Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre

Submit Records Using Living Record

Living Record, Adrian Bicker

The WSBRC is delighted to be championing the Living Record online biological recording system for the general recording of wildlife sightings throughout Wiltshire and Swindon. You can now submit wildlife records online to the WSBRC and our network of County Recorders just by clicking the link to Living Record and joining. Records for mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, vascular plants and several invertebrate groups can all be sent in via this system.

The Living Record system utilises Google maps to assist users in plotting locations of sightings or to check you noted down the correct grid reference for where you were. There are drop-down species lists and species search lists to speed up data entry and reduce errors. Individuals can download their personal records to an Excel compatible file. Recording groups can generate distribution maps showing information such as all of their records added since the beginning of the year or distribution maps for individual species. We hope this will help recording groups target new areas as well as providing useful feedback to recorders.

County Recorders (CRs) and their equivalents can sign up as verifiers on Living Record and then check records as they are added during the season. On a regular basis we will ask the CRs to batch and download all verified records for us to import onto our Recorder 6 database. Users can still see their own records, but if you need to change a record after it has been locked (through the batching process) you simply need to contact WSBRC or the County Recorder directly.

Living Record, Adrian Bicker

If you have already registered with Living Record you will hopefully have noted that you can record sightings anywhere in the country. In some counties the CRs are already familiar with Living Record and will be downloading your data in due course, as will be happening here shortly. If you find your records are not being checked, you can download them yourself to Excel file and submit them to the Local Records Centre or recording group for that area.

Living Record was developed and launched in 2010 by Arian Bicker for the Dorset Dragonfly Group. Since then the system has been developed in conjunction with the Dorset Environmental Records Centre (DERC) to cover many other species groups and survey methodologies. We have already been successfully using this system to support the Wiltshire Mammal Group who set up a survey earlier in the year to collate records for the recently launched Wiltshire Mammal Atlas Project. It is also used by the survey team of the WWT’s Source to Sea Project to capture invasive plant records along the River Avon in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset. The records and then provided to all three Local Records Centres in one simple update.

We are really keen for local recorders to start using this great resource if you haven’t already done so. At present it holds nearly 4,000 records for Wiltshire & Swindon – most of which were added to it over the last year or so and hopefully this number will grow considerably each year as more people find out about it and give it a try. If you are not yet ready for online recording you are still welcome to submit your records as usual, either to a County Recorder directly or to WSBRC using our standard forms.

For a useful guide to how to get started on Living Record take a look at the example shown here for taking part in the national Swift Survey

We hope to be running training courses on the system in the not-too-distant future – these will be advertised on our website. Of course if you do have any problems or can’t get started please do contact the WSBRC team and we will be happy to help.

Purgle Linham, WSBRC Centre Manager