Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre

New to Recording?

Then this is the perfect way to get started!

In a county such as ours we are fortunate to be surrounded by a great diversity of wildlife, but all too often we take for granted that it can survive all the pressures we put it under. Recording wildlife is an essential tool which helps organisations and individuals make informed decisions on how they carry out activities which might affect our environment.

A butterfly helping with identification!, Gary Mantle/ WWT

Recording is a pastime which can be enjoyed by anyone, at any age, with as little as a pencil, paper, a bit of patience and a willingness to learn. It does take time and patience to develop any skill and expertise as a naturalist is no different. Our experts may well have discovered a love for the natural environment at a young age, but their passion for their subject often developed later.


Nothing beats practical experience in the field. It can be daunting at first, but attending an identification course or a wildlife walk is a gentle way to begin. Joining a recording group or society can provide much needed support and mentorship as skills develop, and recording is easier now than ever, with more resources available to get you started and greater access to identification tools.

These will help you get started:

Even with limited wildlife knowledge, you can still send in valid records of those species you do know how to identify, even if that is only Blackbirds and Robins! Here’s how to tell us what you see.

Here’s some other guidance you might find useful to help you with your wildlife recording:

Improving Wildlife Data Quality

Running a Biological Recording Scheme or Survey

The ID Signpost   


Wood Mouse, Andrew Everhale/ WSBRC


Melitta demidiata Roosting, WSBRCMiles Hodgkiss


Rock roses and orchids, WWT/ Darin Smith