From field records to online data

Online recording

Large numbers of records continue to arrive via iRecord (and the many websites and apps that feed in to its linked database). This allows us to make the records available for verification and sharing, in conjunction with the relevant national recording schemes.

  • At June 2018, over 5 million records were available within iRecord, of over 30,000 different species 
  • A minimum of 38% of these have been reviewed by the expert volunteer verifiers who check the records on behalf of the recording schemes (in fact the total verified for recording scheme use is higher than 38%, because some schemes verify iRecord data outside of iRecord itself)
  • Of the records checked, 98% have been accepted or corrected
  • The largest number of records is for butterflies, followed by plants and moths, but there is a very wide taxonomic coverage overall, with records for over 150 species groups
  • New verifiers are joining iRecord on a regular basis - the vast majority of these are recording scheme volunteers, and we are very grateful to them for the time they donate to checking the quality of the records and providing feedback to recorders

See this animated data visualisation by Tom August showing how records accumulated on iRecord over the year in 2017, colour-coded for four main species groups.

Data flow to the NBN Atlas

We work with the national recording schemes to pass records from iRecord to the NBN (National Biodiversity Network) so that the data can be shared via the NBN Atlas. With support from Natural England we have developed an automated export process that will speed up the flow of records to the NBN, for those recording schemes that wish to make use of this. This opens up the prospect of records being made available more quickly, providing more up-to-date information for conservation and research.

Digitising new data

BRC is able to provide support for recording schemes to digitise data that has not yet been captured electronically. A current project in this area is digitising Diptera (fly) records from Steven Falk’s notebooks. Steven is a well-known entomologist and his notebooks cover a wide range of sites and species from many families, containing data that has not been widely available previously. There are twelve volumes of notebooks and plenty still to do!, but this project will make a fantastic new resource available for use in recording schemes and elsewhere.


Orange-tip butterfly
In May 2018, the Orange-tip butterfly was the species most frequently recorded on iRecord