(Above) Peacock butterfly © Ken Dolbear, MBE (below) Robin © Ken Dolbear, MBE
The online wildlife recording site ‘Living Record’, developed in Dorset for use anywhere in the country, has reached 500,000 records for 6,800 species across the UK. Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is one of many local conservation organisations championing the system.
DWT’s Great Heath Living Landscape project is encouraging its volunteers to use Living Record to keep track of wildlife in their local patch.
Help us build up a picture of how our wild plants and animals are using urban space
DWT’s Great Heath Living Landscape Community Conservation Officer, Katie Wilkinson, said “We want people using the system to help us build up a picture of how our wild plants and animals are using urban space in gardens and local parks, but also in the network of nature reserves and all the bits in between! We love hearing stories from members of the public about the wildlife they have seen, and many people like to know they are making a difference by adding their sightings to Living Record.”
100,000 new records each year for Dorset
Living Record has been developed by local wildlife enthusiast, Adrian Bicker, in partnership with the Dorset Environmental Records Centre (DERC) and other Dorset recording groups, but the system is now used by wildlife groups around the country.
Adrian said, “It all started with dragonflies in Dorset. But local naturalists wanted more so Living Record now covers many subjects, from birds and bats to butterflies, beetles, bugs and bryophytes. This was always a “grass roots” project, serving the needs of local naturalists and the organisations that manage areas of land, like DWT and our local councils. I feel quite emotional reaching this milestone and would like to thank all those who have provided the advice, support and encouragement along the way. Of course the real heroes are all the people who now regularly record the wildlife that they see, bringing in 100,000 new records each year for Dorset.”
Submit your sighting!
Sign up for the Great Heath enewsletter online and to join Living Record to start recording your wildlife sightings for free here. Throughout July we are asking for sightings of slow worms. Visit our Species of the Month page to find out more and submit your sighting.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
The Great Heath Living Landscape an Urban Living Landscape in Dorset will deliver the following exciting objectives:
- To provide enhanced opportunities for visitors and local residents to enjoy and learn about the area's fantastic natural heritage
- To improve physical access to local green space close to high density urban areas
- To develop relationships with local landowners in order to enhance conservation management of land in private ownership and to open up access to more greenspace in the area.
- To provide increased involvement and volunteering opportunities for people in a variety of wildlife habitats on the urban margin
- To improve access to the marine environment on the fringes of Poole Harbour to improve its conservation value and increase public awareness and enjoyment
Sites include land at Hampreston and High Mead Lane, Award Road, Ferndown Common, Delph Wood, Arrowsmith Copse, Dunyeats Hill, Corfe Lodge Road, Upton Heath, Beacon Hill, Cottage Farm (Happy Bottom), Ashington Paddock, Barrow Hill, Wimborne Road, Rushcombe Bottom, Parley Common, Tricketts Cross, Lytchett Bay and Holes Bay.
The full Great Heath Living Landscape project will cost will be £4.7 million, we have already secured £2 million and have been awarded £2.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and need to raise further funds by public appeal.
The Great Heath Living Landscape is a partnership project involving Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Erica Trust, Poole Harbour Commissioners, Borough of Poole, Dorset County Council Countryside Service, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust. Partners also include Bournemouth Borough Council, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils and Natural England.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 36,000 projects with £6bn across the UK. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.