Guest blog from Mike Chadwick of Watlington Environment Group - we are working together with WEG on our Green Plan, and this is an initiative we've been discussing. Please do join in if you can! Please note you don't have to be an expert bird spotter - you can just know a bit about plants - or vice versa!
Do you like putting names to the nature you see in your garden, or when you’re out and about? Do you also care about the bigger picture, and wonder what you can do to help? Well, one way is to ensure your observations are included in the official data held by environmental records centres, data essential for safeguarding sites under threat, identifying trends in abundance and distribution, and generally adding to our knowledge of the natural world. All such records matter: something common now might become rare in the future, but no-one will realise without the documented evidence.
A great way of doing this is through the https://irecord.org.uk site, also usable via an app. Watlington Environment Group are seeking to boost such efforts in and around the parish, and to encourage as many people as possible to get recording. You don’t need to be an expert – although the process of systematic recording is, in itself, a great aid to improving your identification skills. Nor a WEG member - if you’re reasonably organised and can tell your ash from your elder, or distinguish blackbird from whitethroat, this can be for you. And irecord also has a feature where you can indicate if you are not 100% confident of your identification.
To generate a team vibe, we’ve created a so-called Activity within irecord, whereby all records from participating observers within our target area, can be more easily viewed. Once you’ve got an irecord account set up, search for Watlington Environment Group Wildlife Recording, and you can send a request to join.
If you want any assistance or have any problems with the app or irecord generally, or would like any other information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We would also love to hear from anyone with appropriate skills who might be interested in more systematic surveys of particular groups of organisms.
If you don’t fancy irecord, records, including historical records, can also be submitted direct to Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre www.tverc.org.