Biological Records Centre meeting of National Recording Schemes

Programme (click on the links of presentations and reports from discussions)

Saturday 23rd March 2019, CEH Wallingford (

This meeting will bring together specialists from recording schemes, government agencies and research organisations to discuss areas of common interest.   We will hear talks that summarise recent initiatives and have discussion sessions on key topics such as: the use of biological records for understanding our changing environment, tools for supporting recording schemes and how we help recording schemes adapt to new innovations. 

1000   Registration, with coffee available, and space if you want to arrange to meet colleagues and catch up

1045   David Roy Welcome – aims of the day and a general update on BRC

1055   Mark Gurney Links between recording schemes and conservation organisations

1110   Oli Pescott Plant recording and the BRC: Getting closer to the point in a world of squares

1125   Ashleigh Whiffin Carri-on Recording: Experience of establishing and developing a recording scheme for carrion beetles, including support through museums

1140   Mike Edwards BWARS - Recording Aculeate Hymenoptera with BRC, looking backwards to Atlas 1 and forwards past the Handbook of the Bees of the British Isles - where to next?

1155   Katherine Boughey Monitoring the acoustic world: How new technologies are revolutionising bat recording, and implications for other schemes

1210   Michael Pocock How does biological recording contribute to monitoring for conservation and research: matching gaps in recording to information needs.

1225   Plans for afternoon workshops


1235   Lunch (provided), including iRecord demonstration and BRC helpdesk/Q&A.  Option for posters from PhD students and attendees?


1400 Discussion sessions via break-out groups (click on the links for reports on discussion)

Session 1: 1400 - 1445

Tea Break: 1445 - 1500

Session 2: 1500 - 1545


1550 Daniel Hayhow. The contribution of biological recording to the State of Nature

1610 Concluding remarks

1615 End


Break-out discussion groups (click on the links below for reports on discussions)

1. Bridging the gap between models and recorders

We have made huge progress in understanding the biases in biological records and have greatly expanded their use for a range of applications such as indicators and Red List assessments.  To date we have mostly adopted a one-size-fits all approach, but we would like to improve our models by better capturing differences in biology and recording behaviour among taxonomic groups.  We will discuss how to best capture information about species and how they are recorded to inform our future analysis developments.

2. How can digital tools support recording schemes

Digital tools have the potential to revolutionise many aspects of biological recording, but the plethora of options can be overwhelming.  Recording schemes play a vital role in identifying what tools are of most use and can help prioritise future developments. Using example tools such as QGIS, apps built using the R package, image recognition tools we will discuss what works for you and what you’d like to see available in future.

3. Data quality: options for supporting and recruiting verifiers

Recording schemes have always played a vital role in ensuring that national biodiversity data is of good quality. As more people engage with wildlife recording, and as new technologies add additional data to the total pool of records, there is a danger that existing verification procedures could be overwhelmed. What tools are available to help address this issue? Can we support more people to develop the skills needed for verification? What can technology offer?