • Seaweeds are clearly under recorded. After a short introduction about seaweeds in the UK, we will learn how to identify some of the most common coastal seaweeds. I will bring some fresh specimens from the Edinburgh coast, as well as some dry ones collected in the west coast of Scotland, ready for a Herbarium collection. I will do my best to share my passion with everyone, and offer some tips on seaweed identification.

AM/3 An overview of the diversity of Scottish solitary bees and hoverflies with Suzanne Burgess, Buglife Scotland.

  • There are over 4,000 species of pollinating insect in the UK and this includes over 250 species of solitary bee and 280 species of hoverfly. This session will look at the diversity of Scottish solitary bees and hoverflies, the key differences between the groups, as well as how to identify and record several of the commonly seen species.

AM/4 Guided birding to RSPB Black Devon Wetlands with Allison Leonard and Ami Kirkbright, RSPB Scotland.

  • RSPB Black Devon Wetlands is a hugely important wetland reserve and supports a range of wildlife. Join RSPB staff on a guided walk as we try to spot the diversity of bird species found here. Learn about the ongoing habitat management to help support and encourage more wildlife, and what the future hold for this unique reserve.

PM/1 Using iRecord to simplify recording and verification of wildlife records with Scott Shanks, Buglife Scotland.

  • This workshop will follow the process of using iRecord from record entry through to record verification and analysis of local datasets. This free and easy to use online tool simplifies collecting and entering records and adds the ability to submit photographs with each record. All submitted records are accessible to recording schemes and local record centres. County recorders can register to be a verifier for particular group or area. iRecord uses an ‘automated record cleaning function’ that can assist verifiers with record validation by flagging records outside their normal range or flight period. There are a number of options for verification (or potentially rejection), and it is easy to communicate with the record originator and for the record to be re-determined or forwarded onto another expert to check verification details.

PM/2 Introduction to Bryophytes with Julie Smith VC87 and Gordon Rothero.

  • The session will include a short introductory presentation and there will be an opportunity to look at pre-prepared samples to identify some basic features of mosses and liverworts and how to differentiate them. We will provide information on how records are collected and verified within the British Bryological Society and some background information on recent recording efforts, local species interest and how to get involved.

PM/3 What lurks beneath at Black Devon with Kirsty Grant and Ally Lemon, Buglife Scotland.

  • This session will focus on introducing the OPAL water survey and how to identify freshwater invertebrates using the FSC Freshwater Trail guide. We will head down to RSPB Black Devon Wetlands and run through how to conduct an OPAL Water Survey and then give attendees the chance to do some pond dipping and identify what is found.

PM/4 How to record: for beginners with Graeme Wilson, Centre Manager TWIC.

  • A practical outdoor workshop from The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC) covering the essentials of wildlife recording. We will cover what makes a valid record, how to take grid references and we will explain about different types of record and how to make your records count for conservation. Suitable for beginners. Bring suitable outdoor clothing.
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Location

Alloa Academy

Bowhouse Road

Alloa

FK10 1DN

United Kingdom

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